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.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Immigration reform, slowly (Dream Act update)

So apparently the Democratic-controlled Congress is going to try to pass parts of the immigration bill that fell apart earlier this year. Fortunately, it seems as though they are going to push through less punitive measures like parts of AgJobs (to ensure farmworkers access to the United States) and the Dream Act (to gain a path to citizenship for undocumented high schoolers.)

Another bill, also with bipartisan support, would give a path to citizenship to high school graduates who are illegal immigrants if they complete two years of college or military service. Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and a sponsor of the bill, attached it as an amendment to the military authorization legislation that the Senate last month put off until September. Mr. Durbin said he would seek to move it again then.

While this is not broad and sweeping, it is better than the wretched employment-based bill that was proposed by Bush and the GOP. Rightfully, that bill died. Notice also, how the parts of the bill that are being re-proposed are some of the less objectionable parts -- i.e., does not seem to take jobs away from the middle class, and provides opportunities for kids. It's because the left is stepping carefully, carefully around the explosive minefield of anti-immigrant sentiment that was stirred up with the bill this spring. Well, rather, Congress is trying to gingerly step around it. I am sure that pro immigrant rights groups would prefer broader beneficial changes, minus the faulty points system.

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