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  1. #1
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    Pressure mounts for action on immigration laws ... tion_laws/

    Pressure mounts for action on immigration laws
    By Donna Smith | January 21, 2007

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An unlikely mix of Hispanics, farmers and high-tech businesses has stepped up pressure on Congress to overhaul U.S. immigration laws, boosting prospects for a bill that would allow more foreign workers into the country.

    Last year, the Republican-led House of Representatives derailed an immigration bill because it would have given a path to citizenship for those who entered the country illegally.

    But supporters say chances are good that the new, Democratic-led Congress will pass some form of immigration bill. President George W. Bush is likely to renew his call for broad immigration legislation, including a guest worker program, in his State of the Union address this week.

    "I think prospects are good," said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin of Illinois.

    Pressure to allow in more workers has been mounting since Congress passed a law in September to fund hundreds of miles of new fences along the border with Mexico and a series of raids against illegal workers last month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    On January 8, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Hispanic Federation asked Democratic leaders to take action on immigration within 100 days, saying the raids "stirred further emotion and fear" in the Hispanic communities.

    Swift and Co., whose meatpacking plant was raided on December 12, said this month that the raid could cost the company as much as $30 million.

    And farm groups said farmers faced millions of dollars in losses this year if a crackdown against illegal immigration continues without a balancing program to bring in workers legally.

    "There is a sense of urgency here," said Sen. Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican who, along with California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, introduced a bill that would create a special program for illegal farm workers to adjust their status.

    U.S. companies are also clamoring for more H1B visas to allow foreign software engineers and other skilled workers into the country.

    The 65,000 visas allotted for 2007 were taken by the end of May last year, months before the end of the fiscal year in September, said Jack Krumholtz, the head of Microsoft Corp.'s government affairs office. It is also difficult to get permanent U.S. residency for foreign workers who would like to stay, he said.

    "This is becoming for high-tech companies a huge retention issue," Krumholtz said. "We will start to see highly valued tech employees emigrate back to their home countries."


    Last year, a bill passed the Senate that would have provided more visas for highly skilled workers, combined tougher border enforcement measures with a guest worker program, and given millions of illegal immigrants a chance to earn U.S. citizenship.

    But the bill was never considered by the House, where a solid group of Republicans opposed it, calling it an amnesty for people who broke U.S. law.

    Instead the House passed enforcement-only legislation that further criminalized illegal presence in the United States and tried to make tough immigration enforcement an issue in the 2006 congressional elections.

    Since then, some of the more outspoken opponents of the measure, including Republican Rep. John Hostettler of Indiana and Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona, lost their seats in midterm elections on November 11.

    But Rep. Thomas Tancredo, a Colorado Republican who led the fight against the Senate bill last year and who is exploring his chances as a potential presidential candidate, says he will push to block any similar comprehensive bill this year.

    House Republican leaders, mindful of the deep split in their party over immigration, say they see a chance for broad legislation, but it will need to put tough border enforcement measures in place before any guest worker program or other plans for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.

    "There is a path to a bipartisan solution and I think that there are a lot of informal bipartisan discussions going on to try to strike that balance," said Florida Rep. Adam Putnam, a member of the House Republican leadership.

    Proponents of a comprehensive bill, though confident of passage, still expect new battles, including whether illegal immigrants should have the chance to earn citizenship.

    House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri said he would not support a bill that offered citizenship for those who entered the country illegally. But Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who is heading the House Judiciary panel on immigration, believes differences can be worked out.

    "If we stop yelling at each other and just calmly and methodically work through the issues... we'll come up with a practical bill that will work and will last," Lofgren said.

  2. #2
    Senior Member redbadger's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    The United States Of Invasion
    And farm groups said farmers faced millions of dollars in losses this year if a crackdown against illegal immigration continues without a balancing program to bring in workers legally.

    Flat out lie
    Never look at another flag. Remember, that behind Government, there is your country, and that you belong to her as you do belong to your own mother. Stand by her as you would stand by your own mother

  3. #3
    Senior Member edstate's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Absolutely right redbadger: as it says right there in my sig, just because you're used to something (ie, artificially large profits) doesn't mean you're entitled to them.

    Is is just me, or does there seem to be an extra-strong current of "entitlement" in this country lately? I'm thinking of calling it the "Paris Hilton effect"... but everyone from businesses to individuals actually believe that they're due a certain level of comfort and status. Ie cheap gas, ever-rising home prices, cheap slave labor, etc. And normal things like laws, weather economic cycles be damned.

    What's going on?!?!
    Just because you're used to something doesn't make it right.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bowman's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    North Mexico aka Aztlan
    Quote Originally Posted by edstate
    I'm thinking of calling it the "Paris Hilton effect"...
    That's a great line!! I wonder how much of her income comes from hiring illegal aliens at her hotels? I am sure it is a significant amount.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  5. #5
    duece212's Avatar
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    Jan 1970
    I just about threw up when I read this article on yahoo news. This request for "immigration reform" would sell out middle class workers with more H1B the greedy few can continue to grow fatter.

    When all these middle class workers are out of a job and looking, there will be no tech jobs for an American. The willing American will then look for a lower/middle class labor job or look into starting into a trade position. Unfortunately this "immigration reform" will deny the American the chance at labor or trade work as well because we will be flooded by amnestized illegal labor.

    So called "immigration reform" possible by Dems and Bush could be absolutely devestating for a majority of Americans. I'm tired of the phrase "comprehensive immigration reform" being used to cover up the sinister ambitions of big business and their supporting legislators. The lies need to stop, it needs to be referred to as what it is, "the sellout of average America for the benefit of the rich few."

  6. #6
    Senior Member SOSADFORUS's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    We need a big march and I mean like the million man march and fast, its the only way, if they don't see it with their own eyes they are not going to listen. I wish the minutemen had made their's sooner than June and thats also a graduation month in a lot of states, not good!!
    Please support ALIPAC's fight to save American Jobs & Lives from illegal immigration by joining our free Activists E-Mail Alerts (CLICK HERE)

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