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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    May 2007

    Pols: Immigration bill 'offers real solutions'

    Pols: Immigration bill 'offers real solutions'

    By Karoun Demirjian
    Washington Bureau
    Published March 22, 2007, 7:56 PM CDT

    WASHINGTON -- Congress failed last year to enact a comprehensive immigration bill, but Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Thursday they would try again with a measure that would set guidelines for legalizing the status of many illegal immigrants while bolstering security at the U.S. borders.

    Gutierrez and Flake said their bill would make undocumented immigrants who were in the U.S. before June 1, 2006, eligible for legalization. Immigrants hoping to gain "conditional non-immigrant status" under the program would be required to pay a $500 fine, pass security and background checks and prove that they were actively employed before that date. After six years, immigrants who have learned English, have a crime-free record and pay an additional $1,500 plus application fees would be eligible to become permanent residents in the U.S.

    $500 fine? Maybe it's worth not paying taxes and paying this amount every other year for american citizens. Oh yeah, that's right, were not illegal aliens. Slap them on the patty. This is hogwash.

    "Rather than unfairly targeting Windex-wielding cleaning ladies, or wasting billions of dollars on failed strategies of the past, our bill offers real solutions to the challenges we face," Gutierrez said. "It deals directly with the undocumented who are living, working and contributing to a better, more dynamic America."

    In addition to an earned legalization program, Gutierrez and Flake's bill would create renewable visas for new immigrant workers, increase the size of the border patrol, establish stricter criminal penalties for evading border inspections and ease naturalization for non-citizens who serve in the armed forces.

    The lawmakers also proposed another measure that would allow up to 400,000 guest workers to enter the U.S. to fill jobs that American workers do not.

    Immigration reform has proved difficult for Congress, with conservatives pushing for stricter border enforcement, while liberals and some moderates have sought to enact measures that would lead to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country.

    Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.), one of the co-sponsors of the Gutierrez-Flake bill, called it "… good, common sense legislation that addresses border security and the millions of undocumented workers in our country."

    Despite the attempt at bipartisanship on the issue, the bill still stands to get ample criticism from conservatives advocating a more restrictive approach to immigration policy.

    "There's nothing new here, nothing novel," said John Keeley, a spokesman for the Center on Immigration Studies, a conservative think tank based in Washington. "It doesn't at its core, embrace the enforcement momentum that was achieved, particularly at the end of last year, on Capitol Hill."

    The last Congress approved a measure to build a 700-mile fence along the border with Mexico, but did not enact a Senate-approved bill on comprehensive immigration reform in the face of stiff opposition from House Republicans.

    The Gutierrez-Flake effort is similar to that espoused in the past by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), who sponsored last year's Senate measure. But any Kennedy-McCain cooperation this year could falter in the face of presidential politics, with some of McCain's GOP opponents in the race for the White House attacking his immigration stance. Kennedy is trying to have a bill on the Senate floor before summer.

    Spokesmen for Kennedy and McCain have said, however, that both senators remain committed to seeking a bipartisan immigration solution.

    "I'm hopeful that the House introduction [Thursday] will help spur the necessary negotiations in the Senate to help forge the right kind of compromise," Kennedy said. "Last year, we beat the odds in the Senate by passing a bipartisan immigration bill—and I'm confident we'll do so again in the coming weeks."

    Though President Bush has indicated support for a comprehensive immigration measure, passage of one will still be a challenge, as public attitudes vary widely on the issue. It promises to be a lightning rod for debate in the 2008 elections.

    "The most contentious part is what to do about the 11 to 12 million estimated undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.," said Audrey Singer, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. "Now the debate will begin again, and hopefully through that debate, we'll have something realistic by the end of the year." ... nworld-hed

  2. #2
    Senior Member CCUSA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    New Jersey
    Any fine they would pay they would receive back with the earned income tax credit!

    They won't feel any pain for breaking our laws if they have their way!

    Just more entitlements and freebies they don't deserve!!
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Though President Bush has indicated support for a comprehensive immigration measure, passage of one will still be a challenge, as public attitudes vary widely on the issue.
    Public attitudes vary on the issue? Not so much! 80% is not a lot of varying opinions!

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