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Immigration Moves Eyed; House Democrats Ponder an Election-Year Bill (Amnesty)
Lexis Nexis News ^ | February 11, 2008 Monday | Steven T. Dennis, ROLL CALL STAFF

Posted on 02/14/2008 12:54:39 PM PST by Yosemitest

Immigration Moves Eyed;
House Democrats Ponder an Election-Year Bill

Steven T. Dennis, ROLL CALL STAFF

House Democrats are crafting scaled-down immigration reform legislation despite the political minefields that surround the issue, with Hispanic Members seeking five-year visas for illegal immigrants who pay fines and pass criminal background checks.

Immigration reform had been left for dead after last year's Senate train wreck, but pressures for at least stopgap immigration legislation have bubbled up within the Democratic Caucus.

It's unclear if the behind-the-scenes discussions will actually result in a bill coming to the floor, but Democrats say drafts of legislation already have been written and are being vetted behind the scenes.

"There is the formation of a consensus," said Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who said he's seen a draft bill. "We're looking at some kind of a compromise. It's still comprehensive in nature but not to the extent we would like."

Baca said the prospects for a compromise package were discussed in high-level meetings Wednesday that included Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), who chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law. Baca said the emerging legislation did not have the broader reforms included in last year's failed Senate immigration overhaul or in earlier measures backed by Hispanics, such as the DREAM Act.

But Baca said the key piece for Hispanics is a five-year visa for illegal immigrants who can prove they have a job. The visa is well short of past bills that would grant permanent legal status, which critics decried as "amnesty."

"There is no path towards citizenship," Baca said. "There are still fines and criminal background checks and you have to pay back taxes. This is what the taxpayers want."

Baca said Democrats still are trying to work out exactly how the new visas would work or be enforced.

Baca said there also would be an expansion of visas for technical, temporary and agricultural workers - measures strongly backed by businesses and many Republicans.

But whether House leaders will actually put immigration on the floor with such a controversial provision as visas for illegal immigrants in an election year remains an open question.

Just last month at a Jan. 25 press conference, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) predicted nothing would happen this year on immigration, blaming the president for failing to get enough Republican support last year.

Reid said at a National Press Club event with Pelosi. "We have the presidential election, we have a number of very important House and Senate races, and our time is really squeezed."

Pelosi also sounded a pessimistic note at the press conference.

Emanuel said Thursday at a press conference that House Democrats are looking to address both the issues of legal and illegal immigration without waiting on the Senate, although he did not discuss specifics.

"There are things that are happening in our respective communities and districts around the country and businesses that we have to address and we can't wait for the Senate," he said.

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) said Republican support will be key. "We think there's a bipartisan desire to do something on immigration that deals with our sovereign right to regulate our borders, to deal with the workplace, and to deal with the 10 million to 12 million people who are here, many of whom don't deserve to stay, many of whom have earned a chance, if we require them to learn English and abide by all of our laws. But we have to have some bipartisan support."

Lofgren confirmed Thursday that she is in negotiations over new legislation, but she declined to discuss the details of the new bill, other than to say, "It's not comprehensive immigration reform." Lofgren added that she is reaching out to Republicans on the issue and hopes to reach a compromise.

Hispanics have resisted expanding visas sought by businesses unless broader immigration issues are addressed.

The immigration issue also could be affected by the emergence of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) as the Republican frontrunner for president, given his support for last year's failed immigration deal. That appeared to offer just a sliver of daylight to the issue.

A re-emergence of immigration in the coming months would put McCain in a politically awkward position, as he has been seeking to repair ties to conservatives who despise his past support for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and yet he will be looking ahead to a general election in which the Hispanic vote could prove critical.

"It depends on which John McCain steps forward," Becerra said of whether McCain's emergence will help move the issue.

Pelosi's office also highlighted the bipartisan angle.

"The Democratic Caucus is continuing to discuss a wide variety of immigration issues, but long-term immigration reform must be comprehensive and bipartisan," said Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami.

But even Republicans who have backed past bipartisan reform efforts are not optimistic anything will happen this election year. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), the co-author of comprehensive legislation backed by Hispanics last year, said he doesn't see anything happening beyond some tweaking of the level of work visas until the next Congress.

A House GOP leadership aide also dismissed the idea that such legislation would move.

Even if Democratic leaders wanted to ignore the issue wholesale until after the elections, they may not be able to, given the pressure bubbling up within the party. In addition to Hispanics, leaders face pressure from more conservative Democrats who back a package of enforcement measures sponsored by Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).

"A lot of Members in more conservative districts want to be able to cast a vote they can run on," said Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.), who supports the Shuler legislation. But, Davis asserted, action on that measure should not preclude other legislation from moving ahead.

Democratic leaders could conceivably face a discharge petition on the issue, although any enforcement-only measure would be sure to invite a revolt by Hispanics.

Baca said the legislation under consideration could have some enforcement measures, adding that too much could bog it down.



TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: aliens; amnesty; bleedusdry; democrats; earnedincomecredit; immigrantlist; immigration; raidthetreasury; rush; taxes; vampirebill; vampirecandidate; visa
I guess the cost of baby sitters, house cleaners, gardners, and hired vehicle drivers ... is getting too expensive.
1 posted on 02/14/2008 12:54:43 PM PST by Yosemitest
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To: Yosemitest

McAmnesty has derailed Hillary in Tejas.


2 posted on 02/14/2008 12:57:03 PM PST by TexasCajun
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To: Yosemitest

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1970388/posts


3 posted on 02/14/2008 1:00:31 PM PST by BGHater ($2300 is the limit of your Free Speech.)
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To: Yosemitest

Regardless of who wins we’ll have to beat them back one more time. I suspect they will “try” something to appear strong on the border a few weeks before the election just like the fence they never intended to build.


4 posted on 02/14/2008 1:02:59 PM PST by cripplecreek (Just call me M.O.M. (Maverick Opposed to McCain.))
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To: Yosemitest

One thing is certain... If it doesn’t pass this year, it will pass next year, and whoever is President will sign it.


5 posted on 02/14/2008 1:03:18 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: Yosemitest
This week for Congress
1) keep America from listening in on the enemy
2) turn over a portion of tax collecting to the UN
3) sale of jdams to saudi 4) amnesty

This is what our congress has being doing this week

No wonder our enemies are wearing smiles.

6 posted on 02/14/2008 1:04:30 PM PST by From One - Many (Trust the Old Media At Your Own Risk.)
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To: Yosemitest

Jorge Jr. would sign.
Illegals, including many muslims, will celebrate.
Stick a fork in us.


7 posted on 02/14/2008 1:04:50 PM PST by Dagnabitt (Hate the USA? Love the whole Amerexico idea? Elect McCain-Clinton-Obama!)
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To: All
Sorry for the top ... proxey error.


8 posted on 02/14/2008 1:05:20 PM PST by Yosemitest (It's simple, fight or die.)
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To: editor

Please highlight this under “Breaking News”


9 posted on 02/14/2008 1:10:59 PM PST by Yosemitest (It's simple, fight or die.)
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To: Yosemitest
oh one other thing congress did this week....
Hearings on ballplayers....???
How bad do you want to lose your nation?
or a better idea for the candidates running for president and congress.
Vote for me, I'll destroy America, and make our enemies proud!

At least that would be the truth.

10 posted on 02/14/2008 1:17:05 PM PST by From One - Many (Trust the Old Media At Your Own Risk.)
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To: editor

Please remove this post.


11 posted on 02/14/2008 1:37:58 PM PST by Yosemitest (It's simple, fight or die.)
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To: Yosemitest

I heard Rush talk about this sneek attack. Five years amnesty with card. For all you McNutCase supporters, ask your guy if he supports this bill.


12 posted on 02/14/2008 1:39:35 PM PST by devane617 (I WILL VOTE AGAINST JOHN MCCAIN !!!!!)
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To: devane617
Please continue on AMNESTY *** It's Back: House Democrats Ponder an Election-Year Bill
13 posted on 02/14/2008 1:41:08 PM PST by Yosemitest (It's simple, fight or die.)
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To: Yosemitest

Thank you Democrats foe reminding why we thing you are all pieces of crap.


14 posted on 02/14/2008 1:58:15 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Democrat Happens!)
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To: cripplecreek

You can expect a tidal wave of illegals trying to enter the country in the upcoming weeks and months in anticipation of an amnesty now that it is known that all three of the remaining candidates—McCain, Obama, and Hillary—favor amnesty. And the border is far from being secured.


15 posted on 02/14/2008 2:01:51 PM PST by kabar
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To: Yosemitest
Since 80% of Americans want illegal immigration stopped,
Nancy, Harry and company will produce a piece of proposed legislation prior to elections.
A show piece that is, without intentions or actions to stop this source of future Dem voters, regardless of the will of those 80% of Americans that want illegal immigration stopped.
16 posted on 02/14/2008 3:01:21 PM PST by hermgem (Will Olmr)
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To: Yosemitest

The Democrats are trying to secure the Hispanic vote for themselves. Republicans must come out strongly for an even better bill and have it signed by President Bush so that Hispanics can see which party really looks after their best interests.


17 posted on 02/15/2008 11:57:55 AM PST by End Times Crusader (The Ann Coulter Suicide Voters Brigade - Electing Democrats because they don't get their way. JIHAD!)
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To: End Times Crusader
Republicans must come out strongly for an even better bill and have it signed by President Bush so that Hispanics can see which party really looks after their best interests.

Sort of like the Republican party has the Black vote sewn up in response to ending slavery?

18 posted on 02/15/2008 12:04:45 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: End Times Crusader

You sound like a McCain supporter.


19 posted on 02/15/2008 12:06:07 PM PST by kabar
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To: kabar; End Times Crusader

He supports anyone who will throw the borders wide-open and hand out free goodies to all.


20 posted on 02/15/2008 12:07:54 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Yosemitest
I want to know what Duncan Hunter, Jim Gilchrist, Mike Huckabee and John McCain think of this???

..

sw

21 posted on 02/15/2008 12:10:01 PM PST by spectre (spectre's wife)
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To: Yosemitest

Well, now that McCain seems to be the inevitable “Republican” candidate,
we might as well get used to the idea that the US Treasury will be
drained by the AMNESTIED illegals when they come forth for their
Social Security Benefits and back-year Earned Income Tax Credits.

So much for LAW-ABIDING folks having a nice retirement...
they are going to be bled dry by paying for freebies for illegals that
“earned income” by being identity thieves.

I think I’ll go buy a few examples of the cheapest dog food...
so I can get used to what my retirement will taste like in a McCain/Obama world.


22 posted on 02/15/2008 12:38:05 PM PST by VOA
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To: Yosemitest

23 posted on 02/15/2008 12:44:37 PM PST by Califreak (Hangin' with Hunter-under the bus "Dread and Circuses")
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To: Yosemitest

>Reid said at a National Press Club event with Pelosi. “We have the presidential election, we have a number of very important House and Senate races, and our time is really squeezed.”<

Import the voters who will cast the votes Americans WON’T!


24 posted on 02/15/2008 12:47:27 PM PST by Califreak (Hangin' with Hunter-under the bus "Dread and Circuses")
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To: End Times Crusader
The Democrats are trying to secure the Hispanic vote for themselves.

They already have the Hispanic vote. Hispanics voted for Carter over Ford (1976), Carter & Mondale over Reagan (1980 & 1984), Dukakis & Clinton over Bush I (1988 & 1992), Clinton over Dole (1996), Gore & Kerry over Bush II (2000 & 2004). And they'll vote for either Obama or Hillary over your idol McCain this year.

Republicans must come out strongly for an even better bill and have it signed by President Bush so that Hispanics can see which party really looks after their best interests.

Any racial group that looks to politicians to "look out for their interests" isn't going to vote Republican.

25 posted on 02/15/2008 1:40:44 PM PST by puroresu (Enjoy ASIAN CINEMA? See my Freeper page for recommendations (updated!).)
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To: puroresu
Any racial group that looks to politicians to "look out for their interests" isn't going to vote Republican.

True for blacks, Jews, and Mexicans. Not true for Cubans and Mormons (not a racial group like the others, but a "cultural" group nonetheless).

The GOP wants to get 35-50% of the Hispanic vote. They have long given up on the blacks (who gave 90% of their vote to Kerry and Gore).

26 posted on 02/15/2008 1:44:46 PM PST by Clemenza (Ronald Reagan was a "Free Traitor", Like Me ;-))
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To: Clemenza
Good points. But I think we've hit a high water mark for the Hispanic vote in the GOP. When we see Republicans occasionally getting 35% or 40% of the Hispanic vote, we must remember that that includes those Hispanics who are largely white: Cubans, and some Hispanics in the Southwest whose ancestry in America goes back several generations. They're as prone to vote Republican as Anglo whites, perhaps even more so in the case of the Cubans.

But those aren't the people sneaking across the border into our nation. The white populations in Latin American nations are the upper classes and they have no reason to leave their native land. They might vote Republican if they were here, but they aren't. They're in Venezuela, for example, voting against Chavez. The people sneaking into our nation are largely Mestizos, people of aboriginal ancestry who are the type of voters who elect people like Chavez, Ortega, and Mexico's leftist parties.

In addition, white Hispanics don't have half a dozen kids. They have the same low birth rate as whites of English or Dutch or German ancestry, from what I can tell.

In other words, it may be possible for the current Latino population of the U.S. to vote 40% Republican, but once we start down the road of amnesty, we'll be flooding the polls with millions and millions of new Hispanic voters who will almost all be non-white Mestizos who will vote probably no more than 20% Republican, and their millions of children will turn voting age in a few election cycles and vote Democrat as well.

27 posted on 02/15/2008 2:43:05 PM PST by puroresu (Enjoy ASIAN CINEMA? See my Freeper page for recommendations (updated!).)
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To: Yosemitest
Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is a DAMN LIER. He is quoted as stating: "There is no path towards citizenship," Baca said. "There are still fines and criminal background checks and you have to pay back taxes. This is what the taxpayers want."

This is a five year visa. Well take a little look at what happens at the five year mark.

Eligibility for U.S. Citizenship
"Be a permanent resident for not less than five years. (If a person obtained permanent residence through marriage to a U.S. citizen, they may be eligible for naturalization in three years if the couple has been married for 3 years, if the spouse was a citizen during that entire period, and if the couple are still living in marital unity);

So anytime you hear the traitors pushing "immigration reform" and it has five years in it that is AMNESTY. http://www.expertlaw.com/library/immigration/naturalization.html

And just when you thought that getting their azz handed to them five times in a row on amnesty would be enough for even the dumbest democrat to get a clue here comes one that takes the cake...

Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.),
Democratic leaders could conceivably face a discharge petition on the issue, although any enforcement-only measure would be sure to invite a revolt by Hispanics.

Baca said the legislation under consideration could have some enforcement measures, adding that too much could bog it down.

Some enforcement MIGHT be ok with the mexicans? Ok, let's only have one enforcement GET OUT.

28 posted on 02/16/2008 6:06:59 AM PST by TLI ( ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA)
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