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House OKs bill to tighten immigration laws

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  • House OKs bill to tighten immigration laws

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    • #3
      House OKs Bill to Tighten Immigration Laws

      By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer 55 minutes ago

      The House acted Friday to stem the tide of illegal immigration by taking steps to tighten border controls and stop unlawful immigrants from getting jobs. But lawmakers left for next year the tougher issue of what to do with the 11 million undocumented people already in the country.

      The House legislation, billed as a border protection, anti-terrorism and illegal immigration control act, includes such measures as enlisting military and local law enforcement help in stopping illegal entrants and requiring employers to verify the legal status of their workers. It authorizes the building of a fence along parts of the U.S.-Mexico border.

      But it put off consideration of a guest worker program, which President Bush and many in Congress say must be part of a lasting solution to the illegal immigrant crisis.

      The vote was 239-182, with opposition coming from Democrats and some Republicans upset by the exclusion of the guest worker issue and other Republicans wanting tougher border control measures.

      Bush praised the House for approving the bill. "America is a nation built on the rule of law, and this bill will help us protect our borders and crack down on illegal entry into the United States," he said in a statement. "I urge the Senate to take action on immigration reform so that I can sign a good bill into law."

      One measure that Republican leaders wouldn't allow a vote on was a volatile proposal to deny citizenship to babies born in this country to illegal immigrants.

      The issue next moves to the Senate, where Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., says he will bring up immigration legislation in February that will provide a framework for guest worker ideas.

      Nobody is advocating the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants, said Rep. Jeff Flake (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., sponsor of a guest worker measure. Without a temporary worker program, he said, "We simply won't enforce the law, and that's the dirty little secret here."

      While many agree with Flake, there are wide differences on the details of a guest worker program. Some lawmakers would require those in the country illegally to leave before applying for such a program, arguing that counterproposals allowing those already here to seek legal status is equivalent to amnesty.

      Bush has proposed that undocumented immigrants be allowed to get three-year work visas. They could extend those for an additional three years, but would then have to return to their home countries for a year to apply for a new work permit.

      The House bill would beef up border security with the help of local law enforcement and military technology, impose tougher penalties for smuggling and re-entry, and end the "catch and release" policy for illegal non-Mexicans. It makes drunken driving convictions a deportable offense.

      The bill makes unlawful presence in the United States, currently a civil offense, a felony. An amendment to reduce the crime from a felony to a misdemeanor was defeated, with many Democrats voting against the proposal in protest over subjecting people who have overstayed their visas to any criminal charges.

      The House also voted 273-148 to end the diversity visa lottery program that's open to countries that send few immigrations to the United States. Opponents said it was susceptible to fraud and could be a way for terrorists to enter the country.

      On Thursday, the House approved an amendment calling for construction of a fence in parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

      The most sweeping provision of the House bill would require all employers in the country, more than 7 million, to submit Social Security numbers and other information to a national data base to verify the legal status of workers.

      The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups protested this provision as unworkable, while immigrant rights groups said some of the new penalties were draconian.

      By making it a crime to be present in the country illegally, said the National Immigration Forum, foreign students who drop a class or high tech workers who lose jobs and take too long to find a new employer sponsor would be subject to arrest.

      "A migratory reform that only addresses security will not resolve the bilateral immigration problem," Mexican President Vicente Fox's spokesman Ruben Aguilar said Friday. "It is indispensable to establish legal, secure and ordered migration. Our countrymen make an enormous contribution to the United States economy."

      But sponsors, led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., insisted the bill was a needed step to restoring the integrity of U.S. borders and re-establishing respect for the law.

      The White House said in a statement that it strongly supported the House bill, adding that it "remains committed to comprehensive immigration reform, including a temporary worker program that avoids amnesty."


      • #4
        This bill like Real ID even signed by the president will Never be enforced or will never become a law.
        1 year after passing Real ID illegal aliens still are able to obtain driving licences.


        • #5
          EXITO!!!!! (success!!!)


          • #6
            All of these anti-immigrant bills have one purpose of abstract and divert attention from real economical problems or unsuccessful war in Iraq.


            • #7
              they have the purpose of ridding the US of all irresponsible illegal aliens and I support this action. I would even drive a bus full of illegals to the nearest airport and wave them good-bye!


              • #8
                I'll pay for the gas


                • #9
                  all those illegals would be back to their houses before you drive back home!!


                  • #10
                    I hope his Diriver License is not suspended and he is not high.


                    • #11
                      Real ID is now law, but the provisions have yet to take effect. States that do not yet meet the requirements for Real ID have a short period of time in which to become compliant. Increasingly, states are denying driver licenses to illegal they should. Soon, no state will issue driver licenses to illegals.

                      I commend the House of Representatives for passing this legislation, even though I don't think that it is as good as it could have been. My Congressman, J.D. Hayworth (R-Arizona), who is in-tune with his constituents on this issue, wants even stronger enforcement at both the border and in the interior of the country. It is time to hold scumbag employers responsible for employing illegal aliens. I am disgusted that law-abiding American taxpayers must subsidize the cheap, under-educated labor employed by these losers.

                      Representative Hayworth, furthermore, is opposed to President Bush's amnesty proposal. I doubt that amnesty has any chance of passing.


                      • #12

                        just one of many articles
                        horray for utah!!!


                        • #13
                          Utah's policy is outrageous.


                          • #14
                            I do not understand why most of you hate those who feed you or work for you doing unwanted and unfilled jobs in US.

                            While lazy people of Puerto Rico not doing anything but listeneing to the music or trading drugs enjoy their worker program the hard working Mexicans face more and more problem and are being hated.

                            What is the benifit of having lazy Puerto Rican in US?

                            What is the benifit of deporting a hard working Mexican who feeds and works for a lazy American?

                            I hope that a Worker Program will be signed before this s-h-i-t of legislation becomes a law.


                            • #15
                              Maria: it is obvious you spend far too much time on your knees and thus have no clue about our laws and rules. Americans are what made this country great; leeches like your illegal alien boyfriends or husbands are stealing jobs, hospital benefits and education from the hard working, intelligent American taxpayers - and we are sick of it - we are asking OUR legislators (they are not representatives of illegal alien leeches) to rid our country of these parasitic pests - once and for all.
                              They do not belong here, have no right to be here and are nothing but irresponsible thieves who need to be put on a bus and shipped back to whatever third world kraphole they came from - and many should take their moronic wives with them so they don't ruin our gene pool.


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