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Thread: The new bill....

  1. #1
    It seams like a new bill is on its way and should be introduced next week or so. As long as I know illegals will have to return home and re-enter in order to be eligible for work permit (www.shusterman.com). Does anyone have any other information?

  2. #2
    It seams like a new bill is on its way and should be introduced next week or so. As long as I know illegals will have to return home and re-enter in order to be eligible for work permit (www.shusterman.com). Does anyone have any other information?

  3. #3
    This is dated 2/28/07 - not sure if it's the latest, but hopefully it will give you additional information.


    Kennedy, McCain try again on immigration
    Bill would keep fence, but ease way to citizenship

    By Rick Klein, Globe Staff | February 28, 2007
    WASHINGTON -- Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John McCain are set to introduce a revised version of their sweeping plan to overhaul the nation's immigration laws, in a bill that's likely to restart a tense debate in Congress.

    The measure, which is being drafted in consultation with the White House, will largely mirror the immigration bill that stalled last year, according to lawmakers and aides involved in the process. That measure was blocked primarily because House Republican leaders were adamantly opposed to provisions that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to become US citizens.
    Though negotiations are still ongoing, this year's bill will most likely leave in place the 700-mile border fence, the creation of which was signed into law last year. It would also double the size of the US Border Patrol and add new means to crack down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants, a further attempt to assuage concerns about the nation's porous borders.
    But the bill is likely to enrage advocates of a get-tough approach to immigration by allowing most of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants already in this country to earn legalized status. Early drafts of the bill would allow them to become citizens after about 12 years if they meet requirements such as learning English, passing a criminal background check, and paying back taxes and a $2,000 fine.
    "Those who have lived here, who have basically played by the rules, worked hard . . . they, I believe, ought to be able to adjust their status," said Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat. "This is a complex issue and demands a comprehensive approach. I don't expect it to be easy sledding."
    The bill, set to be introduced in the House and Senate as soon as next week, will also include a "guest worker" program for immigrants to work in the United States under temporary visas -- an oft-stated goal of President Bush.
    The Bush administration is dispatching Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the issue today -- appearances that will be closely watched for signals from the White House. Chertoff and Gutierrez have also been meeting privately with key lawmakers to discuss the legislation.
    A wide range of Democratic and Republican lawmakers have said the White House must assert itself in crafting the bill for it to have any chance of passing Congress this year. McCain, an Arizona Republican, said the Bush administration's involvement is a big boost.
    "There's active participation," McCain said. "There's a window of opportunity. I don't know when it becomes impossible, but I know that this is the greatest opportunity -- right now, in the next several months."Continued...

    Page 2 of 2 --
    After years of stops and starts, the package now being finalized aims to strike a delicate balance. Supporters are emphasizing the added border security measures, hoping to convince skeptical lawmakers that only a broadly written bill that tackles several tough issues can get through Congress.
    "Politically it's certainly easier to deal with the other aspects of comprehensive reform if we deal with the border stuff as well," said Representative Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who will co-sponsor the House version of the Kennedy-McCain bill.
    Congressional leaders have put immigration on a fast track -- tacit acknowledgment that time is short for legislative action before the 2008 presidential campaign consumes the nation's political energy. Still, several aspects of the bill remain unresolved among the primary sponsors, and several other significant points are almost certain to be altered significantly later in the legislative process.
    The bill's sponsors are looking to jettison the three-tiered approach to citizenship included in last year's measure, which allowed undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States the longest to take a far easier path to citizenship than newer arrivals.
    That system would have made it all but impossible for anyone with fewer than two years' residence in the country to gain citizenship -- a circumstance that some officials warned would probably have kept the status of a substantial number of immigrants unclear.
    The bill's sponsors are still discussing whether to require undocumented immigrants to register at a US port of entry in order to qualify for citizenship. Though some immigrant-rights groups warn that meeting that qualification would be a burden for low-income families, many conservatives insist the so-called "touch back" is legitimate and should be a part of the citizenship process.
    "It's a way to avoid the amnesty concerns, and avoid people breaking in line ahead of those who have been waiting outside of the country to enter legally," said Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican with ties to the White House.
    Though Republicans no longer control the congressional agenda, the Democrats still need their support, and GOP leadership is not on board for a comprehensive reform bill -- a major stumbling block that could slow or stop final passage again this year.
    "My view -- which I think reflects a majority of our conference -- is that you can't have a bill that creates a path to citizenship for people who came to the country illegally," said Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, Republican whip.
    But Flake said last fall's election, where several hard-line immigration foes went down in defeat, showed Republicans the importance of an approach to the problem that addresses all the major concerns. "There are a lot of Republicans who just want this issue behind us," he said.
    Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.

  4. #4
    I cannot predict the future, I will only offer my humble opinion on this very controversial matter.

    It's the common agreement that many provisions were incorporated into the senate bill not because of merit but because such provisions would make the reconciliation process "easier" against the now infamous house immigration bill. H.R.4437 is now recognized to be a major blunder that directly affected the 2006 midterms.

    It's also known that all efforts failed because House Republicans simply refused to consider the bill. I would say that that particular refusal was somehow aided by the Senate's last minute decision to incorporate some tax-related provisions thus creating a convenient "way out" for those who wanted to avoid the issue.

    In any case, the picture is very different this year; the House has passed legislation strongly opposed by the GOP in a relatively easy fashion. This time around it's the Senate who will become the decisive body and, if an agreement is reached, the House will probably pass or even soften the provisions contained in the Senate bill.

    Both the Chair of the House Judiciary and the Chair of the Immigration subcommittee favor immigration reform, and I mean "reform" unrelated to amnesty or legalization. That's a very positive factor, one that at least gives hope to those who want to see INA transformed into a rational, efficient instrument reflective of American values and traditions. In the Senate, Sen Leahy and Sen Kennedy both favor true reform. Sen Durbin will surely push the DREAM Act once again, also a very positive initiative aimed directly at the children. On the GOP side, there's voices of reason, including Sen. Specter, McCain, Hagel and others. There's also GOP Senators that will take any opportunity to try and destroy any initiative that could be seen as beneficial for immigrants, such as Sen Sessions.

    In the final balance, I do believe that the a bill could reach the president's desk this year. If last year, the Senate was able to produce a bill, this year it should be easier for them to reach an agreement and the obstacle presented by the House is no longer present, so the stage is set.

    There's already some "legislation" introduced in the Senate and the House. Most of these bills are punctual and some are incomplete. The only real bill introduced is H.R.750 by Jackson-Lee. This particular bill contains a simple legalization plan but more importantly, it mirrors the efforts of Mr. Conyers when it comes to substantial reform. This could have a big chance of making it through the House Judiciary.

    The Senate's approach could be something pretty much like the old "McCain-Kennedy" bill, and probably will evolve to become something similar to S.2611. I don't believe some of the provisions of the old Senate Bill will make it this time around though.

  5. #5
    H.R.750 combines immigration reform with a legalization program, it's the first initiative introduced in the 110th Congress that relates to "comprehensive reform". The bill has some positive and negative factors:

    The Positive:
    - The bill does take care of reform in a very sensible way. Most of the changes are not new, but they reverse the legislation to rationalize the concept of aggravated felony and CIMT. Under this bill, an aggravated felony would be indeed an "aggravated" crime, meriting quick and expedited removal.

    - Provides meaningful, discretionary relief for families.

    - Provides for specialized review for family-based petitions.

    - Eliminates the absurd consequences of presuming felony non-CIMT crimes to be less serious than misdemeanor CIMT.

    - Respects the authority and value of the FFOA when it comes to simple possession offenses.

    - Respects the authority of the criminal courts when it comes to imposition of sentences. Once again, the sentence becomes the punishment imposed upon the offender and not the punishment that "could have been" imposed. This change actually takes into consideration and respects the authority of criminal courts when it comes to the case-by-case evaluation and disposition of criminal offenses.

    - Consolidates the waiver authority and makes provides for special considerations of the interest of U.S. citizens. This is perhaps the most significant change incorporated into this initiative.

    - Restores the authority of the Judicial System to review some controversial petitions. Also, a very significant improvement.

    In conclusion, the "reform" part of the bill is sound, significant, substantial and beneficial. It would improve INA to become a fair instrument, allowing for the removal of dangerous criminals and providing relief for families.

    The Negative: The "uncomprehensive" Legalization Program

    The bill provides for people convicted of "no crimes" to obtain legal status if the alien has resided in the U.S. for five years "prior to the enactment". This approach is problematic, to say the least, because of the following reasons:

    - No Equity Consideration: There's no consideration for the actual equities of the alien, no consideration for a history of employment, or a history of contributions to society. Under this approach, an alien living on welfare would qualify while an alien employed for 4.9 years and who has never obtained benefits would not. This approach solely based on physical presence is an invitation to fraud.

    - The "no crime" provision. Instead of adopting the rational approach already conceived by 212(a)(2), the "no crime" provision would ban those convicted of some regulatory offenses if they're described as misdemeanors. Some people would be disqualified because of "littering", jaywalking, driving an unsafe vehicle or "failure to wear a seat-belt" if the offenses are described as misdemeanors, even petty misdemeanors with no constitutional right to a jury trial. This would be incredibly unfair to many who have been convicted of non-CIMT traffic offenses or petty offenses defined as misdemeanors under the vehicle code or city ordinances carrying maximum sentences of less than 90 days. This is perhaps the worst provision of this bill.

    - No requirement to pay backed taxes, no requirement to honor civil liabilities. Under this approach, a dead-beat parent would qualify, a person who failed to pay restitution would also qualify but a person convicted of a misdemeanor and who has never served a day in prison would not. Again, absurd double-standard.

    - The physical presence requirement does not stop time at introduction, rather it stops time at enactment.

    Legalization is an extraordinary measure and should be available only to those with enough equity, not to anybody who has merely been present in the country for a certain time. Even if the person is a dead-beat, the person would qualify provided the physical presence requirement is met.

  6. #6
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Under this approach, an alien living on welfare would qualify while an alien employed for 4.9 years and who has never obtained benefits would not. This approach solely based on physical presence is an invitation to fraud. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Houston, just to clarify some negative thoughts,
    no alien lives on welfare...all illegal have to work, there are no benefits for them.

  7. #7
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">No requirement to pay backed taxes </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I though to qualify you have to speak english, have no criminal record and proof of paid taxes for every year in this country, otherwise do not qualify...

  8. #8
    In my opinion, and I think most would agree with me, equity has to be the base of any measure of clemency. I would prefer to see steady employment and conduct that evidences a commitment to society rather than physical presence and the fact that you have a "minimum" knowledge of the English language as the foundation of eligibility.

    The "no criminal record" requirement is not trivial, most people do not know that signing a traffic citation and paying a ticket is, in reality, a guilty plea to the charged misdemeanor. Actually, some states define all traffic offenses as "misdemeanors" but dispose of them by citation instead of arrest. Under this assumption, a person convicted of a traffic offense would not be eligible.

    The program specifically calls for "convictions in the U.S.", so, there's absolutely nothing that would prevent a person convicted of a horrible crime and who entered without inspection 10 years ago from obtaining legal status. The criminal provisions should adapt to current INA and not try to re-invent the wheel to appear "strict" while in reality producing absurd results.

    I think the bill would be better off without the legalization program. The reform part of the bill is actually real good, but the legalization program makes no sense.

  9. #9
    Illegals can indeed get welfare benefits. I see illegals with food stamps all the time. The American taxpayer is supporting the illegals' kids...while the illegals send their own money to our parasitic and corrupt neighbor to the south.

    NO AMNESTY FOR ILLEGALS. NO AMNESTY FOR THOSE WHO THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE TOO IMPORTANT TO RESPECT AMERICA'S SOVEREIGNTY AND RULE OF LAW.

  10. #10
    Some jurisdictions, at a very local level, do allow some immigrants to receive (restricted) benefits. The benefits in question are not the point, but instead the immigrant should be required to show "equity", meaning employment, self-support, family or economic ties, to be able to receive consideration for ANY legalization program.

    Allowing a dead-beat to obtain legal status while preventing a person convicted of a traffic violation 20 years ago makes no sense.

    H.R.750 is one of the best reform bills I've seen, but when it comes to legalization, the original McCain-Kennedy approach is hard to beat.

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