New immigration bill introduced in Senate

ImmigrantRightsOneNation

On Sept. 29, just before Congress recessed for the midterm elections, Democratic Senators Robert Menendez (New Jersey) and Patrick Leahy (Vermont) introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate. Although to some this seems to be an odd moment to be introducing such a thing, Menendez, Leahy and some immigrant rights activists think there is a chance of getting it passed during the lame duck session, between the election and the inauguration of the new Congress in January 2011.

The bill, S 3932, has no cosponsors as yet. It is pitched to the right of the main comprehensive immigration reform bill in the House of Representatives, HR 4321, and contains elements of an abortive attempt at a bill proposed by Senators Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., which was discussed earlier this year. The Schumer-Graham bill was dropped by Graham when the Republicans decided that they could get more electoral mileage out of immigrant-bashing than out of anything vaguely resembling statesmanship.

The authoritative Immigration Policy Center  has done a thorough preliminary analysis of the new 874-page bill's major points.

* The approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants thought to be in this country will be given a chance to legalize themselves. This will entail paying fines, learning English and surviving a provisional "Lawful Protected Immigrant" status for six years. Persons who have committed serious crimes cannot qualify, but immigrants will not be excluded on the basis of having used a false Social Security number to work. During this time, they will be able to work and, extremely important to many immigrants, travel back and forth to visit their families. After six years they can become legal permanent residents eligible for eventual U.S. citizenship.

* Legal immigration categories will be refigured to allow more immigration for family unity and for work, which is intended to make it easier to come here legally and thus cut down on the pressure to come without documents. A bipartisan commission will be created to determine legal immigration quotas for the future.

* There will be a new guest worker program, called H-2C, for areas of the U.S. economy in which there is supposedly a shortage of labor. Though this component includes supposed safeguards against abuse, they will be hard to enforce and this item is likely to be opposed by most of organized labor.

* There are a number of new initiatives on border and internal enforcement. After five years, all employers in the United States will be required to electronically verify an employee's authorization to work in the United States. A new electronic Social Security card will be phased in.

* There will be programs to ensure that immigrants detained by the government will not be abused, will have access to health care and attorneys' services, and will not be separated from their minor children.

* The DREAM and AgJobs acts are included in their entirety.

The week after S 3932 was introduced, the Department of Homeland Security announced a record figure of 392,862 deportations for the 2010 fiscal year. Homeland Security claims that the number of "criminal aliens" deported is up to half of the total and the number of ordinary undocumented immigrants is down. However it would appear that the "criminal aliens" include not just murderers, thieves and gangsters, but also people ordered deported who did not leave, people who have been deported but who have come back again, and people whose offenses are relatively minor. Other aspects of the DHS crackdown are controversial. Harsher penalties on employers of undocumented workers do not generally help the workers, who are forced to find jobs that are even worse than the ones from which they are displaced.

The crackdown on criminal and undocumented aliens, plus the "enforcement" and "guest worker" elements included in the Menendez-Leahy bill are presented as part of a strategy to attract Republican support for comprehensive immigration reform. So far, it does not seem to be working, as the Republicans continue to use immigration as a wedge issue and concede nothing in return for the Democrats' olive branch.

At the beginning of the Obama administration, immigrants' rights activists had pressed the White House and Congress to move quickly on comprehensive immigration reform precisely because they feared that if this was left to the last minute, the issue would collide with the racist demagogy of the election season and reform would be doomed. The fate of the DREAM Act, which was shot down by the Republicans last month, is certainly discouraging to the overall effort.

But the situation of immigrant families in this country has become so dire that there is no backing down.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ep_jhu/5046106632/ cc 2.0

 

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  • Comprehensive Immigration reform is an urgent action necessary now for the undocumented. We cannot ignore intelligent people like Director of USCIS Alejandro Mayorkas, who encourage ideas of Senator Zoe Logfren that green card be given to foreign graduates with advance degrees. Obama administration should also welcomes programs like New program for entrepreneurs ( for immigrants who creates start-up jobs and have incorporated businesses, Law firm and companies. This year is almost over, America should settle this issue so that there will be rest, peace and thanksgiving. Where is our heart of compassion? If we rise up to help nations then we need to rise up to the people that we see,talk, touch, live with everyday.

    Posted by Lizzy, 10/18/2011 3:55pm (3 years ago)

  • It is high time that the issue of immigration reform is executed. If the illegal immigrant can be legalized, money realized from the fines can be used, brain- drain can be avoided(professional: lawyers, doctors, engineers, researchers, nurses, computer programmers,professors who came here with lawful and now out of status(leaving out of fear they will be detained and deported). Some of these specialist are our neighbors, colleagues, associates and entrepreneurs. America should make a change while there is still time. These immigrants have contributed to the country , paid their taxes and willing to stay. America have invested into some of the immigrant through training and they want give back , sending to other countries is not cost effective: spending millions to deport millions.

    Posted by Betty, 10/18/2011 3:25pm (3 years ago)

  • Does HR 4321 contain a proposal to implement a national ID card? I know the immigration bill by Lindsey Graham does have such a proposal, but I'm not sure about HR 4321.

    Posted by Andrew, 11/09/2010 10:52pm (4 years ago)

  • munsee whitehorse please remember that regardless the fact you have a right to your opinion, it shows you have a mental problem and you are an idiot by posting more than once your hate..........so please move out of this country if yo donlt like it you are the deadwood of this land!

    Posted by the american, 10/12/2010 12:08am (4 years ago)

  • Rebecca a last comment for you. You are the real deal as an american and I can not say any words that might ease you pain. The country and the gov has failed you. Make sure you educate your children that are US citizens and look towards the future for a place that will bring success to them. Make sure they do well in school and that they will get scholarships in the country they will be the best prepared. Remember Europe, Canada etc etc also have great schools and the way we are going you might be better off in the future by sending your kids somewherelse where they will be appreciated. But do not forget to teach them what you just learned regarding the priorities in your life that is there is no country without a family and family without love and responsibility. Also make sure as new wars happen in the future they will not be called to fight for a non-justifiable one, remember that if the country failed them why would they ever fight for it.....?God bless you!

    Posted by the american, 10/12/2010 12:05am (4 years ago)

  • Thank you to Sarah C, Rebecca and Facts for reinforcing my points in the article.

    As for the idea of the U.S. invading and taking over Mexico and turning it into a slave state for US corporations, it's been tried. It 'worked" in the U.S. Mexico War of 1846-1848 because Mexico at that time was saddled with the results of years of incompetent and corrupt government under a dictator, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who at times was secretly on the U.S. payroll. But in spite of Santa Anna's betrayals and incompetence, the Mexican people fought back, though the country lost half its national territory.
    Today, if the United States invaded Mexico, the country would be instantly united behind the resistance. The population of Mexico is 108 million, many more than in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. Think it would be a pushover?

    Posted by Emile Schepers, 10/11/2010 10:43pm (4 years ago)

  • Rebecca i am with you. I hate to say this but the more i live the more I realize you must chose your family,, family comes first. The land and a country are just passive boundaries with no conscious and full of crooked politicians taht would sell their sould and family for greed.....................

    Posted by the american, 10/11/2010 8:15pm (4 years ago)

  • Mexico Has Invaded/Sabotage The U.S Jobs Market & Economy and Increased Border Violence… Mexican government dose not stop their population when crossing South West U.S Borders. Help Legal U.S Citizens Liberate The U.S From Mexico's Government & Help End The Worlds Largest Illegal Immigrant Invasion Of Over 30 Million People…
    A Plan For A Real “American Dream Act” Bill & Counter Attack To Save Legal U.S Citizen From Silent Invasion:

    First bring back our soldiers from this Afghanistan war that is costly and going nowhere. Middle Eastern and Asians love to see us waste money and go broke fighting for freedom when they don’t really want it. This is their main weapon and we keep falling into their trap. Then we need to regroup military troops and military force to invade/overthrow Mexico’s government turning it into a U.S territory.
    The new land will be used as an industrial/business commerce zone. U.S citizens will be able to by property and have a dual citizenship between U.S and Mexico. Mexico will keep its current currency and there current government will be demoted to local municipal law enforcement as long as they surrender to the U.S.
    The U.S will be in full control of all laws, finances, local law enforcement, military and our “Secondary Army of Illegal Soldiers/Enforcers” in Mexico. The path to dual citizenship will require the illegal immigrants living in the U.S to serve in the U.S Secondary South Boarder Military for teen years… Along with completing the invasion/overthrow of Mexican government to expand U.S lands, business, and revive our economy. For Mexico citizen requesting to come to the U.S temporary worker programs and legal paths to citizenship & residence will be granted to those who qualify.
    This action is to liberate Mexico from its corrupt government that is destroying it self and the U.S slowly. It is also a test for them to redeem them selves for us to see, how much heart they have, how patriotic they are, and much they love this country including us, laws in all.
    This Government, past & present, Republican & Democrat, have allowed this invasion of 20 to 30 million illegal aliens of which is the largest invasion of any Nation, at any time, by any means and in direct violation of Article IV Section IV of the U.S Constitution. Our government has failed the most basic and primary task & duty of government, spelled out in our Constitution Article IV Section IV to protect this Nation and its Citizens from invasion and enforce its laws.
    We need real change and action on this now!
    Give Central, South & Caribbean Americans Rights Reside In Mexico To Work
    U.S. Constitution - Article 4 Section 4 Text Copy
    Article 4 - The States
    Section 4 - Republican Government
    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

    WARNING U.S.A NATIONAL EMERGENCY REACTIVATE ALL U.S MILITIA FORCES NOW
    -CITE- Partial Text Copy
    10 USC CHAPTER 13 - THE MILITIA
    -STATUTE-

    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied
    males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section
    313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a
    declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States
    and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the
    National Guard.

    (b) The classes of the militia are -

    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard
    and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of
    the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the
    Naval Militia.

    Pass It On To Congress & The President!!!

    Posted by Illegal Immigrants Crminals Will Rule The U.S, 10/11/2010 2:39pm (4 years ago)

  • I AM NOT SAYING DONT CLOSE THE BORDERS. I AM SAYING STOP THE HATE.

    Before you Scream and show Ignorance and Hate at least read the Immigration Law regarding Undocumented Immigrants.


    THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ARE PAYING MORE TAXES THAN YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Eight million Undocumented immigrants pay Social Security, Medicare and income taxes. Denying public services to people who pay their taxes is an affront to America’s bedrock belief in fairness. But many “pull-up-the-drawbridge” politicians want to do just that when it comes to Undocumented immigrants.

    The fact that Undocumented immigrants pay taxes at all will come as news to many Americans. A stunning two thirds of Undocumented immigrants pay Medicare, Social Security and personal income taxes.

    Yet, nativists like Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., have popularized the notion that illegal aliens are a colossal drain on the nation’s hospitals, schools and welfare programs — consuming services that they don’t pay for.

    In reality, the 1996 welfare reform bill disqualified Undocumented immigrants from nearly all means tested government programs including food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare-funded hospitalization.

    The only services that illegals can still get are emergency medical care and K-12 education. Nevertheless, Tancredo and his ilk pushed a bill through the House criminalizing all aid to illegal aliens — even private acts of charity by priests, nurses and social workers.

    Potentially, any soup kitchen that offers so much as a free lunch to an illegal could face up to five years in prison and seizure of assets. The Senate bill that recently collapsed would have tempered these draconian measures against private aid.

    But no one — Democrat or Republican — seems to oppose the idea of withholding public services. Earlier this year, Congress passed a law that requires everyone who gets Medicaid — the government-funded health care program for the poor — to offer proof of U.S. citizenship so we can avoid “theft of these benefits by illegal aliens,” as Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., puts it. But, immigrants aren’t flocking to the United States to mooch off the government.

    According to a study by the Urban Institute, the 1996 welfare reform effort dramatically reduced the use of welfare by undocumented immigrant households, exactly as intended. And another vital thing happened in 1996: the Internal Revenue Service began issuing identification numbers to enable illegal immigrants who don’t have Social Security numbers to file taxes.

    One might have imagined that those fearing deportation or confronting the prospect of paying for their safety net through their own meager wages would take a pass on the IRS’ scheme. Not so. Close to 8 million of the 12 million or so illegal aliens in the country today file personal income taxes using these numbers, contributing billions to federal coffers.

    No doubt they hope that this will one day help them acquire legal status — a plaintive expression of their desire to play by the rules and come out of the shadows. What’s more, aliens who are not self-employed have Social Security and Medicare taxes automatically withheld from their paychecks.

    Since undocumented workers have only fake numbers, they’ll never be able to collect the benefits these taxes are meant to pay for. Last year, the revenues from these fake numbers — that the Social Security administration stashes in the “earnings suspense file” — added up to 10 percent of the Social Security surplus.

    The file is growing, on average, by more than $50 billion a year. Beyond federal taxes, all illegals automatically pay state sales taxes that contribute toward the upkeep of public facilities such as roads that they use, and property taxes through their rent that contribute toward the schooling of their children.

    The non-partisan National Research Council found that when the taxes paid by the children of low-skilled immigrant families — most of whom are illegal — are factored in, they contribute on average $80,000 more to federal coffers than they consume. Yes, many illegal migrants impose a strain on border communities on whose doorstep they first arrive, broke and unemployed.

    To solve this problem equitably, these communities ought to receive the surplus taxes that federal government collects from immigrants. But the real reason border communities are strained is the lack of a guest worker program.

    Such a program would match willing workers with willing employers in advance so that they wouldn’t be stuck for long periods where they disembark while searching for jobs. The cost of undocumented aliens is an issue that immigrant bashers have created to whip up indignation against people they don’t want here in the first place.

    With the Senate having just returned from yet another vacation and promising to revisit the stalled immigration bill, politicians ought to set the record straight: Illegals are not milking the government. If anything, it is the other way around.


    The Undocumented Immigrants pay the exact same amount of taxes like you and me when they buy Things, rent a house, fill up gas, drink a beer or wine, buy appliances, play the states lottery and mega millions . Below are the links to just a few sites that will show you exactly how much tax you or the Undocumented Immigrant pays , so you see they are NOT FREELOADERS, THEY PAY TAXES AND TOLLS Exactly the same as you, Now if you take out 10% from your states /city Budget what will your city/state look like financially ?

    Stop your folly thinking , you are wise USE YOUR WISDOM to see the reality. They pay more taxes than you think, Including FEDERAL INCOME TAX using a ITN Number that is given to them by the IRS, Social Security Taxes and State taxes that are withheld form their paychecks automatically.

    Posted by Facts, 10/11/2010 2:21pm (4 years ago)

  • I know that immigration reform is a dirty word with the mid term elections coming but we cannot let immigration reform be forgotten. I have been married for over two years to a wonderful man who is a Mexican national. We also have two beautiful little boys. Ray will be three in March- he is actually my grandson but we have custody and are trying to adopt him. Sammy will be two in November. My husband Samuel is a wonderful father and husband and I am so blessed to have him in our lives. I admit that he as been in the United States for ten years illegally and I knew this when I married him. I do not hold this against him because once I visited his home in Mexico I understood why so many people risk their lives to come to the United States.

    After a couple of years of marriage we decided to take the necessary steps to get him legalized. We wanted to do the right thing so Samuel returned to Mexico until we could get him home legally. When he went for his interview at the American Embassy, they slapped him with a big fat denied and told him that he is bared from re-entering the United States for ten years. After the ten years he can reapply. We consulted immigration attorneys and there is no appeal process for our situation. In the meantime our family has been ripped apart. I have lost my husband and our boys have lost their father. Aren’t there enough fatherless children in this country???

    This was in April. After a long, heartfelt discussion, we made the difficult decision to leave the boys in Mexico to stay with their father and grandparents. I work for the federal government in a management position and I work 50-60 hours a week. I have no family to help me so the boys would spend ALL day in daycare. We would rather for them to be with a large and loving extended family than cooped up in a day care center. The money I would be spending on daycare I use to fly down to visit every chance I get even if it’s for a long weekend. I have endured much criticism for this decision but I don’t know what else to do. I went from living the American dream to loosing my entire family.

    I am being forced to choose between the country I love and my family. What happened to liberty and justice for all??? What kind of government creates laws that intentionally rip families apart??? And just think, this is supposed to be the greatest country on earth. Since we cannot live on love alone, I continue to work and send money to my family in Mexico and I go see them when I can. We are praying that Pres Obama will hold true to his promise of “compassionate” immigration reform. If something doesn’t happen soon then I will have to leave everything behind and move to Mexico so our family can be together.

    People need to know the ugly truth about some of our immigration laws and why immigration reform is so important. Most people think that once an immigrant marries a U.S. citizen then they are guaranteed legalization but that is so far from the truth. It needs to be known how these laws affect AMERICAN families and how AMERCIAN children are being torn away form the parents they love.

    Posted by Rebecca, 10/11/2010 12:46pm (4 years ago)

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