Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Immigration "compromise" staggers back from the dead

And is a worse bill for it. The new focus/spin will be on "border security" and the bill will ironically be revived before Independence Day (since its outcome will tear families apart.)

Everyone from President Bush on down who supports it (including Dems) will be parroting how much more money will go into making the borders safer:

Earlier in the day, trying to start the bill moving again in the Senate, Mr. Bush called for an immediate burst of $4.4 billion in spending to show that the government was committed to “securing this border once and for all.”

Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, welcomed the president’s support for more spending on border security, but said, “There’s no reason why we should be forced to tie amnesty to it.”

Mr. Bush said the $4.4 billion would “come from the fines and penalties that we collect from those who have come to our country illegally” and apply for legal status.

But it will remain a hard sell, because the GOP base has totally deserted Bush on this issue.

Let's look at the ugly stuffed into this mummy of a bill:

Plus there's a delicious new tamper-proof social security card in the works:
A new proposal floated on Thursday in an effort to deter the hiring of illegal immigrants would put biometric identifiers into Social Security cards. That change would make the cards more difficult to forge and counterfeit, Mr. Schumer said.

Everyone has to do the touchback dance, not just those on a path to citizenship, and shiny new jail time for those who overstay student, tourist, or any visas:

Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison said the amendment package includes her proposal to require all undocumented aliens to return to their home country to apply for a ``Z-visa'' that will allow them to remain in the U.S. as long as they have jobs.

The original legislation would require the so-called touchback only of immigrants seeking a path to U.S. citizenship.

A new amendment would impose criminal penalties, including jail terms, for people who overstay tourist, student or work visas.

It would also set up a visa tracking system to allow law enforcement to check whether a person had overstayed their visas, as did several participants in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Yum, yum. Lots of bright shiny toys to placate the GOP base. As I said before, one of the downsides of xenophobic haters winning defeat of the previous bill is that well, the Senate feels even more compelled to stick in measures to please said haters.

So this version of the "mummy dance" is really one step forward (path to citizenship), twenty steps back (all other heinous parts of the bill, employment points chief amongst them.) I am done with this bill for this Congress. I just don't see how we can get something good out of this even if we go into conference with the House.

Btw, Educational justice links to an informative article about the National Immigration Forum and DC lobbying versus the will of the grassroots on immigration, and Thao Worra has a local view on feeling betrayed by his Senators on the English only issue.

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