Immigration reform could face yet another delay. House Republicans said June 20 that they would schedule field hearings on immigration bills during the August recess. A conference committee would not begin to iron out differences between the bills that passed the House and Senate until after the hearings. Topics to be covered include border vulnerabilities and the impact on employers of immigration-law changes. Some Democrats charge the hearings are a delaying tactic by GOP lawmakers who don’t like the Senate bill.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) also called for hearings. He says they’re not a counter-move to the House hearings but a way to get a “broader, factual, evidentiary record on the need for the comprehensive bill which is challenged by quite a number of House members….”