Republican Majority Leader John Boehner announced yesterday that Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte will be the chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee. That committee oversees the Immigration Subcommittee and the Judiciary Committee Chair plays an incredibly powerful role in moving and stopping immigration legislation.
The anti-immigrant organization NumbersUSA scores members of Congress and rarely gives out an A+ grade. Goodlatte is one of their stars. In fact, he's got the highest score in the entire Congress.
For a man who just said a few weeks ago that he's ready to work with the President on an immigration deal, the Goodlatte appointment is stunning. The appointment could be interpreted in various ways -
1. Boehner is not really serious about passing an immigration bill and is just saying what he thinks Hispanic Americans want to hear.
2. Boehner is clueless and just doesn't understand how bad Goodlatte's record is.
3. Goodlatte and Boehner have reached an understanding and Goodlatte will just look the other way when it comes to moving immigration legislation (I don't think Goodlatte actually supporting immigration reform is within the realm of the possible)
4. Boehner has a strategy for bypassing Goodlatte and the Judiciary Committee.
5. Boehner is weak and didn't have the ability to avoid appointing Goodlatte.
Strangely, Goodlatte claims to have practiced immigration law before entering Congress in 1992. We heard that claim from South Carolina Joe Wilson in 2009 and he was called out on this in this very blog. I'm planning on checking out Goodlatte's claim.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.