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Archive for Friday, April 7, 2006

Senators join forces, compromise on immigration bill

April 7, 2006

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— Putting aside party differences, Senate Republicans and Democrats coalesced Thursday around compromise legislation that holds out the hope of citizenship to many of the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States unlawfully.

"We can no longer afford to delay reform," said Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in a statement that capped weeks of struggle to find common ground.

But delay soon set in as party leaders became embroiled in a procedural dispute that threatened prospects for passage by week's end, if not longer. Democrats blocked votes on Republican amendments, and Republicans responded by accusing Democrats of trying to scuttle a bill they had embraced earlier in the day.

President Bush said he was pleased with the announced compromise, and urged the Senate to pass legislation by week's end.

Officials described a complex series of provisions, including:

¢ Illegal immigrants who have been in the country for at least five years could receive legal status after meeting several conditions, including payment of a $2,000 fine and any back taxes, clearing a background check and learning English. After six more years, they could apply for permanent residency without leaving the United States. They could seek citizenship five years later.

¢ Illegal immigrants in the country for between two and five years could obtain a temporary work visa after reporting to a border point of entry.

¢ Illegal immigrants in the United States for less than two years would be required to leave the country and apply for re-entry alongside anyone else seeking to emigrate.

Comments

ljreader 8 years ago

Unenforceable plan. What proof do most of these people have for how long they have (or haven't ) been here? Those who have been here under 2 yrs are unlikely to step forward. Same for those who have been here 2-5 years. On the flip side, many who have been here over 5 yrs may not be able to prove it if they have no pay stubs, lived within a large group with utilities, leases in another group members name, etc. The only real documentation many will have is how long they have been receiving social services. Are we going to depend upon their employers to verify how long they have been here, when they hired them illegally? How do you prove how much back tax a person owes if they worked "under the table" for cash? How can a background check be done when we really can't even be sure of a person's real identity? What happens after 11 years to those who do not meet the conditions laid out? Same ol same ol- By then, they will have produced many offspring- Can't break up families, yadda yadda-This is nothing more than a complicated version of amnesty.

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