The latest push on immigration reform by the newly Republican-controlled House of Representatives is to reinstate workplace raids, reports The Los Angeles Times. The strategy—followed by the Bush administration, but abandoned by President Barack Obama—would undoubtedly lead to the increased deportation of immigrants without offering a path to legal status.
"Citizens and legal immigrants should not be forced to compete with illegal workers for jobs," said Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Despite the increased number of deportations during the first two years of President Obama’s administration, Republican lawmakers are calling on the president to implement more worksite ICE raids. In 2009, President Obama refocused the nation’s approach to immigration enforcement with an initiative to target employers who hire illegal workers rather than the employees. Opponents criticize raids “as an expensive and unnecessarily traumatic approach to attacking the problem.”
This latest opposition comes days after President Obama called for a solution to the issues of border control and immigration reform that would provide a path to legalization, during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
Republicans will most likely not move forward with a workplace raid solution because the Democrat-controlled Senate won’t pass it and Obama would likely veto the bill if it got through. But because the topic of immigration will likely be an important issue in the 2012 presidential election, House Republicans on the House Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement plan to hold hearings to criticize the Obama administration for "allowi illegal immigrants to take American jobs.”