When the Senate passed its immigration reform bill a couple of weeks ago, House Republicans pronounced it "Dead on Arrival" and pledged they would develop their own bill. Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan outlined a 15-year plan at a town hall meeting in his district on Friday saying he is not doing it for politics, "I think it's the right thing to do for the country."
Ryan recently told the National Journal he believes the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in this country are needed and need to be brought out of the shadows from an economic standpoint. The Chair of the House Budget Committee cites the dairy farmers of Wisconsin as a prime example: they're having a hard time finding workers, "If they can't find workers then they can't produce and we'll end up importing." Some contend if they would raise wages, they would not need to rely on immigrant labor, "But you raise wages too much in certain industries, then you'll get rid of those industries and we'll have to import."
The former Republican vice-presidential candidate says we do need to be fair to those who are here legally and make sure those here illegally are not given any special pathway ahead of them. Ryan is advocating a 15-year plan; "The way we're looking at it is, probationary visas will go to undocumented immigrants, who will be able to stay and work so long as they honor the terms of their probation, so long as the border and the interior enforcement is actually implemented." If after a 15-year minimum and they meet basic requirements including holding a job; "They can apply for a green card just like any other immigrant."
Ryan says House leadership plans to bring five or six bills to the floor, tentatively in October, to deal with border security, interior enforcement, a bill for legal immigration and a bill for people who are undocumented.