Immigration Reform Makes Strange Bedfellows

Posted: Apr 18, 2013 11:59 AM

Today, both immigration reform proponents and skeptics will hold press conferences that demonstrate the odd breakdown of allies in the coming legislative fight. We've had bipartisan "Gangs" in Congress before, but the allies coming together at the Gang of Eight press conference this afternoon may be one of the oddest collections we've seen.

The Gang of Eight news conference will bring together one of America's largest and most powerful unions and its largest and most powerful business lobby. The AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce will be joining Sens. Marco Rubio, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez and the other Gang of Eight members in the formal announcement on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, a coalition of conservative legislators will express their doubts in a press conference that will pre-but the formal immigration legislation announcement. Sens. Jeff Sessions and David Vitter will be joined by Congressman Lou Barletta at 2:15 to announce their concerns. They'll be joined by National ICE Council President Chris Crane, who has emerged as an early skeptic of the comprehensive immigration reform bill.

Oddly, the National ICE Council is a government employees' union and a member group of the AFL-CIO, which is obviously supporting the broader Gang of Eight proposal. But that's how the early lines in the sand have been drawn: Big Business and Big Union in support of the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform while a smaller government employee union partnering with more conservative legislators in opposition.

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