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White House Caves On Illegal Alien Safeguards

From the Washington Times:

White House backs off alien safeguards

By Stephen Dinan
May 17, 2007

The Bush administration, trying to win an immigration agreement with Democrats, is backing away from safeguards designed to target businesses that hire illegal aliens and to prevent a repeat of the rampant fraud that resulted from the 1986 amnesty.

Republicans are pleading with the Bush administration to hold firm on the safeguards, arguing that otherwise any new guest-worker program will be unworkable.

“We need their help on that,” said Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, who for two years has fought to give the Department of Homeland Security new tools to limit lawsuits, share information with the Social Security Administration and allow authorities to target those whose applications are denied and who should be deported.

Meanwhile, pressure from interest groups is driving the two sides even further apart, making a deal less likely.

Conservative groups say Republicans are caving on principles, while immigrant rights groups say the Democrats have already given up too much — and let Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hear about it yesterday morning. The Nevada Democrat said he arrived at his office to find “a bunch of phone calls from people around the country quite disturbed about a number of things in this proposed piece of legislation.”

President Bush has dispatched Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to try to broker a deal, but yesterday Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott said as many as 10 “sticking points” remain.

Democrats say Republicans are asking for too many restrictions and checks on illegal aliens before they can get on the path to citizenship, and object to restrictions on future guest workers, who under Republicans’ plans would have limited chances to become citizens.

Meanwhile, Republicans say they have made a major concession in accepting that many illegal aliens will now have a path to citizenship, and argue that the program should be stringent to weed out fraud and abuse.

The two sides are also stuck on how to redraw the legal immigration process, with Republicans pushing for a system that would prevent chain migration of siblings and adult children and would reward those with needed skills…

Gee, what a surprise.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, May 17th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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