Tuesday, March 28, 2006

HR4437 Debate - Day 2

Update 2: Dean's World has an argument against the "illegals do jobs Americans don't want" from the Black Man perspective, but it perfectly applies to all Americans.

In addition some common sense from John Cornyn in response to the bill from the Senate panel:
"It will encourage further disrespect for our laws and will undercut our efforts to shore up homeland security. Adding border security measures to the McCain-Kennedy bill is not enough," Cornyn said. "Any proposal that allows every single illegal alien to remain in the U.S., pay a fine and obtain permanent residence status is not acceptable; it will simply encourage additional persons to evade our laws."

"we have to do so without granting them amnesty."
Update: Public Figures has a great post analyzing the good and the bad of the Senate Judiciary Committee Bill

Go to Day 1 for some good links, read House Rules before commenting, Purpose

Last night the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-6 in favor of passing on to the Senate floor the following ammendments:

(1) a new "temporary" agricultural worker program (as proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA])
(2) another "guestworker" visa program "capped" at 400,000 per year (as proposed by Sen. Ted Kennedy [D-MA])
(3) an amnesty for illegal aliens who have worked in the United States for six years and who wait another five before applying for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence, provided the illegal alien pays $2,000 in fines, has a background check done, and demonstrates a working knowledge of English (as proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham [R-SC]).
(4) an amendment by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to de-criminalize illegal presence
(5) another by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) to open up more visas for alien nurses as long as related shortages exist.
Amendments to curb the overall impact of these visa and citizenship giveaways offered by Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) were defeated.

This "illegals do jobs Americans don't want" argument is not only old but flawed; it is a matter of pay. Illegals have driven down the wage, and Americans want fair pay. Michelle Malkin puts it in perspective.

Guestworker programs, I hope, would drive wages back up, and more Americans would be taking these jobs - pay would now be competitive instead of measly. Preference should be given to Americans, and only when they don't want the jobs, "guestworkers" hired.

I really don't know what to make about the 1.5 Million temporary agricultural workers - I'd have to say the apply the same argument as for the guestworkers. Even Cesar Chavez was against illegal immigration because it drew the wages of farmworkers down. Yes, that's right. Cesar Chavez.

No matter how the Senate votes, all workers - whether temporary or guestworkers - should be submitted to background checks, demonstrate a working knowledge of English and pay taxes.

Now to the Amnesty. - this is a BIG mistake, especially since I don't see a strong plan to secure the borders and no clarification of when the six years starts. This can produce a mass influx of people.

Both borders (and entry ports) need to be secured NOW, with military personnel (Reserves, National Guard, etc.). This has to be treated tactically as an invasion of unarmed people. With a show of might, and trained personnel with the right equipment many would be deterred from attempting the crossover.

Amnesty is unfair to all those who came here legally, and applied legally. In addition we are rewarding people for breaking the law, that's a bad message. If I don't pay my taxes, will I get an amnesty too? After all, I needed the extra money to survive. It's the same premise with a different application.

If an amnesty plan is approved, aside from the requirements mentioned above, people applying for the amnesty should be required the following:

(1) Pay back taxes, at least for the six years you were working
(2) If they received any welfare benefits and did not pay taxes, then these benefits should be paid back too (after considering the payment of the backtaxes of course)
(3) Stand in line; legal applicants should always be given priority, especially those who already have paperwork in.
(4) Take and pass a GED test by an accredited institution.
(5) Pass a written and oral English exam (minimum level 12th grade English)
(6) Be given some sort of USA test - where unpatriotic aliens can be filtered out, denied the residency, and sent back to their countries.
(7) Required military service in any of the branches, including National Guard, Reserves, ROTC etc. - you want to be an American, prove it.

What do you think? I'd love to hear comments, both pros and cons, on the issue.

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