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Circus hearing: 20 witnesses for immigration bill, most pro

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Immigration

Critics of the Senate's Gang of Eight immigration reform bill say they're being set up and out-gunned at the first hearing on the legislation set for Monday in which a whopping 20 witnesses have been scheduled to testify.

"Twenty witnesses at one hearing?" said one incredulous top Senate staffer. "Are they trying to make this a circus?"

The lead-off witness: Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers.

No longer an 844-page draft, the bill now has a title according to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In an email sent out late Friday afternoon, the Democrat-led panel said, "NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING TITLE CHANGE: The Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing scheduled for Monday, April 22, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building is now entitled 'The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744.'

Proponents of the bipartisan bill see it as a way to finally figure out what to do with 11 million illegal immigrants. But the details in the bill are vague. Critics say it leaves it to Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano to write most of the rules and regulations, and there are at least 20 open-ended spending requirements.

The new witness list is not yet on the committee's website. Here is what they sent to members:

April 19, 2013

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING TITLE CHANGE

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing scheduled for Monday, April 22, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building is now entitled "The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744."

By order of the Chairman.

Witness List

Hearing before the

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

On

"The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744"

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hart Senate Office Building, Room 216

10:00 a.m.

Panel I

Arturo Rodriguez

President

United Farm Workers

Keene, CA

Charles Conner

President & CEO

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Washington, DC

Alyson Eastman

President

Book-Ends Associates

Orwell, VT

Panel II

Megan Smith

Commissioner

Vermont Dept. of Tourism & Marketing

Montpelier, VT

The Honorable Jim Kolbe

Former United States Representative (R-AZ-5)

Washington, DC

Brad Smith

General Counsel and Executive Vice President

Legal and Corporate Affairs

Microsoft

Seattle, WA

Tamar Jacoby

President & CEO

Immigration Works USA

Washington, DC

Professor Ron Hira

Associate Professor of Public Policy

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, NY

Neeraj Gupta

Chief Executive Officer

Systems In Motion

Newark, CA

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Washington, DC

Fred Benjamin

Chief Operating Officer

Medicalodges, Inc.

Coffeyville, KS

Panel III

Gaby Pacheco

Immigrant Rights Leader

Director, Bridge Project

Miami, FL

Janet Murgu?a

President and CEO

National Council of La Raza

Washington, DC

Dr. David Fleming

Senior Pastor

Champion Forest Baptist Church

Houston, TX

Mark Krikorian

Executive Director

Center for Immigration Studies

Washington, DC

Laura L. Lichter, Esq.

President

American Immigration Lawyers Association

Denver, CO

Panel IV

Mark Shurtleff

Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP

Former Utah Attorney General

Washington, DC

The Honorable Bill Vidal

Former Mayor of Denver

President and CEO

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver

Denver, CO

Janice L. Kephart

Former Counsel, September 11 Commission

Principal, 911 Security Solutions

Washington, DC

Chris Crane

President

National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council 118

Of the American Federation of Government Employees

Washington, DC