In his Politico blog, Mike Allen relays some interesting information from Ryan Lizza (in the New Yorker [Subscriber link]) about the Gang of Eight Destroy America Bill in the Senate. There`s the Obama influence, for one thing:
“[A] senior White House offcial insisted that Obama’s role in overseeing details of the bill has been more signifcant than is generally known. ‘No decisions are being made without talking to us about it,’ the official said of the Gang of Eight negotiations ... ‘This does not fly if we’re not O.K. with it, because everyone knows this is going to pass with some Republicans but with a majority of Democrats, and it’s going to require even more Democrats in the House.’ ... ‘We’re not worried about short-term political credit. We’ll get plenty of it if it gets signed,’ the official said, adding that the White House was willing to let Republicans like [Lindsey] Graham and [Marco] Rubio, who are regularly attacked by conservatives, have the political space they needed. ... ‘We’re the hammer on the back end. If the Republicans try to scuttle it, we’re the ones who can communicate to the Latino community who scuttled it.’ ...
“The senators’ immigration-policy staffers also attended the Gang’s meetings, and, over time, two stood out: Leon Fresco, a Schumer aide, and Enrique Gonzalez, a Rubio aide. Both are Cuban-American lawyers from Miami who know the intricacies of immigration law.These two lawyers worked out the deal between labor and the Chamber of Commerce:Fresco and Gonzalez helped to unlock the deal with labor and the Chamber of Commerce. The two biggest sticking points were wages for foreign workers (the unions wanted them to be higher) and the objections of the Building and Construction Trades union, which argues that plenty of Americans are looking for this kind of work.
Which leads us to what Rubio really thinks of American workers:
“Rubio sided with the Chamber against the construction workers. ‘There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it,’ a Rubio aide told me. ‘There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly.’ In the end, the wage issue was settled to the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s satisfaction, and the Building and Construction Trades union won a cap on the number of visas for foreign construction workers.
For more details, see here.