Setback for Bush No Guest-Worker Plan
Extracts Washington Post December 17, 2005;
The House last night passed tough immigration legislation to build vast border fences, force employers to verify the legality of their workers and tighten security on the nation's frontier, but it rebuffed President Bush's entreaties to include avenues for foreign workers to gain legal employment.
The bill passed 239 to 182, with 36 Democrats joining 203 Republicans to vote yes. Seventeen Republicans, 164 Democrats and one independent opposed the measure.
The House bill was adamantly opposed by an unusual coalition of business lobbies; ethnic groups, such as the National Council of La Raza; religious organizations; and labor unions that contend the measure is too harsh on illegal immigrants and imposes unworkable requirements on employers..."For the first time, I can go out on the stump and say our party has done right on the issue of immigration," said Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), a firebrand on illegal immigration who drove the debate. "And I feel good about it."
In the Senate, bipartisan support is growing for legislation co-authored by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) that would combine border enforcement measures with a guest-worker program. But a large number of House conservatives say they will never accept such a measure.
Under the House bill, employers would have to confirm the authenticity of employees' Social Security numbers against a national database of legitimate numbers or face stiff new fines of as much as $25,000 per violation. The measure would end the "catch and release" policy for immigrants other than Mexicans who are caught entering the country illegally and then released with a court date. All illegal immigrants apprehended at the border would have to be detained, and deportation processes would be streamlined.
Criminal penalties for smuggling immigrants would be stiffened, with new mandatory minimum sentences. Immigrant gang members would be rendered inadmissible under any circumstance. Mandatory minimum sentences would be established for immigrants who reenter illegally after deportation, and local sheriffs in the 29 counties along the Mexican border would be reimbursed for detaining illegal immigrants and turning them over to federal custody.
Under an amendment approved Thursday night, the nation would spend more than $2.2 billion to build five double-layer border fences in California and Arizona, totaling 698 miles at $3.2 million a mile. Another amendment approved last night would empower local law enforcement nationwide to enforce federal immigration law and be reimbursed for their efforts.
But leaders also rejected proposed amendments to eliminate automatic citizenship for babies (known as anchor babies) born to illegal aliens on U.S. soil and to build a fence along the entire southern border.
All of Maryland's representatives except Wayne T. Gilchrest (R) opposed the bill. The Virginia delegation voted for it, except Democrats James P. Moran Jr. and Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, who voted against, and Republican Jo Ann S. Davis, who did not vote.
Below are additional provisions as objected to by Leftist Latino groups, this was off one of their websites. They don't even want gang members deported. Notice the usual leftist language. Those 4000 deaths were the fault of those breaking the law.
Among other provisions, the bill:
* Continues expanding the same border enforcement and militarization strategies that has resulted in over 4,000 migrant death since 1994.
* Expands the expedited deportation program
* Drastically expands the definition of an aggravated felony (deportable offense).
* Requires mandatory detention for all immigrants apprehended at ports of entry or along international borders until removal or a final decision in their case.
* Sets a minimum bond of $5,000 for anyone with a Notice to Appear.
* Overturns the Supreme Court's ruling in Zadvydas which limits long-term detention.
* Renders immigrants affiliated with gangs deportable and inadmissible, mandates their detention, bars them from asylum or Temporary Protected Status; gives the AG authority to designate gang members for immigration purposes.
* Limits immigrants' access to the circuit courts by creating a special review process for federal court appeals of immigration cases.
* Makes undocumented immigration status a crime
* Makes certain provisions of the REAL ID Act retroactive
* Includes Day Labor Sites in the employment verification system.
This bill never became law. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven't passed are cleared from the books.
Last Action: Jan 27, 2006: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
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