Texas Democrat gets praise for immigration efforts

As House Democrats begin to focus on who will assume the chairmanship of the Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is making a bid stressing her policy expertise on the issue despite a reputation as one of the more hard-charging, vocal members.

Jackson Lee, who is ranking member of the panel, declined to comment on any possible bid. But immigration lawyers who have worked with her on the policy matter are speaking up in her behalf.

Dan Kowalski, an immigration lawyer and editor-in-chief of Bender's Immigration Bulletin, said Jackson Lee's comprehensive immigration bill, which would provide earned access to citizenship for illegal immigrants more quickly than a Senate-passed measure, is the most practical for lawyers who practice immigration law.

"When you look at all the bills that have been filed over the last four of five years from the House side, her efforts have been the most thorough, complete and comprehensive. That's what's needed to happen for us to move ahead," Kowalski said.

Greg Siskind, a Memphis, Tenn., immigration lawyer, said Jackson Lee and her staff have been helpful to work with in trying to procure more visas for foreign physicians and nurses who want to come to the United States and work in underserved areas.

"She has managed to make headway when we didn't think there has any," Siskand said. He noted that as a result of Jackson Lee's efforts, Congress in 2004 passed a law permitting more foreign physicians to work in rural areas, especially in the South. "When we approach them, there is not [a lot] of educating to be done. They work pretty well with Republicans," he added.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., also might pursue the Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee chairmanship, according to her spokeswoman. Lofgren is ranking member of the Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee but is exploring whether to move up to that chairmanship or pursue an open Judiciary subcommittee spot. The two lawmakers were elected in 1994.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.