Thursday, April 06, 2006

Immigration Debate Rages On

With all this DeLay stuff going on, and all the rumors swirling around the state about TX-22, it is easy to over look an important policy debate going on in Washington right now.

The Texas blog-o-sphere has been impressively active on the topic, and I have made an effort to find as many articles as I can, so please take a moment and read what other brilliant writers have to say.

The debate on migrant workers and their families stand at two different levels- policy and personal.

The personal side are the countless protests by citizens and both local and statewide politicians (like Republican Governor Jeb Bush), who are uniformly asking the federal government not to push the Lamar Smith House version that would build a $1.2 trillion wall and require a mass deportation of 11 million undocumented migrant workers and their families.

As describes it, the other side consists of the disconnected DC fraction that group people into three groups:

Those who had been in the country the longest, more than five years, would not be required to return to their home country before gaining legal status. They would be subject to several tests, including the payment of fines and back taxes, and be required to submit to a background check, according to these officials.

Illegal immigrants in the United States less than five years but more than two would be required to go to a border point of entry, briefly leave and then be readmitted to the United States. As with the longer-term illegal immigrants, other steps would be required for re-entry, after which they could begin seeking citizenship, these officials said.

Illegal immigrants in the United States less than two years would be required to leave the country and join any other foreign residents seeking legal entry.

These groupings were established because of an inability for conservatives to compromise on the bipartisan McCain/Kennedy bill that would allow for an earned citizenship classification and create the guest worker program President Bush supports.

Rebeca Chapa has a write up in the Express-News discussing the economic implications of immigration for the United States. Chapa argues that economic impact is a wash until we enforce current laws because they create wealth at the same rate they use social programs.

However, if we created a guest worker program,, documented current migrant workers, and implemented the already written policy incentives, then migrant workers would make closer to the minimum wage and use less social programs to supplement their income. In addition creating a stronger health care system, would decrease the cost for businesses (small and corporate) and decrease the cost of emergency medicine.

Hence the McCain/Kennedy bill in the Senate.

Rallies are continuing across the country and state and a large/organized rally will occur Monday in San Antonio, visit here for national march information.

We are still two or three days away from knowing how the federal government feels about states rights, workers rights, and the sanctity of family. I have a hunch they are going to write a law that is more in line with the House version than the McCain/Kennedy version. This would affectively give corporations an advantage over small business and yank parents away from children.

It is up to you to make sure that our legislators know how to vote.

For more background and the progression of this story visit the following sites:
Readers Know the Details:
Pink Dome- Here

Student Protests:
Kuff- Here and Here
People’s Republic of Seabrook- Here
Capital Annex- Here

General Overview:
Burnt Report- Here
Pink Dome- Here
Capital Annex- Here
Eye On Williamson County- Here

Colorado Rep Tom Tancredo:
Pink Dome- Here
People’s Republic of Seabrook- Here
And here are some of my older posts, here and here. Did I miss anything?


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