Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Everything free in America (for a small fee in America): more immigration news

The Senate voted overwhelmingly yesterday to limit debate on the immigration bill. A final vote is expected later this week; passage by the Senate is considered somewhat likely. The Washington Post bravely leads with "Immigration Battle Likely" between the House and Senate: the House version is a bit sterner. Interestingly, the Hagel-Martinez three-tier category appears to still be live: "those here five years or longer, who could stay and pursue citizenship; those here two to five years, who could apply for green-card status after leaving the country; and those here less than two years, who would be ordered home." (Though the last group could of course still apply for visas from outside the U.S.)

The fight between Grassley (giving employers a safe-harbor protocol for avoiding charges of hiring illegals) and Kennedy (toughening penalties for hiring illegals) went to Grassley: SA.3986-3992 passed.

Three recent stories passed on:
  • From the AP, Feinstein's amendment allowing much more generous terms to illegal immigrants--effectively an asylum provision--was killed. Its detractors, somewhat fairly, labelled it a poison pill; certainly Republicans would not have supported the bill had it allowed all undocumented aliens to remain in the U.S. while undergoing a legalization process.
  • From the WSJ, a discussion of how much all this will cost. Heritage Foundation: $16b / yr. CBO: net of near zero (offsetting food-stamps with new payroll taxes). Total estimated increase in immigration: 66m new immigrants over the next twenty years.
  • See here for a discussion of the possibility of increased detention of asylum applicants. (About which I know very little, but should know more.)


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