Immigration reform legislation is stalled in the U.S. Senate, despite this week’s protest marches in small towns and big cities across Iowa and nationwide. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, says lawmakers are not ignoring the large rallies, some of which are drawing tens of thousands of immigrants and supporters.
Grassley says “The country is very divided to a point where it’s going to be difficult to get a bill through the Senate (but) I think it’s still possible to get a bill through the Senate.”
Grassley was among those who voted against an immigration bill that passed a Senate committee last month. He opposed the bill because of the amnesty clause which would allow illegals who are in the U.S. for a number of years to become legal.
After off-and-on debate in the following weeks and no resolution, Grassley says it’s clear some people are fed up with the Senate’s inaction on the bill. Grassley says “The rallies are encouraging Congress to act, which is certainly an appropriate way for people to petition their Congress for legislation.” The bill, in its current form, would create a “guest worker” program, allowing some 400-thousand foreigners into the U.S. each year for up to six years, then would send them home.
Grassley says he supports most of that concept. It would also see temporary visas issued to one-and-a-half million undocumented immigrants a year for farm work.