Could seek a "Z Visa," which would give immediate work authorization if they arrived in the United States before January 1, 2007 Head of household would have to return to their home country within eight years; would be guaranteed the right to return to the U.S. Applicants would have to pay a $5,000 staggered penalty
A "Y Visa" would be issued to 400,000 guest workers per year. Guest workers would enter the U.S. on two-year visas, return home for a year, then re-enter for additional two years. May enter three times (total six years) if not bringing family, but only one time if bringing family. Guest workers earn points toward merit-based green card. May bring families on 30-day visitor visas each year.
Border fencing would be strengthened. The number of Border Patrol agents would be increased. Employers who hire undocumented workers would face fines. The guest worker program cannot begin until enforcement provisions are in place, which Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff estimates will take 18 months.
Since this bill was a bipartisan effort, it only figures that there will be both Democrats and Republicans who are not happy with it. Two Senate Democrats have already offered up amendments that address the guest worker program in the bill and there is a Republican who has planned a filibuster.
plez sez: correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't every American (save the Native Americans) an immigrant? didn't everyone's ancestors sail, row, or walk here from someplace else? i'm sure the people who are crossing our borders from the south will change the "complexion" of the country, but didn't every influx of large immigrant groups change the complexion of this country? even the slaves from Africa who came here unwillingly made a drastic change to the look and feel of America.
i just have a sinking feeling that if this influx of immigrants was coming from the north, rather than the south, then we wouldn't be having this discussion, we wouldn't be talking about increasing border patrols, and we wouldn't be contemplating the building of a fence. makes me think about the disparate treatment given to immigrants from Cuba and Haiti when they take a boat across the Gulf of Mexico to get here.
i may be oversimplifying the issue, but since this is a country of immigrants, founded and fought over by immigrants, shouldn't ALL immigrants have the right to come here? i don't have a problem with enacting laws to control the influx, but to my way of thinking, if you made it here... you're IN!