Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said that anyone voting for the Group of Eight immigration proposal as written would “be buying a pig in a poke.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Grassley is ranking member, began weighing the lofty bill to arise from bipartisan negotiations.
“But this isn’t going to be the issue that comes up on final passage. In fact, the group of eight said that this was only a starter. They know it’s going to be amended in committee,” Grassley said Sunday on Bloomberg.
“Maybe even some of those group of eight think it needs to be changed someplace. And so we don’t really know what we’re going to be voting on. But I know that from one respect, we ought to be legislating and not delegating. And this bill delegates too much authority to the secretary of Homeland Security.”
The senator said whether the bill evolves into something he could support depends on the amendments.
Among the provisions Grassley supports are the national eVerify to screen current workers and the H1-B visa to bring higher skilled workers.
“The bottom line of it is there’s been some fraud in it, or maybe some incentives or not enough care, to take care of out-of-the-country companies hiring people and outsourcing jobs. I think we ought to prevent the outsourcing of jobs, do it in a way that provides the necessary professional help that we need that H1-B is, and then make sure that — that there’s a good faith effort,” he said. “And those are legal terms that has to be in the bill that every company in America makes a good faith effort to hire an American before somebody emigrates here for that purpose.”
Grassley said Republicans shouldn’t support the bill simply in a quest to win Hispanic votes.
“I think it’s very important for us to pass this bill from the standpoint of our sovereignty and our borders being secure. I think it’s very important that we advance our economy, as immigration can advance our economy,” he said.
“I think this is a very necessary thing for us to do that opens the door to various minority groups within the United States. But what’s really going to win over people coming here from other countries is economic opportunity. And I think Republicans have a philosophy that does well in that way. That we’re – that we respect their family values, their work ethic and their spiritual values. And it seems to me that we have a lot to learn from these very immigrants, a lot to learn.”