« | »

Senate’s “Immigration” Bill Appears Dead

At least according to MarketWatch:

The drunkard demagogue most responsible for the flood of illegal aliens into the US, Ted Kennedy, holds a book ghost-written for his brother.

Immigration compromise falls apart

By William L. Watts & Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

Apr 7, 2006

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — An agreement reached Thursday between Democrats and Republicans on immigration reform fell apart Friday.

The Senate failed to end debate on the legislation in two lopsided votes Friday morning, leaving the prospects for passage dim as the lawmakers head home for their two-week Easter recess.

The bill would have increased border security to try to stem the influx of illegal immigrants while providing a process to legitimize those who've lived for a long time in the country illegally.

The two parties blamed the other for the impasse.

"There's a political advantage for Democrats not to have an immigration bill," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa.

"This opportunity is slipping through our hands like grains of sand," said assistant Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin of Illinois.

In the Friday morning vote, Republicans refused to go along with Democratic demands to limit the number of amendments that could be offered.

The compromise proposal, drafted by Republican Sens. Mel Martinez of Florida and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, would allow illegal immigrants who have been in the United States for more than five years to get on a path to legal status and citizenship without leaving the country.

To qualify, immigrants that have been in the United States for five years would have to meet a range of additional criteria, including proof that they've held jobs for three years, payment of a $2,000 fine and all federal and state taxes, and a demonstrated knowledge of English language. They would also have to work for an additional six years to ensure they don't jump ahead of foreign citizens already pursuing a legal path to residency.

Those who have been in the United States for two to five years would be allowed to gain temporary work visas only after temporarily exiting the country and returning through one of 19 ports of entry.

Illegal immigrants who have been in the country less than two years would be allowed to apply for a temporary work visa only after returning to their home country.

But the measure doesn't satisfy conservatives who contend that allowing any illegal immigrants to remain in the country amounts to a form of amnesty.

It also drew fire from liberal groups that want Congress to create a path to citizenship for all illegal aliens currently in the United States.

President Bush, who supports immigration policy reform, said at a prayer breakfast Friday morning that, "An (immigration) system that forces people into the shadows of our society, or leaves them prey to criminals is a system that needs to be changed … I'm confident that we can change — change our system in ways that secures our border, respects the rule of law, and, as importantly, upholds the decency of our country."

Supporters say fight not over

The compromise proposal would amend legislation written by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., which would have allowed most of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country to embark on a path toward legal status.

In a press briefing Friday morning, McCain and Kennedy said they were disappointed at the turn of events but pledged to continue to fight for immigration reform. "This debate is certainly not over," said Kennedy.

The House passed immigration legislation in 2005 that would make being an illegal immigrant a felony and would require the construction of a fence along portions of the U.S. border with Mexico. Also, it would also require employers to verify the legal status of all workers. The measure doesn't include a guest-worker program.

The House bill has drawn sharp opposition from business groups, which contend it would create a labor shortage and saddle companies with huge bureaucratic burdens.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and other GOP leaders have indicated they would entertain ways to modify the bill in future negotiations with the Senate.

But critics of the Senate approach have vowed a tough fight and welcomed the demise of the proposal.

"Today is a good day for America. The Senate — in a rare moment of clarity — rejected its amnesty-now, enforcement-later approach to immigration," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo. "Amnesty is a non-starter. If the Senate is serious about sending real security legislation to the President's desk this year, it must take a different approach."

However, Ted Kennedy is still hopeful.

Which is never a good sign.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, April 7th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

33 Responses to “Senate’s “Immigration” Bill Appears Dead”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »