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Bills Could Grant Legality To 10 Million Immigrants
San Diego Union-Tribune ^ | May 12, 2005 | Jerry Kammer

Posted on 05/12/2005 8:46:37 AM PDT by Scenic Sounds

Sweeping measures face an uphill fight

WASHINGTON – Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate will introduce legislation today that could grant legal status to an estimated 10 million to 12 million illegal immigrants now in the United States.

The bills, which would dwarf previous programs to provide legal status to foreign workers, would give illegal immigrants work permits and the opportunity to apply for permanent residence and eventually citizenship once they pay a fine and fees.

The legislation is certain to raise the temperature of a national debate already simmering over the Minuteman Project's volunteer border patrols and just-passed legislation to deny driver licenses to undocumented immigrants.

The legislation is expected to face an uphill fight in Congress. But it would be a landmark event if enacted.

Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., will introduce the bill in the Senate. In the House, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., will team with Arizona Republicans Jeff Flake and Jim Kolbe to introduce the measure.

The sponsors have scheduled a news conference today to kick off a publicity campaign. It will be coordinated with immigrant advocates and church groups as well as business and farming organizations that want to stabilize their work forces.

Flake said the bills seek to bring immigration law in line with job markets that have become increasingly dependent on illegal immigrants because legal workers aren't filling the jobs.

"The bottom line is we're going to have a need for foreign workers in the foreseeable future," Flake said.

He said Congress has not provided federal officials with the tools to enforce the law because it doesn't want to cut off the flow of workers.

"We can make it legal through some mechanism or we can keep it illegal and keep on pretending we are going to enforce it," he said.

While details are still being negotiated, according to the Denver Post, major provisions include:

After a criminal background check and medical examination, most of the illegal immigrants now in the country would be allowed to apply for a new visa legalizing their status. They would have to pay $2,000 in fines and processing fees for having entered the country illegally. After six years, these workers and their families could apply for permanent residency.

A guest-worker program would allow employers to bring in 400,000 foreign workers in its first year. After that, the cap would be adjusted annually based on demand. The cap could change no more than a fixed percentage a year, sources said, and those workers could eventually apply to permanently reside in the United States.

A new system would be designed to require employers to electronically verify whether their workers are in the country legally and eligible to work. Fines for employers caught hiring illegal workers would double.

"Once a program is in place for employers to get workers, there's no excuse for them not to cooperate," Flake said. "You get a good program and you enforce the heck out of it."

But Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, said the program must provide enough foreign workers to meet labor needs and enough enforcement to win the support of a public increasingly skeptical about the government's ability to manage immigration.

"Any proposal will rise or fall on whether the legal channels are wide enough and the enforcement effective enough," Sharry said. "In the past it was, 'Let's keep legal channels small, but let's not enforce them too much.' "

The bills' advocates hope that the $2,000 fine will soften the angry reaction that has accompanied past amnesties, such as the sweeping 1986 measure that gave legal status to 2.7 million immigrants, most of them Mexican.

Almost 20 years later, the illegal immigrant population is expanding by nearly 500,000 people a year, according to Pew Hispanic Center demographer Jeffrey Passell.

In 1986, amnesty meant a green card for immigrants who were eligible, either because they had lived in the United States several years or – in a major concession to California farmers – because they had worked 90 days in the fields.

A fight to update that definition has already broken out.

"An amnesty is an unconditional pardon for a breach of law," Flake said.

"That's semantics," said Jack Martin of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which wants to clamp down on illegal immigration. "Any program that gives legal status to people who entered the country illegally or have stayed here illegally after being admitted is an amnesty."

Both sides will eagerly await reaction from President Bush, who last year proposed a program to provide temporary legal status for undocumented workers already here and to match "willing workers" from around the world with "willing employers."

Although the president said he rejected amnesty, he left open the possibility that some of the workers could get in line for a green card. That coveted document confers permanent residence status and the eventual opportunity to apply for citizenship.

Yesterday, White House spokeswoman Maria Tamburri responded carefully to a question about the Kennedy-McCain bill.

"The president will work with Congress on enacting legislation that is consistent with the principles he announced last year," she said.

Mark Krikorian, who directs the Center for Immigration Studies, said the White House was stunned at many conservatives' furious reaction at Bush's proposal.

Krikorian, whose organization favors restrictive immigration policies, predicted that Bush will wait to gauge public reaction to the legislation before announcing his position on it.

"There is already a match burning because of the Minuteman program," he said, referring to the volunteer patrols in Arizona near the Mexican border. "They should be afraid that this would throw gas on the fire."


Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (left), and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.,
are working together on an immigration plan.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 109th; 2006; 2006election; aliens; border; borderpatrol; borderpolice; closetheborder; deportthemplease; disease; drugs; dumpmccain; education; enforcethelaw; english; guestworkers; healthcare; illegals; immigrantlist; kolbe; laraza; maldef; mccain; mecha; mexa; mmp; moretreason; ms13; nationalsecurity; nomorefreebies; not1moredime; perry; politicalwhores; rickperry; rooting4mccainslump; ruleoflaw; smuggling; tedkennedy; texas; traitors; voterfraud
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Bush will wait to gauge public reaction to the legislation before announcing his position on it.

The President wants to hear from us about all this. ;-)

1 posted on 05/12/2005 8:46:38 AM PDT by Scenic Sounds
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To: Scenic Sounds

McCain must be ejected from the GOP and the Senate. This has gone too far.


2 posted on 05/12/2005 8:48:47 AM PDT by thoughtomator ("One cannot say that a law is right simply because it is a law.")
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To: Scenic Sounds
CONSTITUTION PARTY
3 posted on 05/12/2005 8:49:34 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Harmful Or Fatal If Swallowed)
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To: Scenic Sounds

He will...


4 posted on 05/12/2005 8:49:53 AM PDT by RockinRight (Conservatism is common sense, liberalism is just senseless.)
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To: Scenic Sounds

Sensenbrenner will never let it pass the House Judiciary Committee.


5 posted on 05/12/2005 8:50:31 AM PDT by GOPGuide
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To: thoughtomator; A. Pole; Destro; ninenot; neutrino; Cronos

I'm so glad to see our Enlightened Elites know what's best for us peasants and serfs. God forbid that we should carry on with the illusion of a republic by the people for the people, instead of the reality Oligarchy that we live in by the elites for the elites on the backs of the serfs.


6 posted on 05/12/2005 8:51:14 AM PDT by jb6 (Truth == Christ)
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To: Scenic Sounds

There is no way that the INS, or whatver it's calling itself these days, can effectively handle the processing of 10 million-odd people in a timely manner.

The agency is hard-pressed to even cope with what it has to do right now, today. Injecting so many more people into the system overnight is not going to help.


7 posted on 05/12/2005 8:51:39 AM PDT by Gefreiter ("Are you drinking 1% because you think you're fat?")
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To: Scenic Sounds
In one sense I welcome this... let's have the liberal Republicans and RINOs and Demoncrats show themselves as the scum they are by voting for it.

If it passes, the govt will be so busy absorbing these criminals and the IRS will be so flooded with work, it will expand freedom for everyone else. And when 15 or 20 million formerly-illegals are not paying taxes on income, it will eventually lead to the destruction of the IRS.

8 posted on 05/12/2005 8:52:05 AM PDT by ikka
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To: Scenic Sounds
Stabilize the workforce? Oh, I get it, we're going to stop teaching any new generation how to work hard and get ahead in the world because we're giving up an entire class of jobs...

How many of us got our start in business by washing dishes, mowing a neighbors lawn, the construction trade, etc. No one gives a care how many are used to pick grapes, but if you talk to almost any builder, they'll sometimes be honest enough to explain how thousands of construciton jobs have gone to illegals.

No; if they want to come here, apply at home. No more amnesty. Go back to your nations and apply like the honest people. Get back in line. Stop cutting ahead of those who do want to come here! And most of all, stop coming here if you don't want to be part of this country!
9 posted on 05/12/2005 8:53:19 AM PDT by kingu
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To: Scenic Sounds

The only way I will accept as legal is to return them from whence they came.


10 posted on 05/12/2005 8:53:59 AM PDT by AbeKrieger
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To: Scenic Sounds
"They would have to pay $2,000 in fines and processing fees for having entered the country illegally. After six years, these workers and their families could apply for permanent residency."

hmmm, a rather cheap price for citizen. Now we know we are worth only $2,000. Perhaps that's all the taxes we should pay.
11 posted on 05/12/2005 8:55:11 AM PDT by politicalwit (USA...A Nation of Selective Law Enforcement.)
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To: politicalwit

"citizen"=citizenship


12 posted on 05/12/2005 8:56:09 AM PDT by politicalwit (USA...A Nation of Selective Law Enforcement.)
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To: AbeKrieger

The only illegals that should even be considered for legal status are the ones serving on the front lines. Prove how much they want to be an American. Citizenship through service ala Heinlein, otherwise do the paperwork.


13 posted on 05/12/2005 8:57:09 AM PDT by boofus
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To: Scenic Sounds
The irony is--the advantage of hiring illegals is that they are illegal and operate in a black market of labor. This depresses wages and benefits--the employer is in the driver's seat as long as the law goes unenforced. The illegals are pliant and not likely to stand up for their rights.

Once they do have rights, the employers are going to want a fresh crop of illegals.

14 posted on 05/12/2005 8:57:37 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Scenic Sounds

This ain't gonna fly, Orville.


15 posted on 05/12/2005 8:57:40 AM PDT by Restore
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To: Scenic Sounds

...the White House was stunned at many conservatives' furious reaction at Bush's proposal...

We're in the hands of idiots.


16 posted on 05/12/2005 8:58:17 AM PDT by the gillman@blacklagoon.com (I leave reason and good manners to those that have them.)
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To: Scenic Sounds

And this will stop illegal imigration how??


17 posted on 05/12/2005 8:58:27 AM PDT by An.American.Expatriate (Here's my strategy on the War against Terrorism: We win, they lose. - with apologies to R.R.)
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To: Scenic Sounds

Impeachment and recall of many of the elected in Washington would be in order [since tar and feather recommendations get pulled by the moderators].


18 posted on 05/12/2005 9:00:34 AM PDT by TomGuy
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Thanks for breaking our laws! Wanna become a citizen?


19 posted on 05/12/2005 9:01:16 AM PDT by Mortikhi
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To: Travis McGee
Not just no, but

HELL NO!

Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!

20 posted on 05/12/2005 9:01:35 AM PDT by Joe Brower (The Constitution defines Conservatism. *NRA*)
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To: Scenic Sounds
Are these two that drunk or that stupid!

AMNESTY FOR THE 10 MILLION HERE JUST MAKES IT HARDER TO DEAL WITH THE NEXT 10 MILLION WHO WILL COME BY THE END OF THE YEAR TO GET THE GOODIES AND GET IN ON THE NEXT AMNESTY!!!

Guys, the illegals here are incidental to the main problem: WE MUST REGAIN CONTROL OF THE BORDER!!

21 posted on 05/12/2005 9:01:39 AM PDT by Tacis ( SEAL THE FRIGGEN BORDER!!!)
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To: Gefreiter

Actually, this is a positive step, you can't crush the beast unless it sticks it's ugly head out of the hole.

I think it's already too late for these guys to slip their legislative amnesty crap through, I think this really is throwing gas on the fire. I am fine with the legal Hispanic community, even helped start a Spanish language TV station, but the illegals are a BIG problem (you just have to watch the nightly news here in Vegas to see the crimes being committed).

Illegality begats illegality, and once you start debating the amnesty stuff this becomes pretty clear, it's the same as throwing most of our workplace and identification laws out the window.


22 posted on 05/12/2005 9:01:43 AM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: Scenic Sounds

Did I miss something? After a bunch of sensical approaches to the illegal alien problem, I could not find anything saying that they will deport anyone? Why can't Americans also have a protection saying that these people cannot vote until they are permanent citizens?


23 posted on 05/12/2005 9:02:35 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator (This space outsourced to India)
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To: Scenic Sounds
No way.

Mike Rogers' office will be getting a call from me on my drive home.

24 posted on 05/12/2005 9:04:54 AM PDT by Dan from Michigan ("My guvnor don't got the answer")
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To: kingu

"How many of us got our start in business by washing dishes,"

I started at $1.25 working in a burger joint, and believe me, $1.25 was nothing even then. Cleaned restrooms at a local motel. Washed dishes a couple of places. Learned a TON.


25 posted on 05/12/2005 9:05:13 AM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: An.American.Expatriate
And this will stop illegal imigration how??

It worked so well the first time -- the sweeping 1986 measure that gave legal status to 2.7 million immigrants, most of them Mexican. That one (IIRC) was sold to the public as the last time blanket amnesty would ever need to be granted.

So, in 2025, we will only need to provide blanket amnesty for 100 million; assuming we survive as a nation another 20 years -- at the rate the politicians are selling us out.
26 posted on 05/12/2005 9:05:29 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: HiJinx
You ain't gonna believe it Ping!
27 posted on 05/12/2005 9:07:34 AM PDT by afnamvet (31st Fighter Wing Tuy Hoa AB RVN 68-69 "Return with Honor")
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Perhaps reparations are in order here too. McCain, Bush, and Boxer would no doubt approve of handing out $30,000 to every illegal immigrant currently in the US. No reason or logic here, just those people need help and money and we have it.


28 posted on 05/12/2005 9:08:44 AM PDT by captainblacksmith
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To: Scenic Sounds
...an estimated 10 million to 12 million illegal immigrants now in the United States...

The single biggest fact that won't go away. We can't kick all of them out of the country nor can they remain forever illegal. Any solution will inevitably involve some kind of legalization. We really need to think of the bigger picture. Maybe we can turn the billions of dollars sent back to Mexico from a drain into leverage. One thing for sure, this is a tough issue.

Just speculating here. Allow them to live and work here, which is easy since they'll be living and working here anyway. But they can never become citizens with voting rights and access to government benefits without going through the proper channels. Link this with a requirement for a national id card. Penalize employers who hire illegals. I'm beginning to think Bush's basic idea may be the only way to go.

29 posted on 05/12/2005 9:10:44 AM PDT by nosofar
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To: GOPGuide

It doesn't necessarily have to. If it passes the Senate, they can send it over to the House and bring it straight to the floor, bypassing Sesenbrenner's committee, if the House leadership were to allow that to occur.


30 posted on 05/12/2005 9:12:10 AM PDT by 3AngelaD
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To: Scenic Sounds

B.O.H.I.C.A.


31 posted on 05/12/2005 9:12:29 AM PDT by yooling (Screw diversity! Celebrate excellence!)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Constitutional Party
Platform looks solid on border, immigration & visa isssues.
Constitution Party

America First Party
Several bullet points on both illegal & legal immigration in their platform.
America First Party

Independant American Party
I found no mention of immigration or illegal aliens in their platform.
Independant American Party

The American Party
From their platform: "We are opposed to all illegal aliens and, therefore, support laws and enforcement to deport them."
The American Party


These descriptions are months old, they may have been ammended since then.
32 posted on 05/12/2005 9:12:45 AM PDT by citizen (Yo W! Read my lips: No Amnistia by any name!)
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To: Scenic Sounds

AMNESTY IS TREASON!!!


33 posted on 05/12/2005 9:13:29 AM PDT by shellshocked (They're undocumented Border Patrol agents, not vigilantes.)
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To: Scenic Sounds

And the hits just keep on coming!


34 posted on 05/12/2005 9:15:46 AM PDT by truthkeeper (It's the borders, stupid.)
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To: Joe Brower

Amen...


35 posted on 05/12/2005 9:16:47 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (Never underestimate the will of the downtrodden to lie flatter.)
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To: Scenic Sounds

Huge mistake. Our elected officals are determined to destroy this country. We have enough criminals - we don't need to import millions more. And those millions have millions of relatives who whill swarm this country.


36 posted on 05/12/2005 9:17:28 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: politicalwit
hmmm, a rather cheap price for citizen. Now we know we are worth only $2,000. Perhaps that's all the taxes we should pay.

"After a criminal background check and medical examination, most of the illegal immigrants now in the country would be allowed to apply for a new visa legalizing their status. They would have to pay $2,000 in fines and processing fees for having entered the country illegally. After six years, these workers and their families could apply for permanent residency. "

The $2000 is just for the visa. They still have to wait 6 years just to be able to applyl for permanent residency.

37 posted on 05/12/2005 9:18:53 AM PDT by nosofar
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To: nosofar
We can't kick all of them out of the country ...

Pray tell, why not?
38 posted on 05/12/2005 9:19:21 AM PDT by Celtman (It's never right to do wrong to do right.)
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To: citizen

The major problem I see with the Constitution and American Independent parties (from reading some of their platorms/position statements) is their weazelly views of foreign relations (ie., War on Terror). They seem to advocate an isolationist view of the US in the world. That won't happen.

Their domestic platforms seem conservative, overall. They just don't have a realistic outlook on international affairs.


39 posted on 05/12/2005 9:19:26 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Scenic Sounds; All

I would say that the legal citizens and those legally in this country currently collaborating and/or working on behalf to allow illegal aliens legal status or attempting to circumnavigate Federal Immigration Laws, as well as politicians and judges who fail to act to secure our boarders, deport the illegals, and enforce our laws should be found of conspiracy to break federal law, which in effect, conspiracy to break the law, is a felony. The conspiracy theory can easily be tied to those wanting to improve the bottom line of businesses using cheap labor.


40 posted on 05/12/2005 9:19:49 AM PDT by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: Scenic Sounds; All

The difference between the Kennedy McCain bill and what the president wants (per FNC) is that Kennedy MccCain's guest program inclues convertability of the worker visa to a permanent visa.

This is just an effort to add more democrats.

McCain is an IDIOT. This kills his presidential bid. Seriously he has been played and played for a first class fool. He is too blind to realise that hitlary has just effectivly checkmatted him on immigration.


41 posted on 05/12/2005 9:20:43 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Scenic Sounds
WASHINGTON – Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate will introduce legislation today that could grant legal status to an estimated 10 million to 12 million illegal immigrants now in the United States.

Absolutely HELL NO.

CONSTITUTION PARTY

42 posted on 05/12/2005 9:21:55 AM PDT by Centurion2000
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

This is unreal.


43 posted on 05/12/2005 9:22:20 AM PDT by corlorde (Without the home of the brave, there would be no land of the free)
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To: Joe Brower
Not only no,

HELL NO!

Sorry Lucy, but Charlie Brown ain't kicking your moving football again.

FIRST build a real security fence, and THEN come talk to us about other options.

44 posted on 05/12/2005 9:23:26 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: nosofar
Start enforcing the laws on the books, fining and locking up employers of Illegals, cut off all social programs to illegals , deporting the ones caught not letting them go. This all by itself would eliminate most of the illegal problem almost overnight.

But the whores that be instead want to sell out our country to the highest bidder. It's long past time to kick these Traitorous idiots out.

45 posted on 05/12/2005 9:23:37 AM PDT by JustAnAmerican (Being Independent means never having to say you're Partisan)
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To: Travis McGee
For our elites, this is what we have, and below it is what a real national border fence looks like.


46 posted on 05/12/2005 9:24:16 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: JustAnAmerican
But the whores that be instead want to sell out our country to the highest bidder.

Our political leaders are all whores, so they figure we'll shut up like whores if the illegals just pay $2,000 for citizenship. (This is MUCH less than what legal immigrants pay in all of their fees.)

It's long past time to kick these Traitorous idiots out.

Quisling: A word Norwegians are not very proud of having given to the world: it derives from Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945), a Norwegian politician who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. He established his name as a synonym for "traitor", someone who collaborates with the invaders of his country, especially by serving in a puppet government. Quisling was found guilty of high treason in 1945, and was executed by firing squad on the 24th October 1945.

47 posted on 05/12/2005 9:27:06 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: longtermmemmory

bump that


48 posted on 05/12/2005 9:27:25 AM PDT by moehoward
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: Scenic Sounds
Bush and the rest of the politicians have decided to pass this amnesty regardless of what the people want.

Someone else said that the next wave is standing by the border waiting for this to be passed. Once they are allowed to vote there will be no stopping them because they will be the majority.

If the government refuses to do their job and plug that border we will be giving amnesty to 20 million more by next year.
50 posted on 05/12/2005 9:29:07 AM PDT by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
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