Monday, March 27, 2006

We Don't Want You Here

The Senate Judiciary committee passed a version of legislation restricting immigration and workers rights, but created room for debate by allowing a guest worker program and humanitarian exception. These two changes will create a need for a conference committee to resolve the different House and Senate bills and give the Democrats an advantage for now.

The panel agreed to add the temporary worker program as proposed by Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat. It also agreed to a program for agricultural workers that was proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat.

The committee picked a fight with the House by adopting a competing proposal allowing humanitarian groups to help illegal immigrants.
The humanitarian exception was added when some smart legislator (Sen. Durbin) realized that this would prohibit churches from giving assistance to undocumented workers. According to, religious leaders are still uneasy about the House version of HR 4437 and are prepared to encourage people to do the right thing.
Catholic clergy joined the marches to protest the House measure, and Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles, California, said he would order his priests to violate a law banning humanitarian assistance, if passed.
The debate begins for the full senate tomorrow. There is an article here about Bush's call for a civil debate, Vince Leibowitz's view of what is right and wrong, and the ends and out of the day can be found here.

It appears Kuff has a great round up here too.


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