President Obama surprised many a few weeks ago by tossing immigration reform back onto the long list of priority issues for 2009.
There is no doubt that the topic, and any potential solutions, belongs at the federal level. Will something be accomplished in this year of stimulus, spending, proposed health care and environmental reform, and much more? I believe not, but that is yet to be seen.
Charles Schumer (D-New York), immigation subcommittee chairman for the Senate Judiciary panel, plans to get the ball rolling this week with a hearing to try and determine the feasibility of legislation to give the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
Supporters want the effort to resume full force in the fall. Opponents cite the difficult economic times and not wanting immigrants taking hard-to-find jobs from others.
Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan is expected to testify this week, looking at the economic impact of the legislation.