".... I have worked tirelessly with my fellow Senators and both the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security...."


KILL THE BILL ! again.

Here is my letter.. so the faxes do get thru... (They don't read our thoughts on the subject it appears.. but they do get thru...)

Dear Mr. Dwyer :

Thank you for contacting my office regarding immigration. Our immigration system is broken and must be reformed. As the Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 110 th Congress, I have worked tirelessly with my fellow Senators and both the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a "grand compromise" on the subject of comprehensive immigration reform. This compromise will ensure that our borders are secure while providing practical solutions regarding the millions of undocumented immigrants that already reside within the United States .

This legislation makes border security a top priority by providing for 18,000 border patrol agents and requiring 370 miles of new fencing along the border. It will also provide for the resources to detain up to 27,500 aliens per day on an annual basis, effectively ending the old "catch and release" program. Importantly, this bill requires that all of these "triggers" designed to secure our borders be implemented before we begin any other step in this comprehensive legislation. The legislation also mandates the development of an effective electronic employment verification system, which will ensure that employers are able to verify the legal status of those they consider hiring.

In addition to the strong approach this bill will take towards border security, it also includes a firm but reasonable approach towards those individuals who are here illegally. Currently, there are more than 12 million people living in the United States without proper documentation. This legislation requires undocumented immigrants to go on "probationary" status and to go through extensive background checks. Once an individual has passed the necessary security checks, paid substantial fines and demonstrated proficiency in English, the individual may "earn" a right to remain in the United States . In order for an individual to be eligible to earn the right, the individual must return to their home country and apply through a consulate or an embassy. By requiring immigrants to earn their right to permanent legal status, this bill provides a reasonable solution to the country's immigration problems that is both tough and fair.

It is also very important for our economy that we create an effective temporary worker program that allows an employer to find a temporary worker when no willing US worker can be found. Those desiring temporary employment in the United States would be issued a "Y" visa, which would be good for two years. The migrant worker would be required to return to his or her home country for a period of one year before they are allowed to return back to the United States .

Another important aspect of this bill is the creation of a merit based system for allocating green cards. This new system will focus on attracting the immigrants who will make the biggest contribution to our society. The system is designed to reward those who demonstrate a proficiency in English, have received higher forms of education and other training, and have employment opportunities in the United States . Not only will this practice strengthen the economy of the United States , but it will also end the practice of "chain migration," a practice that allows people to immigrate simply by virtue of being related to those who are already here legally.

Again, I thank you for contacting my office. Although the bill has suffered recent setbacks, I am pleased that leaders on both sides of the aisle are determined to produce a viable immigration bill. I believe we will return to this matter shortly and produce a comprehensive bill. I will keep in mind your input as we continue to debate immigration. If you have any additional questions on this or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact my office or visit my website at www.specter.senate.gov .


Arlen Specter