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Alan Greenspan talks...Immigration?

That's right.

The former Fed Chairman, who once commanded the world's ear when he uttered even one word, will travel to Capitol Hill next week not to talk about the economy (he's done that), but to talk about comprehensive immigration reform.

The Obama Administration has not seemed anxious to deal with this political hot potato, at least not this year, but recently Congressional Democrats committed to trying, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, asking for a bill to be ready by September.

Greenspan will testify before the immigration subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, who took over this year from Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, tireless champion of a comprehsive reform effort that put illegals on a path to citizenship.

It's important, no doubt, in the midst of an economic crisis, that you prove why bringing in a whole new work force would not make a bad situation worse.  Who better to talk about this than someone like Greenspan, asked one aide to the  subcommittee.

A Schumer aide tells Fox that the new chairman wants to see if it's even possible to do the reform this year. Greenspan has said he supports an increase in visas for highly-skilled workers.

Also appearing before the committee, a representative from the powerful union - SEIU (Service Employees International Union), which recently announced an agreement with a coalition of liberal groups to legalize the approximately 12 million illegals currently in the U.S.   Among the principles agreed to, that temporary worker programs be improved but not expanded and not made permanent. 

The subcommittee will also hear from a local sherrif, a pastor in Obama's faith-based council, and a representative from the pro-immigrant group, National Council of La Raza (the former spokeswoman is now serving in the Obama Administration).

The fate of immigration reform seems doomed, at least for this year, despite the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, D-NV, being up for re-election in a state heavily populated by Hispanics. There are conservative Democrats, like Sen. Ben Nelson, D-NE, who still do not support it, so the votes just don't add up, especially when anything difficult needs 60 votes for passage these days (Dems only have 58 seats). 

This radioactive topic always lights the Republican fires, as well, a dangerous political weapon against Democrats, with most calling it "amnesty."  And on Wednesday, one Republican who once paired up with Kennedy to support a massive overhaul of immigration laws took on a primary opponent because of his position on this issue.  Chris Simcox, former head of the anti-immigration reform group Minutemen, announced he would challenge Sen. John McCain, R-AZ.