The spokesman for a pro-illegal immigration enforcement organization agrees with a congressman that immigration legislation should have originated in the U.S. House of Representatives.
House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp of Michigan has released a statement saying the Senate immigration legislation is in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution. He says it includes a number of revenue-related measures such as fees, penalties, surcharges, and the non-payment of taxes.
"It should have been a bill that originated in the House,” says Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
“And Harry Reid has tacitly acknowledged this by saying he is not just going to send the bill over to the House as is,” explains Mehlman. “So I think that there is some recognition, at least on the part of the majority leader in the Senate, that perhaps it does violate the constitutional requirement that this sort of legislation originate in the House."
The Origination Clause of U.S. Constitution stipulates that the Senate may not "originate" any legislation that includes a provision that either raises taxes or reduces federal revenue.
Mehlman says while Camp's concerns should pull a lot of weight with the House leadership, Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, has hinted that some Republicans are open to passing legislation that helps illegal aliens "come out of the shadows."
"That is just amnesty,” states the FAIR spokesman. “Anything that allows people who violate our law to benefit from remaining in this country, having legal status to work and compete for jobs in this country.”
“And he also left open the possibility of citizenship down the line,” adds Mehlman. “That constitutes an amnesty."
Mehlman says there is nothing that precludes the House from on its own initiative writing and passing a bad bill. So the vigilance of the American public must keep the pressure on them, he says.