Thursday, May 17, 2007

Immigration proposal in the senate

A deal has been reached in the Senate. It appears to be along the lines of what had been reported yesterday. The goal is to have debate and a vote before Memorial Day. I want to see the actual text of the bill (and I will post a link once they have it--apparently it is 380 pages) but here are some of the details that have been announced:

  • those who crossed into the U.S. illegally before January 1 could get a visa to remain here legally; within 8 years the head of household would need to return to the country of origin to apply for legal permanent residence
  • 400,000 slots for temporary workers, on 2 year contract renewable 3 times, but with no avenue for citizenship, and the person would have to leave the country each time to renew
  • a point system to determine who should be granted green cards (they did grant points for people who performed low-skilled but high demand jobs)
  • reduction of the number of family members who can come
  • there will be security triggers before any of this happens
Give the Senate credit. I was certainly dubious that even a workable proposal would be constructed. Let the debate begin.


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