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  • Senate Judiciary Committee today reached agreement.

    Article from OC register

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today reached agreement on proposals for a new guest-worker program and a plan to allow the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States to become permanent residents.

    Less than 24 hours after most experts and Capitol Hill watchers believed the committee would be unable to get a bill to the Senate floor by Majority Leader Bill Frist's March 27 deadline, committee Chairman Arlen Specter had brokered deals between some key senators on the complex issue.

    No formal votes were taken and committee staffs were preparing to spend the next 10 days drafting language that would put in place the compromises reached. It appeared that at least a dozen of the 18 members on the panel would be prepared to back this deal. The committee plans to meet first thing in the morning on March 27. It is not yet known whether Frist will allow the panel to finish and send its bill to the Senate floor or if he still plans to bring up a more limited, possibly enforcement-only measure.

    But even if nothing scuttles the compromise between now and when lawmakers get back from recess, and if the Senate passes a bill with these elements, there would remain a steep battle to get agreement from the House. The House passed an enforcement-based measure in December that doesn't include a guest-worker program or a plan for undocumented immigrants in the United States now.

    Early this afternoon, Frist announced his intention to introduce a bill before next week's recess that would deal with enforcement of immigration laws but will not include any of the controversial guest-worker or illegal immigrant provisions. Officials in Frist's office say he is doing this to ensure that there is a bill ready on the floor if the committee fails to pass one. If Specter does get a bill out of committee, said Frist press secretary Amy Call, that could be substituted for the majority leader's measure.

    The most likely scenario, said ardent supporters of immigration reform who were pleasantly stunned by today's events, is that this will end in a stalemate, only to be brought up again in the next Congress. But they say it's important that the Senate go on record as supporting comprehensive change.

    For the first time, Specter, R-Pa., who said he spent hours on the phone last night with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., agreed to Kennedy's plan to deal with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. Specter would have allowed these people to work indefinitely but not get green cards. Kennedy wanted to give them a path to legalization.

    Specter agreed this morning with Kennedy's approach, provided that these illegal immigrants would not be able to start legalization proceedings until the backlog of 3 million people now waiting in countries around the world for their chance to come to the United States legally get their green cards.

    The deal reached on a new guest-worker plan says that 400,000 new guest workers would be allowed into the country each year. Under the proposal authored by Kennedy and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that number would have been unlimited. But Kennedy, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, agreed to a cap and also agreed that after working for two years, these new guest workers would have to go back to their home countries and reapply for another stint as guest workers, one that could last up to six years. But first they'd have to stay in their home countries for one year.

    Built into this compromise, however, is a chance for these workers to get a waiver and not go home based on how long they have been employed here or if they are considered essential to a U.S. employer's business.

    The plan also allows guest workers to apply for permanent U.S. residency, something not included in either Specter's bill or the other major proposal under consideration, the bill by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

    Kennedy essentially compromised with Cornyn, who chairs the immigration subcommittee. The deal takes parts of each of their proposals.

    Not all members of the committee agreed with these compromises.
    Kyl said he still believed the illegal immigrants would get preference over those waiting legally in line overseas because the undocumented would be able to stay in the U.S. and work until their turn at a green card came. Those waiting to come here legally don't have that option, he said.

    And several committee members most opposed to a guest-worker program – most notably Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., were not at this morning's session.

  • #2
    Article from OC register

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today reached agreement on proposals for a new guest-worker program and a plan to allow the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States to become permanent residents.

    Less than 24 hours after most experts and Capitol Hill watchers believed the committee would be unable to get a bill to the Senate floor by Majority Leader Bill Frist's March 27 deadline, committee Chairman Arlen Specter had brokered deals between some key senators on the complex issue.

    No formal votes were taken and committee staffs were preparing to spend the next 10 days drafting language that would put in place the compromises reached. It appeared that at least a dozen of the 18 members on the panel would be prepared to back this deal. The committee plans to meet first thing in the morning on March 27. It is not yet known whether Frist will allow the panel to finish and send its bill to the Senate floor or if he still plans to bring up a more limited, possibly enforcement-only measure.

    But even if nothing scuttles the compromise between now and when lawmakers get back from recess, and if the Senate passes a bill with these elements, there would remain a steep battle to get agreement from the House. The House passed an enforcement-based measure in December that doesn't include a guest-worker program or a plan for undocumented immigrants in the United States now.

    Early this afternoon, Frist announced his intention to introduce a bill before next week's recess that would deal with enforcement of immigration laws but will not include any of the controversial guest-worker or illegal immigrant provisions. Officials in Frist's office say he is doing this to ensure that there is a bill ready on the floor if the committee fails to pass one. If Specter does get a bill out of committee, said Frist press secretary Amy Call, that could be substituted for the majority leader's measure.

    The most likely scenario, said ardent supporters of immigration reform who were pleasantly stunned by today's events, is that this will end in a stalemate, only to be brought up again in the next Congress. But they say it's important that the Senate go on record as supporting comprehensive change.

    For the first time, Specter, R-Pa., who said he spent hours on the phone last night with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., agreed to Kennedy's plan to deal with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. Specter would have allowed these people to work indefinitely but not get green cards. Kennedy wanted to give them a path to legalization.

    Specter agreed this morning with Kennedy's approach, provided that these illegal immigrants would not be able to start legalization proceedings until the backlog of 3 million people now waiting in countries around the world for their chance to come to the United States legally get their green cards.

    The deal reached on a new guest-worker plan says that 400,000 new guest workers would be allowed into the country each year. Under the proposal authored by Kennedy and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that number would have been unlimited. But Kennedy, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, agreed to a cap and also agreed that after working for two years, these new guest workers would have to go back to their home countries and reapply for another stint as guest workers, one that could last up to six years. But first they'd have to stay in their home countries for one year.

    Built into this compromise, however, is a chance for these workers to get a waiver and not go home based on how long they have been employed here or if they are considered essential to a U.S. employer's business.

    The plan also allows guest workers to apply for permanent U.S. residency, something not included in either Specter's bill or the other major proposal under consideration, the bill by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

    Kennedy essentially compromised with Cornyn, who chairs the immigration subcommittee. The deal takes parts of each of their proposals.

    Not all members of the committee agreed with these compromises.
    Kyl said he still believed the illegal immigrants would get preference over those waiting legally in line overseas because the undocumented would be able to stay in the U.S. and work until their turn at a green card came. Those waiting to come here legally don't have that option, he said.

    And several committee members most opposed to a guest-worker program – most notably Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., were not at this morning's session.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll keep my fingers crossed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Dream on...it's NEVER gonna happen :-)

        Comment


        • #5
          we'll see

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes, we'll see

            Now these guys are on record on how badly they plan to sell out Americans to special interests. Interesting, isn't it, that some committee members are hiding out. Wonder what'll happen when they try to move it through the Senate, much less the House. When their votes go on record as well.

            Comment


            • #7
              El Jefe es El Jefe

              Comment


              • #8
                From today's Immigration Daily:

                . It is our belief that a filibuster proof majority exists for McCain-Kennedy in the Senate and that the Senate will likely pass a bill strongly deriving from the original McCain-Kennedy bill. What this implies is that the conference of the Senate with the Sensenbrenner bill will not just be contentious but unproductive. It appears that the interests of both sides at this time lie in doing nothing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Aliba,

                  the Immigration Daily editor is correct when he says that no Guest-Worker program can get through conference talks.
                  At the same time there is a good chance that "Enforcement Only" Bill would pass both chambers of Congress.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A guest worker program might not be able to pass both houses, but the senate taking the side of pro-immigration supporter, is a huge victory to every single immigrants in this country.

                    Even if they do not pass anything this year, it wont be as bad as passing an enforcement-only bill which will cripple the country's businesses coast-to coast...Im glad that the commitee agreed that an enforcement-only bill will bankrupt the entire california agricultural companies and many other companies around the US.

                    This is no longer, about getting a guest worker program passed this year, this is about not letting the extremist pass an enforcement-only bill.

                    THE SENATE WILL GO ON RECORD AND BACK THE PRO-IMMIGRATIONS SUPPORTERS....THE HOUSE CANT ENACT ENFORCEMENT-ONLY, WITHOUT THE SENATE!!!.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Immigration law changes ''gain'' ground


                      WASHINGTON "” Senators struggling to craft a comprehensive immigration overhaul neared a breakthrough on Thursday with a ''tentative agreement'' that would put millions of illegal residents on a path toward permanent residency and U.S. citizenship.

                      The fragile accord infused new momentum into the Senate Judiciary Committee's efforts to shape legislation before the full Senate embarks on a two-week debate on immigration beginning March 27. But participants on both sides of the volatile issue acknowledge that the ultimate outcome in Congress is fraught with uncertainty.

                      President Bush has called for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's immigration laws to toughen border enforcement and create a temporary guest-worker program that would cover undocumented workers now in the country.

                      The House of Representatives already has passed an immigration bill that toughens border enforcement but doesn't include a guest-worker provision, which Republican conservatives have denounced as a form of amnesty that rewards illegal behavior. Pro-immigrant groups say the bill falls far short of the overhaul they say is needed to address the more than 11 million illegal immigrants now in the United States.

                      After five fruitless sessions over the last two weeks, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., suggested that he may throw his weight behind a modified bipartisan plan that would open the door to eventual citizenship for those now in the country illegally.

                      The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass, would enable undocumented immigrants to stay in the country for six years under temporary work visas after paying a $1,000 fine

                      and passing background checks. While in the program, they could apply for permanent residency, or green cards, by paying an additional $1,000 fine and meeting further requirements.

                      Specter said he'd be willing to embrace the McCain-Kennedy provision as long as those now in the country go to the back of the line behind the more than 3 million foreign applicants waiting to enter the country with green cards. The bill's sponsors indicated that they would be receptive to that approach.

                      "I think this goes a fair distance to refute the amnesty concerns because the illegals are not getting an advantage over the legals," Specter said in an interview. "The concerns that I have had from the start involved fairness to people who have been waiting in line and who are law-abiding citizens."

                      Pro-immigration groups described Wednesday's development as a major turnaround that re-energizes the committee's work after a series of stumbling false starts. Seven of the committee's eight Democrats and at least three of the 10 Republicans have indicated support for the McCain-Kennedy measure.

                      "We're making good progress," said McCain, who isn't on the committee. "I think there's been a change in attitude recognizing we need a comprehensive approach."

                      Nevertheless, the committee took no formal action, deferring votes until March 27, and the outlook in the full Senate remained far from certain. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, co-sponsor of a competing immigration plan, said he "will probably wind up voting against the bill if it contains an amnesty provision."

                      The bill sponsored by Cornyn and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., also creates a guest-worker program but requires illegal immigrants now in the country to return home after a five-year grace period before being eligible to participate.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Comprehensive reform has definitely taken a big step forward. It has the backing of the Senate, the Administration, and a broad coalition of Business and Activists. The real test will be if they can come to a compromise with the House if and when it goes to Conference Committee.

                        There is reason to be optomistic. Chairman Sensenbrenner, who co-authored H.R. 4437 was quoted as saying that he's not, "Philisophically opposed to a guest worker program". http://www.belleville.com/mld/bellev...n/13879037.htm
                        Also, there are reports that several of the original supporters of H.R. 4437 are flip-flopping in the House after staunch pressure from big business and the large showing of opposition from activists. I guess those huge marches going on nationwide may having an effect, but I personally think it's the threat of losing campaign money from big business. After all, the 2006 elections are right around the corner.

                        Lastly, It appears Rep. Tancredo could only muster 70 other Representatives in the House to sign on to the letter he sent to Sen. Specter "threatening" to stop any bill with a guest-worker provision. Last time I checked there were around 90-100 members of the CIRC, I wonder what happened to the other 20-30 members and why they didn't sign.

                        If no agreement is reached in the Conference Committee then the bills will both die, will have to be reintroduced, and will have to go through the whole process again. Judging from the staunch opposition to H.R. 4437, I highly doubt anything similar can make it through the House again.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Chairman Sensenbrenner, who co-authored H.R. 4437 was quoted as saying that he's not, "Philisophically opposed to a guest worker program"

                          True, matter fact, there were also report SAYING that during the few hours before H.R4437 being put on the house floor for a vote, some members like flake had convinced him to put a guest worker in it and they even wrote it down on the bill, but tancredo and the other house crazies were so upset about it, that they decided to take it out because they knew this bill wasnt going anywhere without a guest worker permit anyway so why fight over it.
                          =============================================

                          there are reports that several of the original supporters of H.R. 4437 are flip-flopping in the House after staunch pressure from big business and the large showing of opposition from activists
                          --
                          This above is 100% true, in the background, they are enormous pressure being put on those lawmakers, by the business group community..The guy that is in charge of the coalition even threatened that they will record and watch those members that votes against a guest worker bill and they will no longer give any money to their campaign...
                          This is a huge threat because those businesses are the Republican party #1 fund-raising donors, without that money, a lot of those lawmakers doesnt stand a chance to get elected.

                          With the mid term election being so close, this threat gets even larger and they wont be no more abrahmoff to raise dirty money under the table , so those lawmakers do not have a choice but to flip flop an agree to a guest worker bill which will also protect our border.

                          Those lawmakers needs to realized that immigration is not very high on the voters list thus not making it an issue where most of them might lose re election..I believe that if you give them a bill that is very strong with enforcement + a good guest worker program, then the american people will take it..It would be better then today's immigration's law.

                          And finally, i think those impressive huge rally really got into those lawmakers mind...One thing that you guys should be aware is that he bi businesses were the one who organized those massive rallies...A lot of people believed that most of the people rallying are all undocumented workers.This is false...A lot of american citizens, green card holder were also in force among the crowd..Businesses around the country are elling all their worker to emaill their lawmakers to pressure them and telling them to go rally, forget about work..

                          I TOLD YOU, ITS NEVER TOO LATE, THIS IS HE 9TH INNING A THE SLEEPING GIANT AS AWAKEN.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            THE SLEEPING GIANT AS AWAKEN
                            Yes, WOTAN is awaken.

                            And until he goes to sleep again, no "Guest Wroker" or any kind of "legalization" bill can be enacted ( and that will take years, since WOTAN has huge stomach for the sacrifices).

                            Comment

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