Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., explained today why Democrats will not pass immigration legislation that implements policies where the two parties agree: politics.

“If we got the skilled labor part done first, do you think we would ever come behind it and finish the job?” Richmond asked during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration reform. “I think it has to be a comprehensive approach or we’ll never get to the hard part.”

Richmond recalled the line “give me your tired, your poor” which is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. “What about the moral ground that we would cede if we just said, we’re going to forget about 11 million people,” he continued, noting the need to encourage diversity among immigrants and to reform the temporary worker H-1B visa program.

One of the experts testifying before the committee pointed to the H-1B visas as one of the most problematic aspects of American immigration policy.

“I hate to say this, but the women in Saudi Arabia have more rights that the spouses, the wives of H-1B workers,” Vivek Wadhwa, an Indian-American entrepreneur and author of The Immigrant Exodus, told the committee.

“Saudi Arabia employs one of the strictest interpretations of sharia,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations, which notes that “the Hanbali school, known for following the most orthodox form of Islam, is embraced in Saudi Arabia and by the Taliban.”