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Thread: Senate Judiciary Committee today reached agreement.

  1. #1
    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. #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.

  3. #3

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

  5. #5

  6. #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.

  7. #7

  8. #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.

  9. #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.

  10. #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!!!.

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