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Thread: Senate Closer on Immigrant Worker Proposal

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  4. #4
    Here is what I don't comprehend:

    It is at this point clear and obvious - beyound any doubt - that no temporary work program ( available to illegal aliens ) can pass the Congress at this time, especially keeping in mind approaching fall elections.
    Even if Senate succeeds in passing ANY kind of program (Sen. Kyl or Sen. Specter or Sen. Kennedy versions), it would still be killed during House-Senate conference talks.

    So, what I can't comprehend is: WHY do media reporters give false hopes of legalization ( in near future ) to over 11-12 million people by publishing such articles?

  5. #5
    it's because legalization is inevitable. the congress cannot afford not to pass border security this year and they cannot send an enforcement only bill to the president's desk without any legalization program which the president time and time again and on record always insisted. They will face a veto if they did. The worst scenario is no immigration bill will come out after stalling in the compromise period but enforcement only bill is good as dead.

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    latest one:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Under pressure to produce broad immigration reform legislation by the end of the month, a U.S. Senate panel on Thursday neared agreement on a proposal that would give some of the 12 million illegal aliens living in the country an opportunity to earn citizenship.

    Although no vote will be held until after a weeklong congressional recess, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday appeared ready to back a proposal by panel member Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, who has worked on the issue with his Republican colleague John McCain of Arizona.

    The panel, which is working on comprehensive immigration and border security legislation, will also consider a related proposal that would allow foreigners to enter the United States as legal guest workers and then have a chance to earn permanent status.

    Republicans are divided over immigration policy, and the Judiciary Committee plan is likely to spark a firestorm from conservatives who oppose regularizing the status of illegal immigrants, saying they would be rewarded after breaking U.S. immigration law.

    But backers cite both economic and security reasons. They say that providing a path to permanent residency and eventual citizenship will avoid creating a permanent underclass of workers and help bring illegals aliens out of the shadows.

    Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican who opposes giving permanent status to illegals, said after the meeting that the panel would probably vote for the Kennedy plan.

    "The votes are there," Grassley said.


    Kennedy told the committee the proposal was not an amnesty. People seeking legal status would have to pay a $2,000 fine, apply for a six-year temporary status, have a job, pay taxes, learn English and show an understanding of U.S. government.

    They would not get permanent status faster than the three million foreigners awaiting legal entry, he said.

    "There is no moving to the front of the line, there is no free ticket," Kennedy said. "This is not amnesty."

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, quipped that the requirements "probably exclude half of my family."

    The panel also reached tentative agreement on a guest worker program sought by President George W. Bush has said he wants. A compromise struck between Kennedy and Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, would give future temporary workers an opportunity to seek permanent status after four years.

    U.S. business groups favor creating a temporary worker program to help fill jobs that Americans either cannot or will not do. Both business and labor groups also favor giving current undocumented workers a way to legalize their status.

    Committee members said details would be worked out during the recess.

    The panel is working against a deadline set by Majority Leader Bill Frist. The Tennessee Republican, and possible contender in the 2008 presidential race, wants the Senate to take up a bill addressing only enforcement and border security. He threatened to do that on March 27 if the Judiciary Committee failed to reach agreement on comprehensive legislation.

    Whether Congress will finalize immigration legislation before the November congressional elections is unclear. Both Democrats and Republicans are likely to use the issue to gain advantage.

    The House of Representatives has voted for tough border security and enforcement legislation with no guest worker program. The two sides would have to work out their differences before a bill could be sent to Bush for his signature.

  8. #8
    Congress even more cannot afford to pass a guest worker program or an amnesty this year--and knows it. All members of the House and roughly half the Senate are up for re-election this fall. The jobs situation (outsourcing, layoffs, insourcing) scares most Americans, even those who still have jobs. Try explaining to THEM why the U.S. needs to import labor, or legalize people who have ignored our laws.

    Bear in mind, too--after the SJC completes its work, if it does, the House and Senate bills need to be reconciled, then sent back to both houses of Congress for votes of the full membership. Whatever the Senate does, the House has the power to undo, and the House is generally more representative of the will of the people. (The Senate is known as the "rich man's club" for a reason.)

    Note, also, that an "enforcement-only" bill does not preclude a future legalization program.
    Given Dubya's poor popularity ratings (down to 34% approving of him), and the popular perception (70%) that he's not all that great on protecting our borders after all (Dubai Ports deal), do you really want to bet he won't sign an "enforcement-only" bill?

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  10. #10
    will of the people... TIME poll just showed that 75% of american people favor guestwork program. Maybe you meant "will of the few but loud people".

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