Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Senate Immigration Bill - Update

I've been out of the loop concerning the brouhaha concerning the immigration issue that has been swirling around Congress. I thought I'd do alittle research and share my findings with the rest of plezWorld. The CNN website has a nice interactive description of the key components of the Immigration Bill:
Illegal immigrants
  • 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

    Guest workers
  • 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.

    Enforcement
  • 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!

    12 comments:

    BillT said...

    "save the Native Americans" - we immigrated here too, just before most others.

    This bill won't work. Too many triggers that set up a chance for a chain reaction failure.

    David Sullivan said...

    Plez,
    Every influx of immigrants coincided with a need for workers whether it be to build the railroads (irish, chinese), build the skyscrapers(italian, polish), grow the food (african slaves, mexican migrants), work the mines (german, slavic), fill the factories (puerto rican, eastern european) etc..

    I find it appauling that we use Mexicans for cheap labor then tell them to go home. If they work here they should live here.

    I am realistic and do understand that we don't have the room physically and economically for new immigrants as we did during the 19th and 20th centuries, but it is wrong to exploit the Mexican immigrants who just want a better life for their families...family values Mr. Bush?

    plez... said...

    billt,
    excuse my "liberal" use "save the Native Americans" phrase... they were here first, so they really didn't immigrate here, they settled it! *smile*

    but with all of the bipartisan political noise in Washington, DC, you don't think that the bill ultimately pass and get signed by Bush?!?

    dave,
    i'm with you on this one, brother! the mexican immigrants have as much right to be here as anyone else who came here. they've come to this country to work and build our economy like their forebearers... i am appalled at the use of them as wedge issues and pawns in a political chessmatch.

    LLR said...

    the mexican immigrants have as much right to be here as anyone else who came here.
    How is this so? They have a right to be in their native country, but they do not have a right to “break into” the USA.

    You gotta realize that this is much bigger than the immigrants. This is also about the felonies that they commit when they get there. You gotta have a SSN to work. So what do they do, they steal one. That’s ID theft. You gotta pay taxes if you work here. A lot of them don’t. That’s tax evasion.

    Let you or I not pay our taxes and see how quickly you get a visit from the feds. Oh but they let the illegals get away with it. Ask Ron Isley (convicted of tax evasion) or Wesley Snipes how they feel about millions of illegals doing the same things that they did and getting a pass from the federal gov’t.

    I don’t care if they are from the south, north or overseas, I don’t like the fact that they are knowingly breaking the law and the people in Washington are going to give them amnesty.

    What kills me is how liberal politicians say that they represent the poor. How can you represent the poor while at the same time support people that take jobs that the poor could be having? How can you represent the poor when you support people that steal the IDs of the poor?

    Something has to be done about our borders on both the north and south. We need to beef up border patrol because this is also an issue of national security.

    I find it funny that the CBC is silent on this one. They gotta be because a lot of their black districts are quickly becoming Hispanic/black districts.

    plez... said...

    llr,
    you make a very good case, but personally, i believe you are overstating the issue by saying that they are "breaking into" the US. the US gov't has always given tacit approval for a number of illegals to be in this country, much of our agricultural, housing, and services economy depends on them as workers. this has become a political issue (plain and simple) because in the near future (less than 20 years), there will be more of them than us (they have already overtaken Blacks as the largest minority group). unfortunately, the future i describe is a certainty and there is no way in God's green earth that you, i, or the US gov't will change it.

    i will concede that in many communities, the number of immigrants may stress the infrastructure (health, education, and other gov't services) because they are not contributors to the tax base. that is something that i'm not sure the immigration bill will even address.

    but i continue to stand by my assertion that the immigrants that come to this country today contribute as much to building/sustaining our country as the ones in the past. and based on the way that this country came to be, i don't see how the US can "selectively" decide which group(s) will no longer be welcome.

    Anali said...

    Great post! Color is definitely an issue when it comes to immigration. I'm convinced that it is one of the issues with the difference between the US policy with Haiti vs Cuba and not only communism.

    And some people who come here "illegally" don't know that because they are sometimes given documents by people before or when they get here. If they don't know the language, then they have to rely on people who are not always the most trustworthy. And their children who are born here are US citizens. So many families are broken apart.

    LLR said...

    the US gov't has always given tacit approval for a number of illegals to be in this country
    The key word there is approval. Just the same way you approve who comes to your BBQ is the same way the gov’t approves who is allowed to come to the US.

    because in the near future (less than 20 years), there will be more of them than us (they have already overtaken Blacks as the largest minority group).
    Plez, a lot of the Hispanics in this country are ILLEGAL. That means that they are not supposed to even be here. They get counted like the rest of the folks. Kick them out and there will be more black folk than Hispanics.

    but i continue to stand by my assertion that the immigrants that come to this country today contribute as much to building/sustaining our country as the ones in the past.
    that can be debated. I blame the gov’t for creating the laws and welfare that allow them to wreck schools and hospitals. Back in the day when immigrants were coming there wasn’t all of this welfare and other stuff. Like the jobs, it’s a magnet for illegals.

    And some people who come here "illegally" don't know that because they are sometimes given documents by people before or when they get here.
    What???? The folk that are coming ehre illegally know that they are breaking the law. It’s not like someone is “tricking” them into thinking that they can just waltz on into the US. They are hiding in trunks and getting smuggled into the US. Some are just walking across out borders.

    The Mexican gov’t is doing anything to help us and as matter of fact, they are helping them by giving them little booklets on what to do when/if they get caught.

    The more that I think about this, the madder I get. One of things that makes me the most upset is that the gov’t steals my money and gives it to these CRIMINALS that aren’t even US citizens. Just wait. There will be billions of dollars worth of programs for these criminals.

    Francis L. Holland Blog said...

    plez, thanks for covering this.

    I used to practice immigration law and I practiced at when some of the other draconian laws were enacted in 1996. When I imagined what it would be like to be working immigration policy again and facing this law, it sent shivers down my spine. Eddie G. Griffin (BASG) has been e-mailing me about this and this is what I said in response:

    Eddie:

    I think the price of this "reform" is to high, and it would be better to wait for a new administration, where we can get a better deal, for the following reasons:

    (1) Family immigration has been the basis of immigration theology for 45 years. Why would we want to abandon family ties as the foundation of immigration?

    (2) The guest worker and knowledge-based worker provision (from what I've read without reading the actual legislation) are designed to help businesses, not immigrants;

    (3) The agreement to spend billions of dollars policing the border with Mexico, installing unworkable fences, buying unproven cameras and hiring (private?) guards are all just a way to line the pockets of the "Friends of Bush." Those Friends of Bush have undoubtedly already written the contracts that the Government will sign to transfer money from the US Treasury to the pockets of those who have already stolen too much.

    (4) If we instead eliminate all barriers to free travel into and out of the United States (requiring only that people come for lawful purposes), then we will be forced to find ways to make friends with the rest of the world, which might ultimately be a much less expensive and more successful way to assure the nation's safety.

    For example, if we have a European Union-like arrangement with all of the countries of Latin America, then whites would more quickly cease to be the majority in the US, and relations would improve with Latin America. Maybe we'd even get some immigrants from Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua who know how to implement national health care, since we haven't been able to do so on our own.

    When a country that is so powerful is so afraid of its neighbors, that ought to be cause for some real reflection about why. It seems a lot like anti-social personality, disorder, paranoia and obsessive compulsive disorder all rolled into one and all aroused particularly by perceiving the skin-color of the potential immigrants. (Isn't that why all of the countries that don't need visas to visit the US are primarily white-skinned people countries?) I think a lot of our national obsession with stopping immigration is symptomatic of Extreme Color-Aroused Antagonism. (ECA)

    Sincerely,

    Francis

    plez... said...

    LLR,
    you appear to be about as upset about this issue as when i called for the repeal of your beloved 2nd amendment. i respect your views and (believe it or not) i agree with you on a few points... i stated in my comments that these immigrants are a financial strain on a number of communities.

    BUT where you and i differ: i sincerely feel that we have invited these people to our country! they've been coming over and spending time with us for decades now. why have you and Congress decided to make this the "hot button" issue of the 21st century now?!? i'm just wondering if it has anything to do with the color of their skin? or the language that they speak?

    anali & francis,
    i guess my major concern about this "issue" is that this whole debate stems from a kind of xenophobia surrounding the skin-color of the "illegals." once again, i assert that if these were fair-skin folk from Canada coming into the US (as i'm sure many do), this would not even be a discussion. this has only come up in the last 2-3 years because the Latino population in the US has grown substantially and "threatens" to eventually become a majority.

    LLR said...

    you appear to be about as upset about this issue as when i called for the repeal of your beloved 2nd amendment.
    Guns and money. I love both. The gun grabbers are out and about and the folk in Washington are going to spend billions on giving these criminals amnesty.

    BUT where you and i differ: i sincerely feel that we have invited these people to our country! they've been coming over and spending time with us for decades now. why have you and Congress decided to make this the "hot button" issue of the 21st century now?!? i'm just wondering if it has anything to do with the color of their skin? or the language that they speak?
    Oh Plez. These folk have been coming over for the past 20 years since the last time we gave amnesty to a bunch of CRIMINALS. If it was about the color of their skin, it would have been called for a long time ago.

    I think that it has been because of the strain that they have put on taxpayers, schools, hospitals, etc that the issue has come up. Call me a fool, but I don’t think that people like to see hospitals close b/c of CRIMINALS using their services and not paying. I don’t think that people like to see their child’s educational progress slowed down because of non English speaking kids being in the class not understanding.

    i guess my major concern about this "issue" is that this whole debate stems from a kind of xenophobia surrounding the skin-color of the "illegals."
    Plez I know that you’re a lot smarter than that. Every time an issue comes up people are using “isms and phobias.” If you don’t support gay marriage, you’re homophobic. If you don’t support hate crimes, you’re a racist or homophobic. If you don’t like CRIMINALS entering into this country, it’s xenophobia

    this has only come up in the last 2-3 years because the Latino population in the US has grown substantially and "threatens" to eventually become a majority.
    It’s not that it’s a Latino thing as much as it’s an illegal Latino thing. Sure there are more Latinos than blacks, but a ton of them are CRIMINALS and should not even be here.

    We must also remember that we got a ton of folk overstaying their visas too. They need to be dealt with too. I think that the gov’t needs a bunch of 1-way plane and bus tickets.

    plez... said...

    llr,
    you seem to take issue with my "isms & phobias", yet you have no issue with ceaseless and unfounded name calling (CRIMINALS). by criminalizing the immigrants desire to be part of the American Experience doesn't make their desires any less just.

    you've moved away from making salient points to name calling, which is neither warranted nor productive.

    like our last conversation (concerning 2nd amendment rights) ended, i guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

    i just pray that one of these days you don't find yourself as one of THEM and have to defend your rights against irrational arguments and racist witchhunts.

    LLR said...

    ceaseless and unfounded name calling (CRIMINALS)
    How is this name calling? Is it not against the law to illegally enter into the US these days?
    Every illegal immigrant is a criminal. Some have overstayed their visa and some have illegally crossed the borders (Northern & Southern).

    A lot of them aren’t paying taxes on their income. Isn’t that a crime? Don’t we as citizens have to pay both state and federal taxes?

    Like I said before, Snipes and Isley are in trouble for not paying taxes, but we got millions of illegals that are doing the same thing (on a smaller scale) but we are going to give them a pass.

    I’m a realist and I know that the gov’t is going to give them amnesty. I don’t like it, but I gotta accept it. at the same time I do feel that the gov’t needs to fix our borders so we don’t have to have this same conversation in 2028 like we did in 1986.