Debating HR 4437 - Day 1
Update 2: The Senate Judiciary Committe has approved the following for deliberation in the Senate floor: Up to 400,000 foreigners per year for unskilled/low skilled labor for up to 6 years, and up to 1.5 million undocumented workers for agricultural jobs, for up to 5 years. Both, if so desired, can apply for residency when their time expires. Read more here.
If approved, I ask for two things: 1) that these jobs will have competitive market wages Americans are given preference to take them. I'm not clear on what unskilled/low skilled jobs are. 2) that these workers ARE NOT given preference on their resident application process, over all those who already requested residency through legal means.
Update: Glenn Reynolds hits the nail on the head, while Michelle Malkin has some anti-American photos. Latino Pundit has some neutral photos.
This past weekend the nation was witness to massive demonstrations against HR4437 which seeks to make illegal aliens felons by making the illegal status a felony. The issue has divided political parties, has divided a nation, and has even divided the immigrant community.
My parents were legal immigrants from Cuba, my father was a legal immigrant in Cuba from Spain, and my spouse is a legal immigrant from Chile. I lived for three years in Maryland, two years in Texas, and eight years in Miami so I have met and befriended legals and illegal aliens alike, from all nationalities.
Today we will focus on making being illegal a criminal offense - on the actual illegal alien. As I understand the current law, entering the country illegally is a criminal offense, but staying illegally isn't. HR4437 changes that, and makes the illegal alien status a felony.
PROs: It certainly would deter illegal entry, if they are aware that now even policemen can deport them; it should deter employees from hiring them as they now would be employing felons.
Cons: By turning the illegals into felons, their chances of ever becoming legal or participating in any guest-worker program essentially null.
Me: I think being here illegally should be made into a criminal offense, however I don't think this should prevent illegals from then participating in the legal process - whatever it may be.
Pro-illegal alien supporters rally in favor of Amesty - a pardon - as a solution. I disagree. In 1986 amnesty was granted and it solved nothing.
Amnesty is unfair to those who are following this country's laws and have been waiting for as long as 10 to 15 years to become legal residents. Now all of a sudden people who came in as recent as two years ago, would jump ahead of the line bypassing all the ones who have been battling the system legally. - playing by the rules.
In addition, amnesty is rewarding illegal behavior, and would only bring more people in searching for the amnesty. If the immigration system can barely handle the load now, how can people think it will be able to process 12 million people?
If you haven't read the rules, read them before commenting. Also read the original post.
Link comparing some of the immigration bills:
Links, both in favor and against HR4437, and immigration facts:
Legal Analysis against HR4437, Justice for Immigrants,
Center for Immigration Studies, Marc Cooper
Americans for Legal Immigration, Minute Men
Federation for American Immigration Reform,
Republican National Hispanic Assembly
USA, Homeland Security, Immigration, Illegal Immigration, HR4437