Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)

Whenever a major piece of legislation moves through Washington you can almost guarantee among the winners is going to be some group of government contractors and comprehensive immigration reform is no exception. It is the aggressive lobbying for this potential payday that helps get the legislation moving through a practically polarized Congress.

As the bill has advances through the Senate it not only got more conservative but it also got significantly more lucrative for major defense contractors. The Hill highlights the companies set to benefit. The Hill:

Most of the new spending is included in a $38 billion border security amendment sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) that was added to the bill in the hopes it would build GOP support in the Senate.

One Senate Democrat described the amendment as reading “like a Christmas wish list for Halliburton.”

“I am sure there are federal contracting firms high-fiving at the prospect of all of the spending demanded by some of our friends on the other side in this amendment,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said during the upper chamber’s consideration of the legislation.

Sadly, this dynamic provides the best “hope” that some improvements will be made to our broken immigration system. Heavy lobbying by defense contractors practically tasting a direct payday and other companies that will benefit from specific visa changes could cause some Republicans to drop their ideological opposition to legalizing the status of millions of undocumented immigrants.

The hope is that the Republicans will basically pass the big corporate give away and if we are lucky the provision about actually helping people might be allowed to stay on for the ride. Of course there are some House Republicans who want to break reform into smaller pieces. That way they can pass the “border security” spending as a stand alone bill and maybe get around to the immigration stuff later.

Photo released under Public Domain