UNITE GETS FAMILY-MEMBER CLAUSE EASED IN OVERHAUL OF IMMIGRATION LAWS
WASHINGTON — The Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees has scored a victory in the major overhaul of immigration laws moving through Congress.
UNITE, along with a diverse coalition of businesses and religious groups, waged a successful campaign to remove from the legislation certain provisions that would have limited the number of family members immigrants could bring into the U.S. after becoming citizens. Currently, there is no such limit.
“Vast numbers” of UNITE’s 350,000 members are immigrants, said Muzaffar Chishti, director of the immigration project for UNITE, who called the proposed limitation “mean-spirited.” The overhaul plan was approved by the House last week in a 333-87 vote and is expected before the Senate early next month. Both bills will deal only with tougher penalties against illegal immigration.
The House voted 238-183 to scrap the provisions to limit family members’ immigration and other restrictions on legal immigration, while the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed two weeks ago to take such provisions out of its plan.
“It’s a real sweet victory; not only the vote, but the margin,” Chishti said. “The House made a major statement that there is bipartisan support for continued levels of legal immigrants.”