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May 03, 2004
DEMOCRATS PREPARE IMMIGRATION PROPOSAL
“Congressional Democrats, playing catch-up with President Bush’s guest-worker proposal, plan to introduce an immigration reform bill Tuesday that would put millions of illegal immigrants on the path to citizenship but restrict the entry of future workers,” the LA Times reports. “The Democratic plan would offer green cards and permanent resident status to all immigrants who have been in the United States at least five years, can prove they have worked at least 24 months and have passed background and medical checks. It also would loosen quotas that keep many immigrants from bringing relatives into the United States.”
meg valami ,de leforditani nem akarom , hosszu egy kics
May 05, 2004
KERRY WARY OF NEW DEMOCRAT AMNESTY PLAN
Kerry Hesitates as Democrats Promote Immigration Plan
His campaign is said to be wary of backing bills that could be ‘picked apart’ by the GOP.
Inside the White House
By R.A.-Zaldivar and Ronald Brownstein
WASHINGTON — With stirring speeches in English and Spanish, senior Democratic lawmakers unveiled their party’s immigration reform blueprint Tuesday — even though their presumptive presidential candidate, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, had taken no position on the far-reaching legislation.
“The question is, ‘Where’s Kerry?’ ” said Harry P. Pachon, president of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, a Latino research center at USC. “It may be … that he is worried about the backlash.”
Immigration is a politically charged issue, especially when voters are uncertain about the economy.
The Democratic measure would offer a route to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants already in the country while setting limits on the future entry of foreign guest workers.
By contrast, President Bush has proposed a new guest-worker program — with no numerical limits — to fill jobs that Americans don’t want. Illegal immigrants already here could register as guest workers for up to six years, but they would have no guarantees that they could obtain green cards leading to citizenship.
Democrats described their legislation as the product of months of negotiation with key interest groups representing immigrants, labor and business. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), the proposal’s co-author and a mentor to Kerry in the Senate, called it an issue of “fundamental fairness.”
Kerry’s aloofness is “certainly curious or peculiar,” said Demetrios G. Papademetriou, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan policy center in Washington studying the movement of people worldwide.
A senior Kerry campaign official said that the candidate supported the concept of offering green cards to undocumented immigrants who were established, law-abiding workers, but that he had not yet decided whether he would endorse the Democratic measure.
“If comprehensive immigration reform passed the Congress this year, nobody would be cheering louder than John Kerry,” said policy director Sarah Bianchi. “We’re reviewing the details of the bill, but have long supported comprehensive immigration reform along these basic principles.”
Democratic sources said the Kerry camp was reluctant to sign on to specific bills that could be “picked apart” by Republicans. But immigrant advocates say they expect the candidate to define where he stands.
“If he plans to appear before national Latino organizations, I do think he’ll need a position by this summer,” said Larry Gonzalez, Washington representative for the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
Democrats have criticized Bush for being vague on the details of his immigration plan and unwilling to expend political capital to push it in Congress. On Tuesday, they drew a sharp distinction between their plan and the president’s.
“Unlike the president’s plan that says ‘come, work and adios,’ our legislation respects workers,” Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a co-author of the proposal, said during an outdoor news conference with the Capitol dome as background. Television cameras, including those of the major Spanish-language networks, showed a multi-ethnic crowd of supporters waving American flags.
“Instead of second-class immigration status and a clear exit sign, we offer the same welcome mat that has been a fundamental part of our nation’s proud history,” Gutierrez added.
Rep. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), speaking in Spanish, urged voters to crack the “whip” at the ballot box in November, so the bill could be passed next year.
Republicans called the Democratic plan unrealistic.
“I worry that this new bill does little beyond encouraging further illegal immigration,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in a statement. Yet some Republicans, including Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, have proposed plans that would allow illegal immigrants to seek green cards.
Separately on Tuesday, a Harvard scholar released a study estimating that immigration reduced the wages of U.S. male workers by an average of about 4% from 1980 to 2000, with heavier losses for high school dropouts, Latinos and African Americans. George J. Borjas, a leading immigration economist, said immigrants added to the supply of low-skilled workers, pushing down wages.
Previous studies have found a smaller or negligible effect on U.S. workers, but Borjas said he used a new method. His paper was presented at a discussion sponsored by the Center for Immigration Studies, a private research organization in Washington that supported restrictions on immigration. Other economists invited to speak at the event questioned whether the effect on the wages of U.S. workers was as large, and one suggested that Borjas might not have sufficiently accounted for the demand for low-wage labor.
Borjas said neither the Bush plan nor the Democratic bill would make for sound policy while illegal immigrants were still able to cross from Mexico. “It would be a great mistake,” he said. “Let’s actually control the border.
May 05, 2004
KERRY WARY OF NEW DEMOCRAT AMNESTY PLAN2004-05-05-03:26 #325990
meg egy kis info bovebben
Dueling Immigration Ideas Frame a Key Election Issue
Democrats counter Bush’s guest-worker concept with a move toward citizenship.
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats, playing catch-up with President Bush’s guest-worker proposal, plan to introduce an immigration reform bill Tuesday that would put millions of illegal immigrants on the path to citizenship but restrict the entry of future workers.
The Democratic plan would offer green cards and permanent resident status to all immigrants who have been in the United States at least five years, can prove they have worked at least 24 months and have passed background and medical checks. It also would loosen quotas that keep many immigrants from bringing relatives into the United States.
The Democrats’ proposal, coupled with the Bush plan, would frame the election-year debate on a politically sensitive issue. In many parts of the country, and especially in swing states such as Florida and New Mexico, both parties are courting immigrant constituencies.
The two proposals take sharply different approaches: The Democrats would make it harder to import so-called guest workers but would open the path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country; Bush would allow illegal immigrants to become legal temporary workers, but without a promise of green cards or citizenship.
The Los Angeles Times obtained a detailed summary of the Democratic bill, which was drafted by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.).
The bill is an effort to recapture a traditionally Democratic issue from President Bush, who got out in front by proposing a new guest-worker plan that would allow as many as 12 million illegal immigrants to obtain temporary legal status.
“It’s political tit for tat,” said Demetrios Papademetriou, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan Washington think tank. “The Democrats have been working on immigration for quite a while, and they cannot afford to have the president one-up them on it.”
Latinos generally have voted Democratic in the past, but Republicans see an opportunity to make inroads. Polls have shown that Latino voters, while skeptical, are receptive to Bush’s immigration plan. It won the endorsement of Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Republicans hope to increase their share of the Latino vote in November.
Release of the Democratic blueprint is planned for the eve of Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican patriotic observance commemorating the 1862 defeat of French invaders at the Battle of Puebla.
Prospects for the passage of comprehensive immigration legislation are slim because the two parties are far apart in an election year. But the competing proposals are expected to define the battle lines.
Renewed attention to the issue, however, may build political support for limited measures benefiting farm workers and students that have support from lawmakers of both parties.
The Democrats’ reform plan provides a window into the kinds of compromises Bush may be pushed to accept if he wins a second term — and the policies presumed Democratic nominee Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) might pursue if elected president.
Kerry has endorsed the concept of “earned legalization” — an amnesty for illegal immigrants who are established, working and have passed a background check.
The Democratic proposal contains more detail than Bush’s principles for immigration reform. And it offers a different approach for dealing with the estimated 8 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country.
Bush has proposed a broad guest-worker program that would allow illegal immigrants to remain in the country up to six years.
Like a funnel, however, it would let only a few progress to green cards and citizenship. The president said he would support what he termed a reasonable increase in the number of available green cards, but had not said by how much.
The Democrats want to allow undocumented workers to apply for permanent legal status but limit the number of future guest workers to 350,000 a year. The figure is close to some estimates of the net annual increase of illegal immigrants.
The Democratic proposal is largely silent on enforcement. Bush has called for a crackdown on employers who hire undocumented workers. Many analysts think a legalization program would have to include a significant increase in enforcement to pass Congress. In the House, about 120 lawmakers support deputizing local police and sheriffs to help enforce immigration laws.
“If and when there is a comprehensive immigration reform bill, we know there is going to be an enforcement component to it,” said Theresa Brown, immigration policy director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Democratic bill has three main components: “earned adjustment” or amnesty, family reunification and a guest-worker program.
The amnesty provisions are extensive. For example, though the main legalization program would be restricted to those who could prove they had lived in the U.S. for five years, recent arrivals would not be shut out. The Democratic plan would allow them to apply for a “transitional status” good for five years. After that, they could seek green cards.
The Democrats’ plan also addresses backlogs that can mean years of waiting for immigrants trying to join their relatives already living in the United States — a concern for other immigrants as well as Latinos.
Close relatives would be exempted from numerical limits on family-based immigration. Visa applicants waiting for more than five years would be granted admission, regardless of per-country numerical limits.
The United States admits about 1 million legal immigrants each year, and such family-reunification measures could lead to a significant increase over time.
The Democrats’ guest-worker program would be more restrictive than Bush’s. It is likely to prove unacceptable to business groups.
The Bush plan requires employers to show that they could not find a U.S. worker for the job. But it sets no limit on the number of foreign workers who would be allowed entry, guaranteed only the minimum wage. The Democratic plan sets an annual limit of 350,000 visas for low-skilled workers. It would require employers to pay “prevailing wages” keyed to union pay scales.
“It has to be a wish list, because the Democrats don’t control anything,” said Papademetriou. “What they are trying to do is create a conversation.”
Proponents of restrictions on immigration predicted that the Democrats’ plan and Bush’s plan would prove equally unpopular with a majority of voters, particularly the native-born.
“John Kerry certainly doesn’t want to become known as the illegal alien amnesty candidate, although Bush is too in a way,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “I see this as a way to appeal to the Hispanic voting base.”
On Monday, White House officials are scheduled to meet with about 70 representatives of Latino community service organizations from around the country. The activists want Bush to push harder for his immigration reform plan.
A spokesman for the group, Oscar Chacon of the Heartland Alliance in Chicago, said the Democratic plan might have broader appeal among Latinos.
“It seems to be more of a finished product, more concrete than what the president announced,” Chacon said. “The president was very eloquent about the value of Hispanic immigration, but he gave few details about what he wants to do. We are tired of promises, and we are looking for action.”*
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
Congressional Democrats plan to unveil an immigration reform bill next week. How the main points compare to Bush’s principles for reform:
Democrats: Those who have lived in the United States at least five years, worked at least 24 months, pass a background check and medical exam, and demonstrate English proficiency could obtain permanent resident status (green cards). Those here for less than five years could apply for temporary status.
Bush: Illegal immigrants could apply for a temporary worker card, but would have to seek green cards separately and would get no special consideration. They would have to pass a background check and pay a registration fee. The temporary worker card would be good for three years and could be renewed for another three.
Democrats: A maximum of 350,000 guest workers could be admitted each year under two new programs. Employers must certify that U.S. workers are not available and the Labor Department must find that employment of foreign workers would not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. Workers could seek green cards after two years.
Bush: No limit on number of guest workers. Would match willing workers with willing employers, when no U.S. worker could be found for the job. Guest workers could bring their immediate families, and would be covered by U.S. wage and workplace safety laws. Workers could save money in tax-sheltered accounts to build a nest egg for their return home. They would get credit for Social Security contributions.
Democrats: Would promote family reunification by reducing or eliminating the years of waiting that legal immigrants now face to bring relatives to the U.S. from their home countries.
Bush: Would seek what he described as a reasonable increase in legal immigration. The U.S. now admits about 1 million legal immigrants a year.
Democrats: No major new enforcement initiatives.
Bush: Would increase enforcement against employers who continue to hire illegal immigrants.2004-05-04-21:25 #325989
hiszem el….2004-05-04-21:04 #325988
Ezt hol talaltad? Honnan vetted, hol olvastad?2004-05-03-22:28 #325987
de ez is csak terv…annyi terv volt mar…2004-05-03-19:16 #325986
bar mindenfelekepp torvenyt sertenek,es nem tudom hogy tudnak keresztul vinni a kongreszsuson es a szenatuson,ugyanis mivel demokrata terv,a valasztasok miatt keletkezik csak es a republikanus nyulat akarjak,csak kiugrasztani a bokorbol