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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    FL - Webster endorses immigration reform — with preconditions

    By Mark K. Matthews, Washington Bureau

    August 4, 2013

    WASHINGTON — On the same day Congress adjourned for a five-week break, U.S. Rep. Dan Webster did something he's avoided for months: speak at length about immigration reform and declare his support for an approach that would give unauthorized immigrants a pathway to citizenship.

    The surprise announcement, made Friday in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, comes just as immigration-reform groups were preparing to pressure the Winter Garden lawmaker during the August recess, as Webster is considered one of the few "swing" House Republicans on the issue.

    His support for citizenship, however, comes with several preconditions, and how they are received by activists and other lawmakers could foretell whether immigration reform has a chance in this Congress.

    "We're a nation of immigrants, there's no question about that. But we're also a nation of laws," said Webster in a 36-minute interview. "I think we have to honor both of those."

    The first step is border security, he said.

    Before U.S. authorities begin the process of legalizing the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants — including nearly 900,000 in Florida — security officials must stop at least 90 percent of those trying to enter the country illegally, Webster said. An independent watchdog, such as the Government Accountability Office, would be in charge of ensuring the benchmark had been reached.

    Webster also wants all job applicants to be screened for immigration status through a system such as E-Verify. Individuals who have waited years to immigrate legally also should be given priority, he said.

    Variations of all three of these measures are included in the reform bill — co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. — that passed the Senate in June.

    But Webster's final suggestion could cause major heartburn for reform advocates. He wants to empower state and local authorities to help enforce the new immigration law — an issue that has been contentious in several states.

    Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law that allows police to check immigration status — with certain conditions — while striking down efforts by other states to crack down on unauthorized immigrants.

    When asked to explain the scope of his proposal, Webster provided few details, other than to say that more bodies were needed to ensure enforcement.

    "I support them [local law enforcement] being part of the team that enforces whatever new laws dealing with immigration [that] we pass," he said.

    However controversial, the suggestions outlined by Webster are critical to the future of the immigration bill, which has stalled in the House as opponents have denounced one of its central planks: a 13-year path to citizenship.

    To jump-start debate, supporters have looked to the August recess as a time to put pressure on House Republicans, including Webster, they think could support reform. The second-term congressman was identified weeks ago by top Democrats as one of 23 "persuadable" House Republicans.

    Advocates are looking to pressure Webster at public meetings with constituents during the break — he has at least three planned, in Clermont, Bartow and Polk City — and one group, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, is launching a petition drive in his district, which includes western Orange, much of Lake and northeast Polk counties.

    "We sincerely believe Congressman Webster wants — and will do — the moral, right and smart thing," said Maria Rodriguez, executive director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

    Though she disagreed with some of Webster's conditions, especially the idea of using local enforcement to enforce immigration laws, she said she was glad to hear that he was open to the idea of a path to citizenship.

    "We welcome it," she said.

    Reaction was less enthusiastic in the "anti-amnesty" crowd.

    "I don't know what's wrong with these politicians. I'm very discouraged," said Jack Oliver of the group Floridians for Immigration Enforcement.

    Though he said he appreciated Webster's focus on enforcement, he warned that hasty efforts to provide a path to citizenship could have political consequences. As an example, he cited the criticism levied against Rubio by some conservatives for his role in passing immigration reform in the Senate.

    "If Dan Webster wants to jump into the frying pan with [Rubio] and get burnt, then that's his decision," Oliver said.,486433.story
    Last edited by imblest; 09-22-2013 at 10:25 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2012
    I did not read all of this article, there is no need to. Another gutless Republican. This is why the Republican Party is going to die. This is why if we can not beat them in a primary we stay home or if you can do it without vomiting, vote for the Democrap. Purge every last RINO no matter what it takes to get them out. Only when the RINOs are decimated will conservatives have any chance to make the Republican Party an alternative to the Marxists' control of both parties.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2012
    Me again: the key to ending the illegal alien invasion is --ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS MUST GO HOME. Anything else is meaningless. If they do not leave then they stay here and that is amnesty. Requiring illegal aliens to leave is the keystone of any real effort to end the illegal alien invasion. Remove it (requirement for illegals to leave) and everything else falls down. No and, ifs, buts no ambiguity-- illegals go home or be thrown out, after we fine you out of every dime you may have.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    O.k. me once again: People you know what to do. Call up his local offices (because he is now in recess, at home) and make him wish that he had lost the election. Tell him no citizenship not in the future, not ever. Illegals must go home.

    Call his local offices: Winter Gardens 407 654 5705 / Tavares 352 383 3552 / Clermont, same as Tavares / Winter Haven 863 453 0273

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