Skip to comments.Deal struck on immigration bill (in the Senate, now over to the House for action)
Posted on 05/17/2007 10:16:31 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of senators reached agreement with the White House Thursday on an immigration overhaul to grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and fortify the border against new ones.
One of the key negotiators, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said he expects President Bush to endorse it.
The deal came after weeks of painstaking closed-door negotiations that brought the most liberal Democrats and the most conservative Republicans together with Bush's Cabinet officers to produce a highly complex measure that carries heavy political consequences.
It set the stage for what promises to be a bruising battle next week in the Senate on one of Bush's top non-war priorities.
This is a breaking news update. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) Republican and Democratic senators huddled Thursday trying to close in on an immigration compromise to grant quick legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants while fortifying U.S. borders against new ones.
A group of lawmakers that has been haggling over the terms of agreement for weeks were reviewing language negotiated Wednesday night in efforts to nail down a deal. Among the final sticking points was a stubborn dispute over how much family ties count toward green cards under a new "point system." The plan prioritizes advanced skills and education levels for future immigrants.
Two of the lead negotiators, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record), R-S.C., booked time for Thursday afternoon in the Senate's radio-TV gallery for an announcement.
But Kennedy said some were hanging back as an agreement inched closer.
"There are just some people who don't want to close on this. There comes a time in every negotiation where people have to close," Kennedy said. "Today is it."
Kennedy said Thursday was likely the last chance for a compromise before senators scattered for a three-day weekend.
"The immigration reform legislation has come to a boiling point," Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., said just before going into Thursday's meeting. "We've tried to come to a consensus and I think we are very, very close, but every time we grasp it, it eludes a final resolution."
If no deal emerged, Senate Democrats were to vote Monday evening to bring up an immigration measure that passed last year over the objections of most Republicans, who have said they will block it. That would be a highly partisan start to the immigration debate, which divides the two parties and exposes fissures within their ranks.
Even with a bipartisan agreement, the immigration debate could easily devolve into a free-for-all in the unruly Senate.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), D-Nev., has said he wants to complete a bill before Memorial Day, and President Bush says he wants to sign one by summer's end.
And the Democrats are going to do any better? That’s what doesn’t make sense to me.
Family ties count 100 percent. Jose - who will be able to stay and get his visa - may now bring his wife and four children to the U.S., also with visas.
Some time in the way distant future there will be a point system.
But not until we have a net migration of 15 to 30 million Mexicans and Salvadoreans.
“Bushs continued push on immigration reform just PRIOR to 06, in what he KNEW was a critical election year, is what lost us both the House and the Senate!”
Correct! It wasn’t the war, it was illegal immigration !!!!
“Does anyone have info on which ones voted yes?
Yes, we need names. We will, at least know which Congressman to spit on when they walk down the street.
Just don’t say Jorge
“An immediate amnesty for nearly all 12-20 million “
That assumes that 12-20 is right. I have no idea but some folks have estimated 30+ million
I called John Cornyn’s (TX) office. They said they have gotten lots of calls in opposition to the amnesty bill, and Cornyn is also against it. They have not done a vote in the senate. I hope for a filibuster or a threat thereof to torpedo this abomination.
“OUR OWN GOVERMENT IS MORE OF AN ENEMY TO US THAN ALL OF THE ISLAMIC TERRORISTS GROUPS COMBINED!!!!!!”
no, it was osammy's paymaster......along w/the saudis.
I think they are trying to push this through now so that it will be too late for any 2008 candidate to do anything about it.
“And the Democrats are going to do any better? Thats what doesnt make sense to me.”
No, but it’s obvious that conservatives need their own party. The Republicans have stabbed us too many times.
And Kennedy will continue his tactic of cutting funds for the immigration bills he passes. Nobody will enforce these complex compromises and procedures, and if they try, the’yll need to do it with no money.
I wonder if the US people will stand up to this, or just keep watching American Idol and The Game.
FILLIBUSTER THIS. FILLIBUSTER IT FOR YEARS IF THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES.
Pukehead Kennedy is on TV announcing the sellout at this moment.
I'll second that.
Better yet, get on the phone and call your Representative and tell them not to go along with the amnesty. Numbers USA (a great org.) provides the phone numbers, both local and in D.C.
The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions:
"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?-- Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!--All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years."
"At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."
Dear heaven!!! Goodbye sweet America. Time to join a militia. Frustrates me to no end that I’m paying taxes to this backstabbing federal government. I swear when I get my paycheck tomorrow I’m going to go ballistic.
Once amnesty is passed legislatively, how can we get it back? 2008 is too late. This is the legal ratification of the tipping point for the US. There will be no getting the genie back into the bottle and conservatives will be overwhelmingly outvoted in the future.
I voted for Jorge Bush twice. I held my nose twice, just to keep things from getting worse. And all I get is this. Why worry about Iraq when your home country is being overrun, Jorge? These Republicrats sicken me.
"The GOP is dead, Jim. Dead, moribund, deceased, passed on, over, in its final dirtnap, Jim."
I can't believe what I'm hearing.
I have dear friends from Scotland...
..for 4 years they have been carefully working through the channels to become US citizens, doing everything the law requires.
What a joke for them.
No country has ever had such a large number of people come to this country ~ NEVER.
They have their own country and should go back home and take care of problems there.
They can take Kennedy and his lackeys with them.
Deal struck on immigration bill
JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS - AP
WASHINGTON - Key senators and the White House reached agreement Thursday on an immigration overhaul that would grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and fortify the border.
The plan would create a temporary worker program to bring new arrivals to the U.S. A separate program would cover agricultural workers. New high-tech enforcement measures also would be instituted to verify that workers are here legally.
The compromise came after weeks of painstaking closed-door negotiations that brought the most liberal Democrats and the most conservative Republicans together with President Bush’s Cabinet officers to produce a highly complex measure that carries heavy political consequences.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said he expects Bush to endorse the agreement.
The accord sets the stage for what promises to be a bruising battle next week in the Senate on one of Bush’s top non-war priorities.
The key breakthrough came when negotiators struck a bargain on a so-called “point system” that would for the first time prioritize immigrants’ education and skill level over family connections in deciding how to award green cards.
The draft bill “gives a path out of the shadows and toward legal status for those who are currently here” illegally, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif.
A spokesman for Sen. Jon Kyl (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., one of his party’s key players in the talks, confirmed that the group had reached agreement.
The proposed agreement would allow illegal immigrants to come forward and obtain a “Z visa” and after paying fees and a $5,000 fine ultimately get on track for permanent residency, which could take between eight and 13 years. Heads of household would have to return to their home countries first.
They could come forward right away to claim a probationary card that would let them live and work legally in the U.S., but could not begin the path to permanent residency or citizenship until border security improvements and the high-tech worker identification program were completed.
A new temporary guest worker program would also have to wait until those so-called “triggers” had been activated.
Those workers would have to return home after work stints of two years, with little opportunity to gain permanent legal status or ever become U.S. citizens. They could renew their guest worker visas twice, but would be required to leave for a year in between each time.
Democrats had pressed instead for guest workers to be permitted to stay and work indefinitely in the U.S.
In perhaps the most hotly debated change, the proposed plan would shift from an immigration system primarily weighted toward family ties toward one with preferences for people with advanced degrees and sophisticated skills. Republicans have long sought such revisions, which they say are needed to end “chain migration” that harms the economy, while some Democrats and liberal groups say it’s an unfair system that rips families apart.
Family connections alone would no longer be enough to qualify for a green card except for spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens.
New limits would apply to U.S. citizens seeking to bring foreign-born parents into the country.
“But not until we have a net migration of 15 to 30 million Mexicans and Salvadoreans.”
And Brazilians and Cape Verdeans and Venezeualans and Canadians and Scotts and Cubans...
I can count on my congressman (Tim Walberg) He was elected over an incumbant RINO and he had the endorsement of the Minuteman PAC.
U boat commander Ted gloating about his deal now.
So now quick legal status is the latest euphemism for amnesty. Is that AP's wordcraft, or is that what the Senators are using? It looks like the quotation marks are coming off "amnesty".
LOU DOBBS..we need you tonight! Get on this.
Arlen Specter is brain damaged..so are McCain/Kennedy. Someone check them out for Dementia.
LIARS!! It's amnesty!!!
I know a person who is spending thousands of dollars (Immigration will let an on-time application sit on a pile while the timeline expires, then tell the applicant that they have to reapply and PAY again) and waiting for months doing things the legal way — and the incentive is...?
What we need to do is become super-active in primaries. Throw out ALL the RINO b@$t@rd$ and replace them with true patriot conservatives. Goober Sen. Lindsey Graham for example.
This is all about Social Security.
“Heads of household would have to return to their home countries first.”
Why not the whole family? Too much impact on the manufacturing and roofing segment?
WHOS going to DEPORT all of the MILLIONS of illegal aliens who are NOT working and dont qualify for a work visa???
BUY stock in GRAYHOUND.
A migrant tries to cross into the U.S. from the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez, under the bridge that connects the border city with El Paso March 6, 2006. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators reached agreement on Thursday on an immigration reform bill that would legalize millions of illegal immigrants and establish a merit-based system for future migrants, lawmakers said. (Stringer/Reuters)
an immigration reform bill that would legalize millions of illegal immigrants and establish a merit-based system for future migrants
those proficient at climbing fences will be docked points in the merit-based system to make it more fair. :-)
Only 2% work in ag. The lowlife SCUM in washington!
Nice knowing you America. I will miss you.
Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, flanked by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 10,2007, after a conference to discuss immigration reform. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
I hope the BOrder Patrol is out today, because I don’t see why millions of Mexicans wouldn’t pour over the borders to get to be a part of this.
If Bush endorses this, he'll become the worst Republican president of all time in my opinion. Actually, he's already in the running even without this. If we make enough noise, maybe we can stop this, like the Harriet Miers appointment.
It’s AMNESTY, actually.