Senate Votes to Revisit Stalled Immigration Bill

Just when you thought it was over, the Senate today voted to review the immigration bill. Debate is beginning now on dozens of amendments. You can watch it on C-Span here.

Prediction: The compromises will dilute the value of the bill to nothing. The path to citizenship is already is too onerous. Family reunification principles are already devalued. Concessions to Republicans are likely to make it worse.

The bill is S 1639, which you can view on THOMAS by typing the bill number in the search box.

There is one bi-partisan amendment that I favor and the Bush Administration opposes:


a bipartisan amendment by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Max Baucus, D-Mont., ... would change the bill's new program for weeding out illegal employees from U.S. workplaces.

The amendment would free employers from a mandate to check the identities of all their employees and require them to verify only new workers and those the government has a reason to believe are illegal immigrants. It would allow employees to present any state-issued drivers license as proof of identity, rather than requiring the nationally standardized "REAL ID," which some states have not adopted.

The Amendments submitted today are in the Congressional Record here.

For example, Sen. Elizabeth Dole wants to deny Z visas and require mandatory deportation of those convicted of their second DUI offense, even if they were misdemeanors.

Sen. Charles Grassley proposes that:

An applicant for Z nonimmigrant status shall, at the alien’s expense, obtain proper immunizations and undergo an appropriate medical examination that conforms to generally accepted professional standards of medical practice.


PENALTY.—An alien making an initial application for Z nonimmigrant status shall pay a penalty of $5,000, in addition to the processing fee required....

That seems to be a game-plan: raise the cost of remaining in the country so high few will be able to take advantage of it.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#1)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 02:02:59 PM EST
    What is your position on immigration? Should there be open borders? Medical testing? Financial needs?

    My basic position (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 02:30:40 PM EST
    state here over a year ago is that immigration reform legislation should:

    • Provide the opportunity for undocumented immigrants to legalize their status

    • Expand avenues for legal immigration and support family reunification

    • Provide access and options for permanent residency and citizenship

    • Strengthen labor protections and their enforcement for all workers, both native and foreign born

    • End border and immigration enforcement abuses

    Legalization should be immediate and without conditions.  There should be no criminalization and no border walls.  There should be protection of labor rights and civil liberties.

    To that I would add, people shouldn't have to go back to their home countries while awaiting legalization; they shouldn't face excessive costs and taxes for having been here without proper documentation; Local cops should be empowered to enforce civil immigration laws; the list of mandatory aggravated crimes requiring deportation should be abbreviated and they should not be mandatory, meaning judges should have discretion to allow a person who comes before the court for sentencing to not be deported.

    typo (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 02:32:08 PM EST
    Should read:

    My basic position as stated here over a year ago....


    Should (none / 0) (#5)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 02:42:42 PM EST
    Should there be a concept of legal/illegal immigration? What if someone comes over without going through the 'proper' channels? Should there be 'proper' channels? What should the penalty be for coming over 'illegally'?

    Are you in favor of open borders? If not, what do you do when someone is here 'without proper documentation? If so, why not just say so?


    Actually (none / 0) (#4)
    by LonewackoDotCom on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 02:34:48 PM EST
    What will happen to this bill's amendments has already been admitted by Trent Lott: the "tough"-sounding amendments will simply be stripped out in the House-Senate committee (if it makes it that far). Don't expect any of the "tough" amendments to stick.

    And, needless to say, Jeralyn's proposal will result in an endless series of amnesties, as new illegal aliens come here because of the past amnesties and people like Jeralyn push for them too to be legalized.

    Some considerations (none / 0) (#6)
    by koshembos on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 03:18:44 PM EST
    The Arab and African worlds send their immigrants to Europe. Indians and Chinese immigrants will dwindle with time as their native countries walk in giant step towards better economies. The US, by and large, is the destination for Mexican, Central American, and to a lesser extend South Americans. Canadians can come in and Republicans see them as brothers (they are mostly white).

    We have already absorbed million of Latino immigrants (except the legal system), why not open the borders in both direction and make life easier for everyone?

    There (none / 0) (#7)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 03:23:31 PM EST
    There may be questions of resources, jobs, wages, space in higher education, etc...

    et al (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 06:07:51 PM EST
    With 80% of the US population against this  bill, 2008 just got much more interesting.