Skip to comments.Senators Work to Revive Immigration Bill
Posted on 06/14/2007 7:14:46 AM PDT by Cat loving Texan
Senators Work to Revive Immigration Bill
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON Key Republican and Democratic senators are reaching for a deal to resurrect their stalled immigration compromise by requiring that some $4 billion be spent on border security and workplace enforcement.
The mandatory security funding is part of a plan to attract more Republican support for the measure, which grants legal status to millions of unlawful immigrants.
In private meetings Wednesday, the bipartisan group that crafted the delicate compromise was hammering out a plan to allow votes on a limited set of Republican- and Democratic-sought changes in exchange for a commitment from GOP holdouts that they will back moving ahead with the bill.
Republican architects of the measure, which grants legal status to millions of unlawful immigrants, expressed confidence that such an agreement was possible as early as Thursday.
"The list is there," said Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., adding that GOP senators were ready to present their plan to Senate leaders.
With the tentative package, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "should have what he needs to move forward," said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. "This is just to let him know that it can be done."
Reid has said he would revive the measure if at least 20 more Republicans commit to moving ahead with the broad immigration bill. It stalled last week when only seven GOP senators supported a Democratic bid to limit debate and expedite a final vote.
Reid expressed optimism that negotiators would strike a deal that could pave the way.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the lead Democratic negotiator, said he supported the bid to provide mandatory funding for border security and enforcement.
"You give the assurance that when this is signed, that there are going to be the resources to do the kind of security protections that are in this legislation," Kennedy said.
Under the proposal by Kyl and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., border security and workplace enforcement would be funded up front, and eventually covered by the fines and fees set out in the broader immigration bill.
"Everybody's trying to prove that they are willing and able to enforce the law this time, unlike 1986," Kyl said, referring to the last major immigration overhaul, which established a one-year amnesty program for illegal immigrants who had been in the U.S. at least four years.
"What better way to demonstrate that other than to say, 'We're not going to let congressional appropriations dictate this we are going to put the money up front,'" Kyl said.
As part of the tentative deal, the Senate would vote on a proposal by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, to require all illegal immigrant household heads to return to their countries of origin before obtaining legal status, Graham said. Under the legislation, only those seeking green cards permanent legal residency would be required to return home first.
Negotiators spent hours Wednesday huddled in meetings or on the phone. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who with Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez helped craft the bill in a series of intense and secretive talks earlier this year, was again on hand to help broker a deal.
"There's no question it's an uphill battle," Kennedy said. "It's difficult but not impossible."
A day after Bush went to Capitol Hill to field criticism from Republicans who derailed the bill, the White House said it would be open to changes to the delicate bipartisan compromise. Architects have argued their so-called "grand bargain" could collapse under the weight of poison-pill amendments.
"You may have a carefully crafted compromise, but on the other hand, you have members of both parties who want to have their say and have their input," White House press secretary Tony Snow said.
Snow also signaled support for the idea of pumping additional money into border security, which he said was worth pursuing, and played down the bitter divisions among Republicans on the issue. "This is not an internal 'fight,'" he said, and added that Bush "considers fellow Republicans friends and colleagues."
Republicans have coalesced behind the idea of assuring a funding stream for border security and workplace enforcement. Georgia Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson want a separate emergency spending bill that could total as much as $15 billion to pay for such measures.
Additional funds for border and workplace crackdowns could persuade the Georgians to back the effort to resurrect the immigration bill, Chambliss said.
"We're thinking about it," he told reporters.
June 14, 2007 - 2:09 a.m. CDT Copyright 2007, The Associated Press.
Revive is a good word.....it is dead!
This bill is like The Undead. KEEP THE HEAT ON!!
Sons of b*tches, every one.
Then when our attention is elswhere, Viola, the Amnesty Bill has already passed. Then a quick adjourment and the whole Senate is out for the 4th before we know what happened.
I say again “WE DON’T NEED NEW LAWS”.....enforce the ones we have. These guys are just playing politics and our people will suffer for it.
How many billions have been spent since the failed 1986 bill, and our borders are not secure? We already have seen the 700 mile fence shrink to 300 miles since last year’s Senate bill was passed. Is Kay Bailey Hutchison’s bill going to deport families whose heads do not return to their homelands? Of course not. Trent Lott has already assured his Mississippi farmers and chicken plants that all enforcement amendments will be stripped out of the bill in conference, so this enforcement sham means absolutely nothing.
Keep the heat on your Republican senators. Don’t allow them to think you are fooled by their rhetoric.
In the category of appearances, maybe this could become a conservative bill. If Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s amendment passed and all Z Visa applicants have to be deported first, and 4 billion for border security is spent and implemented AND there is a 5 year delay between those two events and then the subsequent start of other features of the bill . . . then this is a conservative bill.
It would mean deportation before Z Visa, it would mean a sealed border and workplace enforcement, and 5 yrs is too long for illegals without jobs to hang around. They would have to self deport.
This is actually moving in a conservative direction.
Those that vote for it..need to know they just lost their jobs.
I can’t imagine this bill doing anything claimed for it:
1. Illegals will be come legal upon signing. They will, just, not have applied yet or for that matter crossed the border.
2. There will no longer be cheap labor, they have all rights to minimum wage, etc.
3. There will be no border security, what’s the point.
4. I don’t, necessarily, accept the notion the the illegals will vote Bolshecrat, to be that dumb you have to be an American lib.
From that post:
In other words, if the bill gets through the Senate and the House, the Democrats and the open borders Republicans will work together when the bills have to be reconciled in committee to strip out any amendments that the "grand bargainers" don't like. Therefore, at this point, it doesn't matter what amendments pass, because any tough enforcement provisions that slip through will be rendered toothless when the bills are reconciled.
1. Don't know who to fax? Here is a list of GOP Senators being targeted by the pro-amnesty crowd to flip.
2. Need a fax number? Go to http://www.grassfire.org/19042/targets.htm (Ignore the prices, you are just after the fax numbers).
3. Fax for free from the Web. Put your message in the text box. Go to http://faxzero.com/
That's it. You're done.
You can also email them from a webform here. This site also has their office phone numbers.
Give me a break. Transparent idiocy and smoke screen.
Four billion of our tax bucks going right down the drain.
The ONLY thing this Bill is going to do once it's passed and signed into law is to give legal status to anyone (and all their relatives) who can get here and apply so they can avail themselves of our treasury which will need constant re-filling with more and more of your tax $.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.