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  • McCain Says Senate Immigration Bill Does Not Amount to Amnesty

    Sen. John McCain is making the rounds defending sweeping immigration legislation passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday night. He insists the bill would not amount to granting amnesty to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States.

    "The only way you solve the problem is to punish those who have come here illegally "” and it is a severe punishment "” but at the same time give them an opportunity for citizenship if they fulfill very serious obligations," said McCain, R-Arizona.

    The Senate committee members voted 12-6 to approve the bill that includes the following provisions:


    Immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally before 2004 could become permanent residents if they pay a $2,000 fine, pass a background check, learn English and work for six years. They could apply for citizenship five years after becoming a permanent resident.


    The bill also creates a special guest worker program for the estimated 1.5 million immigrant farmworkers that allows them to get "blue cards" if they can prove they worked in agriculture for 150 days between 2003 and 2005.


    Up to 14,000 new border patrol agents would be added by 2011. A "virtual wall" of unmanned vehicles, cameras and sensors would be added to the U.S. border with Mexico.


    The construction of tunnels between Mexico and the U.S. would be criminalized.


    The deportation of illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico would be expedited.

    Some senators denounced the bill as amnesty for immigrants who have broken the law. "If we do not enforce the law we are simply going to get more and more illegal immigrants flooding our hospitals, flooding our schools, and causing a breakdown of our social services," said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin.

    The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote. If it passes there, it would have to be reconciled with a much harsher immigration reform bill passed in the House last December.

    McCain believes the Senate version has a better chance of becoming law because it contains the guest worker provision, a plan President Bush has said he supports.

    If the Senate version becomes law, it would be the most sweeping immigration reform since 1986 when 2.7 million illegal immigrants were made eligible for green cards.

  • #2
    Sen. John McCain is making the rounds defending sweeping immigration legislation passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday night. He insists the bill would not amount to granting amnesty to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States.

    "The only way you solve the problem is to punish those who have come here illegally "” and it is a severe punishment "” but at the same time give them an opportunity for citizenship if they fulfill very serious obligations," said McCain, R-Arizona.

    The Senate committee members voted 12-6 to approve the bill that includes the following provisions:


    Immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally before 2004 could become permanent residents if they pay a $2,000 fine, pass a background check, learn English and work for six years. They could apply for citizenship five years after becoming a permanent resident.


    The bill also creates a special guest worker program for the estimated 1.5 million immigrant farmworkers that allows them to get "blue cards" if they can prove they worked in agriculture for 150 days between 2003 and 2005.


    Up to 14,000 new border patrol agents would be added by 2011. A "virtual wall" of unmanned vehicles, cameras and sensors would be added to the U.S. border with Mexico.


    The construction of tunnels between Mexico and the U.S. would be criminalized.


    The deportation of illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico would be expedited.

    Some senators denounced the bill as amnesty for immigrants who have broken the law. "If we do not enforce the law we are simply going to get more and more illegal immigrants flooding our hospitals, flooding our schools, and causing a breakdown of our social services," said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin.

    The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote. If it passes there, it would have to be reconciled with a much harsher immigration reform bill passed in the House last December.

    McCain believes the Senate version has a better chance of becoming law because it contains the guest worker provision, a plan President Bush has said he supports.

    If the Senate version becomes law, it would be the most sweeping immigration reform since 1986 when 2.7 million illegal immigrants were made eligible for green cards.

    Comment


    • #3
      i also share mccain sentiments when he says his version has the better chance of passing then the enforcement-only bill.Those huge demonstartions killed the sensenbrenner bill because it exposed it for what it is, which is an evil bill..Religious leaders did a great job denouncing it by telling the american public that they would be willing to get arrested to make a point and no ones wants to see millions of religious leaders gets arrested for being a good samaritans..This is why the house bill is officially dead.

      Comment


      • #4
        Again, Jean--what McCain thinks consitutes amnesty doesn't really matter. It's what voters think amnesty is, and this is amnesty. A bill with amnesty has little to no chance of passing in the House, no matter what the Senate does.

        Comment


        • #5
          I guess Mccain refers the $2000 fine as the "severe" part of the fine? Or maybe the 6yrs of working?

          I think most anyone will agreed that millions of people will gladly come to the USA if that's the only penalty to enter the country and become legal.

          What's the point of waiting for 10yrs for an approved I-130 anymore? Just go in and pay the $2000 fine. Many business will hire anyone so that will satisfy the work part.

          Comment


          • #6
            Golly. Work for years in the U.S. at wages higher than in my home country. Don't pay taxes. Get my medical care paid for, and my kids educated. Then pay $2,000 to continue to do so.

            I wonder if the bill requires a minimum income for legalization? I can't see many businesses being willing to raise wages significantly for guest workers, when they know that the guys can't be without work for more than 60 days. And I think the AgJobs provision restricts "guest workers" to agriculture so that they can't go after better paying jobs in construction and the like. Real indentured servitude, just like the H1-B, only tougher because H1-Bs get paid better.

            Comment


            • #7
              But like you said Aliba, their children got a free ride all the way and they'll get more benefits courtesy of the rest of the taxpayers. And the pro-illegals will always say its much better than working back home so we're helping them by golly!!!

              Life's indeed good for them. Wish the same can be said to the legal ones still stuck outside.

              Comment


              • #8
                Amnesty? In 1986 people who claimed worked as a gardeners or dog-walkers for another person were able to obtain greencards. This is very different.
                It's funny how only a few people consider the nicaraguan and cuban adjustment provisions to be amnesty. These two are true amnesty statutes and are in full force today.. so what's the deal?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I quite agree, Marm. I also worry a bit about what will happen with the kids of these illegals, who are brought up to believe that the laws are only something you follow when it's convenient. You have only to look at how eager their kids were to "protest" when what they were really doing was ditching school and getting into trouble. No wonder Latino kids have a high drop out rate. They don't seem to get the idea that hard work is something you do with the mind as well as the body, and that the latter pays better. But it takes discipline and a willingness to delay gratification. Of course, with all the outsourcing it won't matter anyway.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Houston, just because no one mentioned it, doesn't mean people that understand it doesn't view it as amnesty. Those two examples you mentioned covered far less segment than the current bills being proposed and the general population are either simply not aware of it or couldn't care less alltogether. Quite the contrary to what's going on right now which has become a very public battle.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Now, Houston, what makes you think the fraud factor in this wouldn't be any different than in 1986? There, there were so many applicants that applications were rushed through, and obvious frauds ignored in the interest of swift processing. Guys who'd never even seen a farm got amnesty as "agricultural workers". Document fraud was rampant. Immigration processing is still in bad shape, and the GAO says its fraud detection provisions are full of holes. Not to mention internal problems with bribery and corruption. No bets on how well this program would be run.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sure many will try to commit fraud, but now DHS has the tools to take care of this problem and deport at once all applicants involved or suspected to be involved in fraudulent activity to obtain immigration benefits. Back in 1986, fraud was a problem but not taken seriously. Now things are different, technology and resources will be at hand and Congress, along with DHS and other federal agencies should look into every single application to prevent fraud. This is why I believe that some applicants should be required to leave in order to register for the program, otherwise the burden on CIS would be excessive and applications wouldn't be handled with the required level of attention.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          And what's worse. Many complain about the guest worker program being amnesty while Senators have tried to make sure regular amnesty provisions are not part of any bill to be considered.
                          But there's a little part of the special "adjustment" programs that most do not know about. These programs do not involve the excersise of discretion. So while LPR's and citizens suffer through backlogs of consular processing and AOS just to bring an immediate relative to the U.S., these "special citizens of central american countries" receive the benefits if they qualify; it's as simple as that, there's no discussion, no discretion involved. If they qualify, they will receive the benefit. Period. If that is not amnesty, I don't know what is.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Houston, the government does NOT YET HAVE the technology or the cooperation to do the kind of checks required. As it is, some government agencies such as Immigration don't even have modern computer systems, one of the big reasons there's been such a problem processing backlogs. Furthermore, government agencies don't necessarily have compatible computer systems, and the authority to share information. So, an illegal alien applies for legalization. Immigration, SS, IRS, FBI, all have separate databases, and don't have agreements in place to share information. How do you think employers get away with hiring illegals today?! Then, they'll also need to check the alien's home country for a criminal background.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Actually, Houston, I don't approve of the special statuses these countries, and Cuban refugees enjoy. Or TPS. Or 245i. But at least those were limited in scope. (The recent extension of TPS for El Salvador annoys the hell out of me. The LA Times had a story from ES about how people there were living on remittances and hiring Hondurans to do the work Salvadorans wouldn't do. Sound familiar?)

                              Comment

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