Monday, March 27, 2006

Immigration Debate Heats Up, Lamar Smith on the Wrong Side

With the debate heating up on restricting immigration through out the United States, Lamar Smith was one of only 23 other Republican’s to tell President Bush that his policies are not conservative enough.

Currently a fight over HR 4437, a joint resolution to amend current legislation focused on Border Protection and Immigration standards, has begun to spill over into the economic and public arenas.

Yesterday over half a million people protested the resolution in Los Angeles and workers rights groups are calling this bill what it is… malicious and ineffective.

Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy have come up with a plan that President Bush agrees with and are working in a bi-partisan fashion to pass it, but Congressman Lamar Smith is not thinking about all of the blue color workers out there. At an event at Cornell, Smith once said that immigration should only be for the highest educated and with a focus on fields of work that American students cannot fill.

What this fails to address is the fact that HR 4437 would make it a priority to build a wall across the entire Mexican/American border, would make it a felony to hire or employ any undocumented worker, and a felony to transport (including a bus driver or taxi cab driver) any undocumented person.

The situation is deeper than what Congressman Smith and the other 22 Republican’s want to admit. Currently undocumented workers do the backbreaking labor that American’s will not consider doing. They are the janitors, farm workers, nurses, lawn care professionals, and construction workers that make our economy work.

The McCain/Kennedy plan focuses on something more important than building a couple trillion dollar wall around Mexico.

According to Associate Press writer Suzanne Gambao, employers and immigration advocates prefer a bill drafted by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., that would allow illegal immigrants to become eligible for permanent residency after working for six years. Both McCain and Frist are likely candidates for the Republican presidential nomination next year.

This would mandate that workers pay taxes, become documented, and show their positive impact to society, and then after six years would be granted the ability to start the process of becoming a citizen. Instead of wasting tax payer dollars, harming relations with our allies, and eliminating people that work the jobs that are the backbones of our nation.

According to Mark Silva of the Chicago Tribune, "The debate also has divided the Republican Party. Business-minded Republicans stress the reality of a labor force that many employers rely upon; cultural conservatives insist that any accommodation of illegal immigrants rewards lawbreaking and makes a mockery of the nation's borders."

Congressman Lamar Smith is so far out of the mainstream to his district he fails to realize the backbone of Bexar County and all of Congressional District 21 was built on a heritage of immigration, family, and hard work. He disagrees with his own leadership and is aggressively forcing the government into our homes. Lamar Smith is wrong for business and workers, he is wrong for America, and he is wrong for Texas.

For more on this debate check out National Public Radio.


At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not really related BUT you might enjoy the “docu-drama” - A Day Without Your Mexican…


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