This morning, the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on America’s need for high-skilled immigration, the third in a series of narrowly-focused single-issue hearings they’re holding as an effort to “educate” their party on immigration issues. So far, the hearings have indeed been instructive — but maybe not in the way House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Immigration Subcommittee Chair Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) might have intended. As we pointed out last week, hearings on the crisis in agricultural labor and on E-Verify each produced panels full of witnesses who agreed that their particular issues needed to be addressed by Congress ASAP — but instead of agreeing with committee Republicans that each issue should be dealt with separately, witnesses tended to agree that broad immigration reform that addressed the entire immigration process would be the best way to fix their particular areas of interest as well.
Today, it happened again. All four of the witnesses at today’s hearing — including three representatives of high-tech or entrepreneurial interest groups who had been invited by the Republican majority– agreed that broad immigration reform, including legalization of the undocumented, would be the best solution for Congress to take up. Some were more hesitant than others — one added that he preferred comprehensive reform “if only politically.” But yet again, witnesses for a hearing designed to address a single aspect of the immigration system ended up agreeing that Congress must take on the challenge of providing a solution for all Americans, including the undocumented, if they want a solution that lasts.