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Another Amnesty?? This is what Bush wants to do for immigrants..

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  • Another Amnesty?? This is what Bush wants to do for immigrants..

    To read the full story go to:

    CLICK HERE

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Wednesday outlined an overhaul of immigration policy that would give illegal immigrants with U.S. jobs temporary worker status and then a chance to seek permanent residency.

    "Out of common sense and fairness, our laws should allow willing workers to enter our country and fill jobs that Americans are not filling," Bush said, unveiling the changes in a speech in the White House East Room.

    "This program will offer legal status, as temporary workers, to the millions of undocumented workers now employed in the United States and to those in foreign countries who seek to participate in the program and have been offered employment here."

    After joining the temporary worker program, these employees could apply for permanent residency in the United States, but they would get no preference over other applicants seeking green cards, administration officials said. Officials said employers would have to show they cannot find American workers to fill the jobs.

    Allowing illegal immigrants to come forward and keep their jobs is the most controversial aspect of the president's initiative. (Border residents question plan) Many conservatives oppose any amnesty for these undocumented workers.

    Bush officials reject the notion that the proposal is an amnesty program. The officials said it isn't guaranteed that those who receive temporary worker status would qualify for green cards or that such workers would have advantages if they do apply. They also would be expected to return to their countries when their temporary visas expire.

    Officials said one of the president's goals was to "promote compassion" and to get Congress and the country to "understand the broken system" with an estimated 8 million illegal immigrants.

    Bringing undocumented workers into the tax system would be one of the proposal's benefits, officials said. As one official put it, the plan would lift these workers "out of the shadows" and guarantee them wage and employment rights enjoyed by legal U.S. workers.

    Proposal's key points
    Highlights of the president's initiative include the following:

    "¢ A temporary worker program would allow a visa for three years. Bush will call on Congress to allow one renewal so the temporary visa would last for six years. Officials said they are open to allowing additional terms, subject to congressional debate and negotiation.

    "¢ The program would be open to illegal immigrants as long as they could prove they were working in the United States at the time the new policy becomes law. Officials said that requirement would discourage a flood of new illegal immigration.

    "¢ Those who qualify as legal temporary workers can apply for permanent residency, or green cards, under existing laws. The administration will urge Congress to increase the limit on green cards issued yearly, which is now 140,000, officials said. They added that negotiations with Congress will determine the degree of expansion.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Labor Department and other agencies, would administer the new program, as it does with other temporary visa programs.

    The White House initiative is modeled after several proposals pending in Congress.

    For example, U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Arizona, has called for a temporary worker program if employers initially post jobs on the Internet for 14 days to give Americans a first crack.

    Politically motivated?
    The Bush plan also tracks many proposals advocated by Democrats, some of whom have voiced suspicion that the administration is seeking to increase the president's appeal to Latinos as the 2004 campaign gets under way.

    "I certainly hope the administration's long-awaited reinvolvement in this fundamental debate is genuine and not because of election-year conversion," said U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, in a statement Tuesday. "The immigration status quo is outdated, unjust and unacceptable.

    "At any time in recent months, a nod from the administration could have brought immediate enactment of two important long-stalled immigration bills with broad bipartisan support in Congress -- the AgJobs bill, to reach a fair resolution of the controversy and work conditions over jobs in the agriculture industry, and the bill granting permanent residence to undocumented immigrant children who complete high school and go to college or join the military."

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among the president's allies in the debate, agreeing with the White House position about an economic need for new workers.

    Randel Johnson, a chamber vice president who deals with immigration issues, said Tuesday that a resolution of the problem is necessary.

    "The reality of it is we are not going to deport all these people," Johnson said. "So we have to come up with something to deal with the situation. Or we can continue to put our head in the sand."

    But U.S. Rep. Thomas Tancredo, R-Colorado, is among the congressional conservatives who promise to fight provisions they view as rewarding lawbreakers.

    "People who are here illegally -- they need to be deported," Tancredo said. "People who hire them need to be fined. If they keep doing it, they need to be sent to jail. It's against the law."

  • #2
    To read the full story go to:

    CLICK HERE

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Wednesday outlined an overhaul of immigration policy that would give illegal immigrants with U.S. jobs temporary worker status and then a chance to seek permanent residency.

    "Out of common sense and fairness, our laws should allow willing workers to enter our country and fill jobs that Americans are not filling," Bush said, unveiling the changes in a speech in the White House East Room.

    "This program will offer legal status, as temporary workers, to the millions of undocumented workers now employed in the United States and to those in foreign countries who seek to participate in the program and have been offered employment here."

    After joining the temporary worker program, these employees could apply for permanent residency in the United States, but they would get no preference over other applicants seeking green cards, administration officials said. Officials said employers would have to show they cannot find American workers to fill the jobs.

    Allowing illegal immigrants to come forward and keep their jobs is the most controversial aspect of the president's initiative. (Border residents question plan) Many conservatives oppose any amnesty for these undocumented workers.

    Bush officials reject the notion that the proposal is an amnesty program. The officials said it isn't guaranteed that those who receive temporary worker status would qualify for green cards or that such workers would have advantages if they do apply. They also would be expected to return to their countries when their temporary visas expire.

    Officials said one of the president's goals was to "promote compassion" and to get Congress and the country to "understand the broken system" with an estimated 8 million illegal immigrants.

    Bringing undocumented workers into the tax system would be one of the proposal's benefits, officials said. As one official put it, the plan would lift these workers "out of the shadows" and guarantee them wage and employment rights enjoyed by legal U.S. workers.

    Proposal's key points
    Highlights of the president's initiative include the following:

    "¢ A temporary worker program would allow a visa for three years. Bush will call on Congress to allow one renewal so the temporary visa would last for six years. Officials said they are open to allowing additional terms, subject to congressional debate and negotiation.

    "¢ The program would be open to illegal immigrants as long as they could prove they were working in the United States at the time the new policy becomes law. Officials said that requirement would discourage a flood of new illegal immigration.

    "¢ Those who qualify as legal temporary workers can apply for permanent residency, or green cards, under existing laws. The administration will urge Congress to increase the limit on green cards issued yearly, which is now 140,000, officials said. They added that negotiations with Congress will determine the degree of expansion.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Labor Department and other agencies, would administer the new program, as it does with other temporary visa programs.

    The White House initiative is modeled after several proposals pending in Congress.

    For example, U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Arizona, has called for a temporary worker program if employers initially post jobs on the Internet for 14 days to give Americans a first crack.

    Politically motivated?
    The Bush plan also tracks many proposals advocated by Democrats, some of whom have voiced suspicion that the administration is seeking to increase the president's appeal to Latinos as the 2004 campaign gets under way.

    "I certainly hope the administration's long-awaited reinvolvement in this fundamental debate is genuine and not because of election-year conversion," said U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, in a statement Tuesday. "The immigration status quo is outdated, unjust and unacceptable.

    "At any time in recent months, a nod from the administration could have brought immediate enactment of two important long-stalled immigration bills with broad bipartisan support in Congress -- the AgJobs bill, to reach a fair resolution of the controversy and work conditions over jobs in the agriculture industry, and the bill granting permanent residence to undocumented immigrant children who complete high school and go to college or join the military."

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among the president's allies in the debate, agreeing with the White House position about an economic need for new workers.

    Randel Johnson, a chamber vice president who deals with immigration issues, said Tuesday that a resolution of the problem is necessary.

    "The reality of it is we are not going to deport all these people," Johnson said. "So we have to come up with something to deal with the situation. Or we can continue to put our head in the sand."

    But U.S. Rep. Thomas Tancredo, R-Colorado, is among the congressional conservatives who promise to fight provisions they view as rewarding lawbreakers.

    "People who are here illegally -- they need to be deported," Tancredo said. "People who hire them need to be fined. If they keep doing it, they need to be sent to jail. It's against the law."

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