Get Ready to Rumble: House Names Tomorrow’s Immigration Panel Speakers

Let's get ready to rumble.

By Seth Freed Wessler Feb 04, 2013

The push to reform the country’s immigration laws, launched last week by a group of Senators, will continue full steam ahead tomorrow at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, which handles immigration laws. Eyes are fixed on House Republicans to gauge their temperature on immigration, and this morning the Committee released a roster of speakers who will set the tone.

Tomorrow’s hearing will have two panels of witnesses, one on the "current legal immigration system and ways to improve it," and another on "the extent to which our immigration laws have been enforced."

Both panels include a mix of voices–the full list is posted below–but the enforcement panel is likely to include significant saber rattling.

Julie Myers Wood will start the panel. She was the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement during part of the Bush administration and an advocate for "targeted" immigration enforcement and deportation policies. She’s likely to strike a moderate tone. Similarly, Muzaffar Chishti of the Migration Policy Institute who coauthored a recent report documenting that the Obama administration invested more in immigration enforcement than any other president, will probably argue that current enforcement levels are enough.

Then the panel will turn sharply to the right. Chris Crane, the president of the ICE employees union, is expected to say that Obama administration officials have undermined immigration enforcement and prevented ICE agents from doing their job. He’s likely to attack Obama for his administrative actions to halt the deportation of people who have not been convicted of a crimes.

Last on the list, the Committee will hear from Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies, one of the country’s leading immigration restriction organizations. Vaughan and her fellow CIS staffers regularly call for more immigration enforcement and tighter bars on legal paths to immigrate.

From the Committee:

Tomorrow’s hearing will have two witness panels. The first witness panel will examine our current legal immigration system and ways to improve it. Witnesses for the first panel include:

Vivek Wadhwa, Director of Research, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University, Fellow, Stanford Law School, and Vice President of Innovation and Research, Singularity University; Michael Teitelbaum, Senior Advisor, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Wertheim Fellow, Harvard Law School; Dr. Puneet S. Arora; and The Honorable Julian Castro, Mayor, San Antonio, Texas.

The second panel will discuss the extent to which our immigration laws have been enforced. Witnesses on the second panel include.

Julie Myers Wood, President, Guidepost Solutions LLC; Chris Crane, President, National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council 118, American Federation of Government Employees; Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies; and Muzaffar Chishti, Director of the Migration Policy Institute’s Office at New York University Law School Office.