Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Senate Judiciary Committee immigration bill: update

What follows is a list of provisions from the bill that I have thus far been able to cobble together from the available information. Once the official text is put up I'll revise and update this.

  • Increased border security and cooperation with Mexico and Canada

  • Creates a "virtual wall" of unmanned vehicles, cameras and censors to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Doubles the border patrol over five years adding 12,000 agents

  • Provides a path to legalization and citizenship for the 12 mil undocumented immigrants as long as they pass security clearance, pay all back taxes, pay a criminal fine for breaking immigration laws, remain employed, have no criminal record, acquire a level of English proficiency, and eventually pass the civics section of the citizenship exam. Current undocumented residents cannot begin to apply for legal status until all current immigration requests have been processed

  • Creates a guest worker program that allows approximately 400,000 unskilled workers to come and work for up to six years. Additionally, after a certain amount of time the guest workers who qualify may apply for permanent residency.

  • Doubles all current fines for employers who hire illegal workers

  • Quotas will become adjustable according to a given formula

  • The Department of Labor will maintain an updated Job Bank of willing employers looking for workers

  • The DREAM program will be continued allowing children of undocumented immigrants who have graduated from high school to be allowed to apply to Colleges without having their parents immigration status taken into consideration

  • The inclusion of an agricultural provision that will allow 1.5 million agricultural workers to work in the US legally

  • Redefines the "aggravated felony" language of HR4437 to exempt those already here from prosecution.

  • Exempts humanitarian workers from possible criminal penalties


From the AILA website comes this action item:

Mr. Frist apparently has sought and obtained "unanimous consent" (UC) to devote the first day of debate on immigration reform (starting either tomorrow or Thursday) to debate only, no amendments or votes. This means there will be no "motion to proceed" and no filibuster at this point. It is unclear which base bill Frist will proceed with (his own or the Judiciary Committee bill), but because he is apparently leaving the question open for now, we should continue pressing for the Senate Judiciary Committee bill to be the starting point for debate.

Please continue to call Senate offices and to express appreciation to Specter, Graham, Brownback, DeWine, and Feinstein for their votes yesterday. Their offices are getting slammed with negative calls and need to hear some positive reinforcement from our side!

Feinstein: (202) 224-3841
DeWine: (202) 224-2315
Graham: (202) 224-5972
Brownback: (202) 224-6521
Specter: (202) 224-4254


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NC Yellow Dog said...

hey, where are we with this? I had to work most of the day.

Are we on the senate floor with this yet?

Please keep posting updates, it's the only source of information I have when I'm at work!

Thank you!!!

Duke1676 said...

Nowhere really ... Frist will put both his bill and the Judiciary bill out on the floor with the judiciary bill being considered a substitute for his.
Both will be up for amendment starting thurs morning I believe.

Anonymous said...

hey i heard there was an updated or changed vervion now...what da deal?

Anonymous said...

first of all thank you for recognizing and giving us a chance to be legalized here in the u.s. there's just a few people who care about us and our status here. i hope the bill will be approved. thank you. and may God Bless all of you.

Anonymous said...

First of all, thank you for having this site up, it gives individuals a chance to express their situation, unlike undocumented individuals from mexico, i came to this country with a valid tourist visa, got offered a job, stayed, spent my life savings and worked on getting the necessary papers,got approval for H1B, Labor Certification and I-140, but due to the tedious US immigration process , fell out of status and became ineligible for adjustment.
Now, my sponsor's business is not doing good as with most small businesses. And the fear of loosing my only source of income is terrifying. Only hope left is for a legalization bill, not to take jobs away from americans but to accept jobs that most would not want.Please do not insinuate that we are bad people, we only need to earn an honest days living to survive just like any decent human being. I would even accept a six year guest worker visa if that is the only option, just to alleviate the feeling of constant fear i have been experiencing for the past six years, longer for others . For most people like myself it is too late to turn back, i dont have anything to go back home to, i've sold everything i owned back home to pay my lawyer, please give us a chance.God Bless America.

Anonymous said...

If you are illegal you should go home and wait for any law that gets passed which doubtfully will,On the subject of amnesty you all should have to pay thousands of dollars like I had to for my wife to get legal in this country.This is a joke every person you send back 3 more try to get in. My home town has turned into el salvdor and It bothers me greatly.Thank you and go senator Frist you have the right Ideas.

Anonymous said...

illegal immigrants that are already here should not have to go back home because some of them might not have anything back home anymore especially after living here for almost their entire life. As for the fines, im sure illegal immigrants will all be willing to pay the fines but i hope that the payment is reasonble because most of these illegal immigrants does not have a big income to begin with. I hope that they make the bill easy for illegal immigrants to move forward to something better, not to start over.