Amnesty Prevails

26 04 2006

So it appears that amnesty will prevail despite most Americans’ dissent, and it took a lockout of non-agreeing senators.

Via the Washington Times:

President Bush and a group of senators yesterday reached general agreement on an immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for many illegal aliens.

But left out of the closed-door White House meeting were senators who oppose a path to citizenship. The meeting even snubbed two men who had been considered allies of Mr. Bush on immigration — Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and chairman of the immigration subcommittee, and Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican.

Mr. Bush in brief remarks to the press said there was agreement to get “a bill that does not grant automatic amnesty to people, but a bill that says, somebody who is working here on a legal basis has the right to get in line to become a citizen.” But senators, speaking afterward, said Mr. Bush was far more specific in the meeting.

“There was a pretty good consensus that what we have put into the Hagel-Martinez proposal here is the right way to go,” said Sen. Mel Martinez, Florida Republican. “I think he was very clear [on] pathway to citizenship, so long as it goes to the back of the line, and he even opened the door here for something we’ve haggled back and forth on, that you can shrink the time for people to become citizens by simply enlarging the number of green cards.”

And Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, said Mr. Bush “endorsed the concept of an earned citizenship.”

That would represent a substantial change on the part of the Bush administration, which just last year said it opposed a path to citizenship for those currently here illegally.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the Senate Judiciary Committee in October the administration didn’t support “a path through which they can get their permanent residence or citizenship,” and Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao echoed that: “We feel that a pathway to citizenship would reward those who have violated our laws.”

Then why in the world would you put a plan through that excludes dissenting senators and wreaks of amnesty?

The Hagel-Martinez bill would divide illegal aliens into three groups. Most of those who have been in the country for more than five years would be granted access to citizenship, those here more than two years but less than five years would have to go home first but would also be eligible for citizenship, while those here two years or less would not have a path.

Even as Mr. Bush is moving in that direction, the House majority leader yesterday rejected it.

“This idea that was being kicked around the Senate about providing some sort of amnesty for those who have been here five years or more, I just think it was a very big mistake,” House Majority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said yesterday. “You are just inviting more people to come.” Still, the senators in yesterday’s meeting were thrilled with where the debate is, and the direction Mr. Bush is headed.

Michelle Malkin says “Uh huh”

Even Sen. Frist appears to endorse the Hagel-Martinez bill:

I believe that a consensus has developed in the Senate that fixing border security is as important as creating an immigrant worker program. In early April, in fact, the Senate came very close to a breakthrough: Senators Chuck Hagel and Mel Martinez, along with many others, developed a fair, workable plan that would help deal with the 12 million people who are already in the United States.

This must be a very sticky situation for the tough reputed Bill Frist to support such a bill. We could deport all 12 million at gun point, or we can let them all stay, putting them on a path to citizenship, or we can do a combination of both.

The problem lies in where is the cutoff for deportation. It’s an ugly sounding word, but it’s not as bad as prison or execution. Do we deport those who have been here 2 years or less? Or 4 years or less? Or 6 years or less?

And what cut off point do we use for assessing fines on employers who continue to hire illegals once the new bill is in place?

Right Wing News wants to crack down.

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