- Aug 21, 2003
- Reaction score
- Chattanooga, TN
Is this a good idea? Or is Bush looking for more cannon-fodder by allowing the legalization of illegals and eventually their children become eligible for military service?Deal may legalize millions of immigrants
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 1 minute ago
WASHINGTON - In a striking reach across party lines, the White House and key lawmakers agreed Thursday on a sweeping immigration plan to grant legal status to millions of people in the country unlawfully.
Sealed after months of secretive bargaining, the deal mandates bolstered border security and a high-tech employment verification system to prevent illegal workers from getting jobs.
President Bush said the proposal would "help enforce our borders but equally importantly, it'll treat people with respect."
Almost instantly, the plan brought vehement criticism from both sides of the immigration issue, including liberals who called it unfair and unworkable and conservatives who branded it an overly permissive "amnesty."
The proposal constitutes a far-reaching change in the immigration system that would admit future arrivals seeking to put down roots in the U.S. based on their skills, education levels and job experience, limiting the importance of family ties. A new class of guest workers would be allowed in temporarily, but only after the new security measures were in place expected to take 18 months.
Kennedy hailed it as "the best possible chance we will have in years to secure our borders and bring millions of people out of the shadows and into the sunshine of America."
It was clear, however, that many Republicans and Democrats were deeply skeptical. Reid said it needed improvement.
The proposed agreement would allow illegal immigrants to come forward and obtain a "Z visa" and after paying fees and a $5,000 fine ultimately get on track for permanent residency, which could take between eight and 13 years. Heads of households would have to return to their home countries first.
They could come forward right away to claim a probationary card that would let them live and work legally in the U.S., but could not begin the path to permanent residency or citizenship until border security improvements and the high-tech worker identification program were completed.
Question is what will this do for the employment issue in the U.S. ?
Also how many once and present and future drug dealers are there hiding out in the U.S. as illegal immigrants? I'm not trying to stereotype. I've a number of friends who are of Latin American origins and know them to be of good solid stock of families with strong ethic values. But I also happen to ( or used to ) know a number of the same with less than ethical values.
Thing I think might be making people upset is the secrecy of the whole thing. Granted, that news of such talks might've spurred a greater increase of the flow of illegals in this country hoping to get in on the deal before the borders are shut with the new security measures. But still, doing it secretly? Not exactly trying to maintain the trust of Congress and the Senate are we Dubya?