A U.S. House panel will hold a field hearing on immigration Friday in Dubuque. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he will testify before the House Judiciary Committee during its only Iowa meeting on the subject. Grassley says he wants to speak out about why he voted against the immigration bill that passed the Senate earlier this year.

Grassley says “I’m going to be testifying on what I consider now a basic reason for voting against the 2006 immigration bill, based on my experience of 1986. I voted against the bill this year because of amnesty, in other words, legalizing illegal aliens being in America.” Grassley, a Republican, says he learned from that experience that “When you reward illegality you get more illegality.” He says it was a “mistake” to vote for amnesty two decades ago.

Grassley says “We had a one-million person illegal problem in 1986. Everybody said vote for amnesty. We’ll take care of it. We even had speeches that I can quote from in ’86 saying ‘it’s a one-time only situation,’ and I was just wrong. They were wrong. We have a 12-million person problem now and I don’t intend to repeat that.” The hearing is slated to run from 9 A.M. to noon Friday at Dubuque’s Grand River Center.