Bush's new plan for citizenship

Discussion in 'Politics' started by gb93433, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    NY Times

    The New York Times

    March 28, 2006
    Bill to Broaden Immigration Law Gains in Senate
    By RACHEL L. SWARNS

    WASHINGTON, March 27 — With Republicans deeply divided, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Monday to legalize the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants and ultimately to grant them citizenship, provided that they hold jobs, pass criminal background checks, learn English and pay fines and back taxes.

    The panel also voted to create a vast temporary worker program that would allow roughly 400,000 foreigners to come to the United States to work each year and would put them on a path to citizenship as well.

    The legislation, which the committee sent to the full Senate on a 12-to-6 vote, represents the most sweeping effort by Congress in decades to grant legal status to illegal immigrants. If passed, it would create the largest guest worker program since the bracero program brought 4.6 million Mexican agricultural workers into the country between 1942 and 1960.

    Any legislation that passes the Senate will have to be reconciled with the tough border security bill passed in December by the Republican-controlled House, which defied President Bush's call for a temporary worker plan.

    The Senate panel's plan, which also includes provisions to strengthen border security, was quickly hailed by Democrats, a handful of Republicans and business leaders, as well as by the immigrant advocacy organizations and church groups that have sent tens of thousands of supporters of immigrant rights into the streets of a number of cities to push for such legislation in recent days.

    But even as hundreds of religious leaders and others rallied on the grounds of the Capitol on Monday, chanting "Let our people stay!," the plan was fiercely attacked by conservative Republicans who called it nothing more than an offer of amnesty for lawbreakers. It remained unclear Monday night whether Senator Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, would allow the bill to go for a vote this week on the floor or would substitute his own bill, which focuses on border security. His aides have said that Mr. Frist, who has said he wants a vote on immigration this week, would be reluctant to move forward with legislation that did not have the backing of a majority of the Republicans on the committee.

    Only 4 of the 10 Republicans on the committee supported the bill. They were the committee chairman, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Sam Brownback of Kansas. All eight Democrats on the committee voted in favor of the legislation.

    The rift among Republicans on the committee reflects the deep divisions in the party as business groups push to legalize their workers and conservatives battle to stem the tide of illegal immigration. Mr. Specter acknowledged the difficulties ahead, saying, "We are making the best of a difficult situation." But he said he believed that the legislation would ultimately pass the Senate and would encourage the millions of illegal immigrants to come out of the shadows.

    "We do not want to create a fugitive class in America," Mr. Specter said after the vote. "We do not want to create an underclass in America."

    "I think this represents a reasonable accommodation," he said, referring to the divergent views on the panel. "It's not a majority of the majority, but it's a good number."

    Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said Monday night that President Bush was "pleased to see the Senate moving forward on legislation." Mr. Bush has repeatedly called for a temporary worker program that would legalize the nation's illegal immigrants, though he has said such a plan must not include amnesty.

    "It is a difficult issue that will require compromise and tough choices, but the important thing at this point is that the process is moving forward," Mr. McClellan said.

    Lawmakers central to the immigration debate acknowledged that the televised images of tens of thousands of demonstrators, waving flags and fliers, marching in opposition to tough immigration legislation helped persuade the panel to find a bipartisan compromise.

    "All of those people who were demonstrating were not necessarily here illegally," said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who sponsored the legalization measures with Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. Mr. Kennedy described the people who would benefit from the bill as "our neighbors," adding: "They're churchgoers. They're the shop owners down the street. They're the people we know."

    The protesters were rallying in opposition to the security bill passed by the House. The House bill would, among other things, make it a federal crime to live in this country illegally, turning the millions of illegal immigrants here into felons, ineligible to win any legal status. (Currently, living in this country without authorization is a violation of civil immigration law, not criminal law.)

    The legislation passed by the Judiciary Committee on Monday also emphasized border security and would nearly double the number of Border Patrol agents over the next five years, criminalize the construction of tunnels into the United States from another country and speed the deportation of illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico. But it also softened some of the tougher elements in the House legislation.

    Addressing one of the most contentious issues, the panel voted to eliminate the provisions that would criminalize immigrants for living here illegally and made an amendment to protect groups and individuals from being prosecuted for offering humanitarian assistance to illegal immigrants.

    Conservatives on the committee warned that the plan would generate a groundswell of opposition among ordinary Americans who had been demanding tighter controls at the border and an end to the waves of illegal immigration.

    Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, said the Judiciary panel "let the American people down by passing out a blanket amnesty bill."

    Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, said the foreign workers would take American jobs during a recession. "Get ready for a real tough time," Mr. Kyl said, "when American workers come to your office and say, 'How did you let this happen?' "

    Under the proposal, participants in the temporary worker program would have to work for six years before they could apply for a green card. Any worker who remained unemployed for 60 days or longer during those six years would be forced to leave the country. (Employers could petition for permanent residency on behalf of their employees six months after the worker entered into the program.)

    The legalization plan for the nation's illegal immigrants would require those without documents to work in the United States for six years before they could apply for permanent residency. They could apply for citizenship five years after that. Immigrants would have to pay a fine, back taxes and learn English.

    Mr. Graham called it an 11-year journey to citizenship.

    "To me that's not amnesty," he said. "That is working for the right over an 11-year period to become a citizen. It is not a blanket pardon."

    "The president believes and most of us here believe that the 11 million undocumented people are also workers," Mr. Graham said. "We couldn't get by as a nation without those workers and without those people."
     
  2. SpiritualMadMan

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    "The president believes and most of us here believe that the 11 million undocumented people are also workers," Mr. Graham said. "We couldn't get by as a nation without those workers and without those people."

    Balderdash!

    And, just what does Graham Cracker think the unemployement figures portend?

    And, he has the **NERVE** to say such a thing when SC has such a high unemployement rate and Jobs are **leaving** the state!

    Care to Guess who won't get my vote when he runs again? If he dares?

    Mike Sr.
     
  3. Dave

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    It always amazes me how the left wing of the democratic party can make there people tow the line and vote as a block, but the republicans constantly fight among themselves.

    Now we have something where the republicans should be solid against it for the protection of our country and half of them will probably support this instead.
     
  4. lomax

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    In 2003, behind the American peoples' back, george
    bush used his executive powers to form "faith based" groups giving them federal grants, tax
    exempt status and the right to refuse to hire
    anyone based on religious beliefs.

    His plan is to "jump start" manufactering using
    the church. And now, as it would appear, catholic
    mexican immigrants will play a role in this plan.

    I don't mind welcoming poor, downtrodden people
    here to make a better life for themselves. What
    is so outrageous is the fact that it's being done
    at the expense of American job security while
    our government disreguards The Constitution.

    The Bible and God will always be present. The
    document that protects Americans from tyranny
    may not...
     
  5. JGrubbs

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    Bush is only working to do away with our borders, which he will complete when he gets the FTAA pushed through Congress.
     
  6. fromtheright

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    I have written to my Senators. Millions of Americans have honorably gone through the process of becoming citizens. This cheapens their honor and validates law-breaking. It stinks.
     
  7. Johnv

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    I have no problem with immigration. My beef is with illegal immigration. If the issue is the difficulty of persons from entering legally, then let's find ways to make it easier for a person to enter legally, instead of rewarding those who have done so illegally.

    I personally don't have a problem with a guest worker program. But I don't think a guest worker should be permitted indefinitely to remain in hte US (it should be for a specific amount of time).

    As for citizenship, as an immigrant myself who is a naturalized citizen, I think that any program that permits people to cut in front of others in naturalization line is a Hoover shame (remember that Hoover is a large dam).
     
  8. LadyEagle

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    Hoover shame - I love it, LOL. [​IMG]
     
  9. poncho

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    Yep, and the only problem he and the Clintons really have to work on is to keep us beliving they are on opposite sides of the fence till they get it done.
     
  10. Dragoon68

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    Yep, and the only problem he and the Clintons really have to work on is to keep us believing they are on opposite sides of the fence till they get it done. </font>[/QUOTE]I don't agree about the stated reason for the position President Bush is taking on the illegal immigrants. I don't think it has anything to do with a conspiracy to do away with the borders. He's trying to solve the problem by a compromise that he believes would benefit both sides. I respect that even though I don't agree with it. However, I don't find it necessary to label his plan as something more - something evil - than it is.

    I do disagree with the plan being proposed that would legalize the status of present illegal immigrants and also disagree that they are needed for our work force. As fellow humans, I don't fault them for seeking work or benefits, which ever the case may be, here in the great nation. However, I do fault them as breaking our law and getting in line ahead of a lot of other people that have come here, or would like to come here, legally.

    I'm against any plan that legalizes what's already illegal. Doing so opens the door to further problems do the road. Taking a hard stance - strengthening and enforcing the law - will meet with a lot of protest and some public disapproval but, long term, we have to make our laws work. We can already see that from the protests that have taken place and the comments made by many representatives who are very sensitive to public opinion.

    If we want this to end up going the right direction we'd better speak up now and let our representatives know what we want done. Blaming the President won't help. Communicating what we expect - what we demand - from those that make the laws can make a difference. That's where the focus needs to be.

    Perhaps we need some pro-law demonstrations to show most Americans want the immigration laws strengthened and enforced.

    At the same time, I must remind us that we are a nation of immigrants - many in my own family - and we need to keep separate the issue of legal immigration from illegal immigration. Legal immigrants are not our enemies. They are our fellow residents or naturalized citizens holding the same rights as we do.
     
  11. poncho

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    Then I suggest you turn off the Rupert/Rothschild news agency (Fox) for a few nights and start reading what the globalists have been saying all along Dragoon. You might find the easiest place to start is here.

    Reading is fundamental. ;)

    You might also want to do a little reading on the FTAA also.
     
  12. billwald

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    We could live without the illegals but it would be a pre WW2 economy with half the population living on the edge of poverty.
     
  13. Dragoon68

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    How would that be the result?
     
  14. Dragoon68

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    Then I suggest you turn off the Rupert/Rothschild news agency (Fox) for a few nights and start reading what the globalists have been saying all along Dragoon. You might find the easiest place to start is here.

    Reading is fundamental. ;)

    You might also want to do a little reading on the FTAA also.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Carefully choosing what one reads, comprehending what is read, thinking clearly upon it, and formulating solid and accurate conclusions from it is also fundamental.

    I do not agree with the proposed policy for dealing with illegal immigrants. I want the law to be strengthened and totally enforced. I want the people that are not here legally to be removed.

    I do not agree with the idea that this is part of a global conspiracy to remove our borders. We just haven't done a good job - for several generations - of maintaining our borders and now it has caught up with us. The problem is big and people are looking for an easy way out - one that's politically appealing.
     
  15. poncho

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    Carefully avoiding what the globalists have been calling for all along and not comparing it to the actions governments have already taken to implement those plans isn't quite what I would call formulating solid accurate conclusions Dragoon, but if outta sight outta mind helps you to keep thinking George Bush or another POTUS represents the will the people who am I to point out those pesky facts? I wouldn't want to wake anybody up when they are in the middle of a good dream. ;)
     
  16. LadyEagle

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    So do I, but it's a dream. Bush is going to meet with Vincente Fox this weekend. He'll get his amnesty bill passed by hook and crook, by George. No pun intended.
     
  17. Dragoon68

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    Some aspects of the global conspirarcy theory seem well rooted in strange dreams.

    Reality is that our government isn't perfect and neither are the citizens it serves but it doesn't all point to a global conspirarcy. Some things are just much simplier than that and don't need to be made into something too complex.

    I will grant you that there is one global conspirarcy at work and it's nothing new. That conspirarcy is the work of Satan, our mortal enemy, and his fallen angels whom we all too often willingly follow. He's been busy pushing his agenda since before the fall of mankind.
     
  18. Dragoon68

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    So do I, but it's a dream. Bush is going to meet with Vincente Fox this weekend. He'll get his amnesty bill passed by hook and crook, by George. No pun intended. </font>[/QUOTE]I hope not but agree that you may be correct.

    I must add that it is not his bill but one being formulated by the Congress and that Congress is most certainly influenced by events in the streets during the past weeks worrying about those votes to be had or to be lost.

    On this subject, we will see much pandering and excusing and rationalizing of what is illegal from many corners of our society and from a large percentage of the our citizens. It is happening right now in city halls and state capitols. The news media will be very helpful to the cause.
     
  19. LadyEagle

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    Poncho, what territory are we in? I never can seem to get my hands on that map, you know, the one where the world is all divided up into global territories. Isn't our zone the one that includes all of North and Central America?

    Dragoon, you are correct about the global conspiracy which has been going on for a very long time. But in a way, it's sad, but also exciting. We are living in the end times. The sad part is our illusions and delusions and dreams about our nation are becoming toast. The exciting good part is that Jesus is Coming Soon and all these are signs that point to His Soon Appearing. [​IMG]
     
  20. hillclimber

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    I agree with what you said here LE. It's right on. We are in the last days and the differences of opinion over the "ILLEGAL" immigrants should stand out as a prime example, of right being wrong and wrong being right. This issue should be a non-issue because it's so clear. The democrats are succeeding in driving doubt deep within the conservatve right wingers, knowing some will abandon the GOP. And further knowing that Democrats will never leave their party.
     

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