Skip to comments.Senate grapples with illegal immigration
Posted on 03/27/2006 9:14:24 AM PST by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senators writing an immigration bill broke from the House's get-tough approach by refusing Monday to make criminals of humanitarian groups or individuals who help illegal immigrants with more than emergency assistance.
Catholic clergy, immigrants and other groups rallied over the weekend in Los Angeles and other cities and again Monday at the Capitol against a bill the House passed in December that would make such assistance a felony.
Meanwhile, President Bush used a naturalization ceremony swearing in 30 new citizens from 20 countries to warn critics of his proposal to let some illegal immigrants remain in the United State against stoking anti-immigrant feelings.
"The immigration debate should be conducted in a civil and dignified way," the president said as the Senate prepared to tackle the hot-button election issue of what to do with the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants this week.
The Senate Judiciary Committee rejected a proposal Monday from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to require humanitarian groups providing food, medical aid and advice to illegal immigrants to register with the Department of Homeland Security.
The panel adopted an amendment by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that would protect humanitarian organizations from prosecution for providing more than simple emergency aid to such immigrants.
"Charitable organizations, like individuals, should be able to provide humanitarian assistance to immigrants without fearing prosecution," Durbin said.
The committee faces a midnight deadline for completing a bill with a version of the "guest worker" program that Bush wants for illegal immigrants. The House rejected that program and Majority Leader Bill Frist has said the Senate will start debating a bill Tuesday without it if the committee fails.
Overhauling the nation's immigration laws "is not going to be easy," Bush said at the naturalization ceremony at Constitution Hall two blocks from the White House.
"No one should play on people's fears or try to pit neighbors against each other," Bush said. "No one should pretend that immigrants are threats to America's identity because immigrants have shaped America's identity.
"No one should claim that immigrants are a burden on our economy because the work and enterprise of immigrants helps sustain our economy," the president said. "We should not give in to pessimism. If we work together I am confident we can meet our duty to fix our immigration system and deliver a bill that protects our people, upholds our laws and makes our people proud."
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, calls for tougher border security have dominated debate over the knotty problem of controlling immigration.
But a tough immigration-enforcement bill passed by the House last year has galvanized forces that want worker programs for illegal immigrants already in the country.
"We will not accept enforcement-only approaches," said Cecilia Munoz, vice president of the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group.
Immigration reform advocates rallied Monday at the Capitol, where more than 100 members of wore handcuffs to protest the House bill's criminalization of their aid programs for poor immigrants.
More than 500,000 people rallied in Los Angeles on Saturday, demanding that Congress abandon the House-passed measures that would make being an undocumented immigrant a felony and erect a 700-mile fence along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border. Similar but smaller protests were held in Dallas, Phoenix, Milwaukee and Columbus, Ohio, among other cities.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, said Monday it would be unrealistic to round up and deport the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Instead, he told CBS' "The Early Show," the United States should create a "path toward legalization" based on whether the immigrants are law abiding, pay takes, are learning English or demonstrate other "positive behavior."
Senators up for re-election this year are being forced by the debate to juggle the demand from voters for tighter borders to keep out terrorists and businesses who look to the tide of immigrants to help fill jobs.
Employers and immigration advocates prefer a bill drafted by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., that would allow illegal immigrants to become eligible for permanent residency after working for six years. Both McCain and Frist are likely candidates for the Republican presidential nomination next year.
Another approach offered by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., would let illegal immigrants get temporary work permits for up to five years. They would have to leave the United States but could then apply for legal re-entry.
"humanitarian groups or individuals who help illegal immigrants with more than emergency assistance."
Is it "humanitarian" to give a dude a job?
The worst possible "solution" is a complicated solution that lacks honesty and guts and has a zillion loopholes open to dispute and interpretation and that keep the lawyers in money for decades.
Everybody loses but the lawyers and bureaucrats.
Wow, it did not take long for you to degenerate into name calling. So, let me return the favor: Are you a closet liberal (or a RINO), because that is their tactics.
I will point out that Spectre is no Conservative. He is LIBERAL. He should have the guts to just switch back to the Democratic party where he started. The difference between Leahy or Spectre running the committee would be minimal.
By the way, you can see exactly how I feel on most subjects just by doing a search on my screenname. You will find I am pretty much anti-incumbent, regardless of party. Do some research next time before you start your name calling.
That's something Specter and his buddies might want to consider.
I agree. My reps must know me by my first name now!
This is what President Bush said on March 25, 2006
"Comprehensive immigration reform begins with securing our borders."
"To keep the promise of America, we must enforce the laws of America."
"One thing the temporary worker program would not do is provide
amnesty to those who are in our country illegally."
Look for the Impeach Bush t-shirt in this post
This sets the stage for the Dim's to be defeated in
even more 2006 and 2008 elections!
Any REAL Conservative knows the success
of the 2006 and 2008 elections
is electing those who secure our borders
and enforce the law of the land!
President Bush has set the example and
ensured a sweep in '06 and '08!
Only the looney left and the wrong rino's
would support illegal immigration
and amnesty for those who are in our country illegally!
Time for the real conservatives on FR,
be it Republicans, Independents or Democrats
(like Zell Miller and John O'Neill) to band together
and oust the looney left and RINO's
"Could be worse" is not such a great endorsement.
You left out the Constitutional Right To Work.
And it isn't 6 million people. It's the same 1 million people 6 times before they finally succeed on the 7th try in eluding the BP.
This past weekend I talked to recent arrivals. From what they say, it is still quite easy to just walk accross the bridge. Only the stupid go thru the desert.
Maybe the stupid have scruples about renting somebody else's ID which is necessary to "just walk accross the bridge". It can't be the money. Rental fees are much cheaper than hiring a coyote.
My goal is frankly to get people to deal with this issue honestly. All sides tend to use euphemisms lousy facts and illogic to bolster their argument.
Right now, an illegal alien is NOT A CRIMINAL. That is the fact. A "criminal" is by definition, a felon. Right now crossing illegally is akin to a misdemeanor, like jaywalking or speeding. When the speed limit was 55 MPH all of us were "illegals". Rather than arrest all of us, the law was changed and we were all given "amnesty".
Factually, it is no different with illegal immigrants. The whole purpose of HR4437 is precisely to change the law to make criminal what is not now criminal. To give amnesty is factually no different than not enforcing jaywalking ... or speeding.
For those of us who still speed when we get caught we can complain to the cop why he didn't stop the other speeders. But that is not an excuse. And factually, the other speeders are not speeders in the eyes of the law, until they are caught.... And then of course there is the "innocent til proven guilty thing". But that is taking the analogy too far.
re: "the success of the 2006 and 2008 elections is electing those who secure our borders and enforce the law of the land!"
Can you show any evidence for this? Cite one election, primary of general where this is true. From Pete Wilson and Buchanan to recent elections in CA and IL, the hardliners have lost.
Here recently in IL, there was a primary for governor. The #1 issue was corruption and a referendum on corruption supporter Toopinka, who won with 38% because the 62% against her were split 3 ways. The strongest of the 3 anti-Judy candidates was Oberweis. Solely because he was the strongest (had the most money, most name recognition, most friends and organization) there was a movement to unite behind Oberweis.
Polling by all sides showed that enough anti-Judy voters could be shifted from Brady to Oberweis for him to win.
But then some Oberweis spokespeople got on the most listened to local conservative radio show in Illinois and raised the divisive issue of immigration, charging the other anti-Judy candidates with supporting illegals (which they were). It is precisely because of that divisive rhetoric that Obie was unable to get more conservatives to unite behind him.
Two years ago, when he ran for the Senate and lost, I knocked door-to-door in precincts in 3 downstate towns and 4 suburbs. Consistently there were 2 comments volunteered by the hard-R pro-life, pro-2A, low tax, cut spending conservatives:
1) They loved Jack Ryan's ads on wasteful spending and that is why he finished first.
2) They ridiculed Oberweis for his ads on immigration.
Take Cannon in UT (please). He was way behind in the polls when the challenger ran on corruption. Then the challenger made the mistake of imitating Tancredo on immigration. Immediately the conservative Utah voters shifted back to Cannon.
I could go on with many other stories congressional by district or other district. In many multi-issue races, it would be hard to say exactly what the motivation was to vote for the winner over the loser.
But I'd like examples where the hardliner beat the conservative who was either a free market capitalist like me or compassionate conservative like Bush and my township committeeman, Paul Froehlich. He ran for committeeman and St Rep and whipped both of his well known opponents who had equally high name recognition. The sole difference between the winner Froehlich and his opponents was that Froehlich is a Bush style compassionate conservative on immigration who had the full support of us free market conservatives/libertarians while his opponents were imitating Tancredo and Buchanan.
I couldn't believe Pres Bush's speech. He boasted about adding 500,000 H1B visas....then he added the phrase for high tech workers.
There are 100,000's of thousands of disemployed computer programmers right here in the US. IT hiring has only recently begun to improve overall. Now he wants to give those few new jobs to people from other coutries while kicking his own citizen in the teeth? Why the preference for the other by the elties? What is going on here?
Pres. Bush believes that India is the future. I want a president who believes that America is the future.
I see you fly the MN flag. While I'm making good money down here in cornland, I've had numerous recruiters from Mpls-StPaul try to get me to relocate there because they cannot find any IT people in the Twin Cities willing and able to work for six figures. (banks, insurance, retail)
Likewise, where I'm currently at. There are numerous positions open. The company is paying recruiters. There are postings on sites like computerjobs.com, dice.com, etc. One third of the people I work beside are immigrants. (illegal? don't ask, don't tell).
My mailbox is constantly filled with recruiters, especially for jobs in IL, WI, MI but also for jobs in VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, TX. (I rarely get anything from the leftcoast. Maybe that reflects my marketing approach or my skill set or lack of jobs.) A couple times a month a recruiter specifically states that google found my resume on my FReeRepublic homepage. Take a look at your FR homepage. How does that sell your skills ?
I know and talk to IT workers in the large companies in the midwest at user group meetings, and in techie chat rooms. Many shops are looking for people willing and able to do what is needed. Unemployed conservatives have told me that they would rather stay on compensation until it runs out than take a job that is "beneath" them because it is "old technology". Of course, the tried and true technology where a company can make a profit is where the jobs are. Holding out for a job in a "bubble" that is not profitable indicates one is not logical and not qualified to work in a career that requires logic.
Companies have 3 choices:
1) Bring in immigrants (whatever their status)
2) Outsource to India
3) Kill the project.
I've seen all 3. With #1, I benefit as 2/3 of the jobs are still available for me (and all of those can't be filled with citizens yet). #2 and #3 mean I'm out of a job.
a seconds pause....
What disturbs me about much of the rhetoric on all sides that it is emotional not based in facts or logic. Immigration (including illegal) creates both benefits and problems.
But Bush has to use a euphemism for his amnesty program because the anti-amnesty people cannot deal rationally and logically with the topic. Mention the word amnesty and (most) get all emotional and illogical.
The same is true on the other side. The socialists who want to create a new dependent class... dependent on socialist leaders ... will not admit that (most) illegal immigrants are not mistreated, nor oppressed and do not need a white liberal (or brown liberal) rescuing them. They are doing quite well, thank you, in finding jobs with which they are happy and buying a house and having babies (my wife is in the baby clothing business if you hadn't figured that out already).
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