Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Immigration Bill Dies

I'm not entirely certain how I feel about this. I've been quite torn about this immigration bill from the beginning. Sometime soon, I'll be sitting down in front of my computer to organize my thoughts, but regardless of what I think, this is big news.

The Senate drove a stake Thursday through President Bush's plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.
This is a breaking news update. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP)—The Senate voted Thursday on an effort by opponents to stop a bill supported by President Bush to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants while also tightening the border against future immigrants.

The critical vote determining the bill's fate began shortly after 11 a.m. EDT.

Bush, seeking to salvage the biggest domestic initiative of his final two years in office, called senators earlier in the morning seeking help.

However, supporters needed 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to keep the bill alive. Aligned against it were conservatives who derided the legislation as a grant of amnesty for illegal behavior and some Democrats who said it would leave a new group of temporary workers vulnerable to exploitation.

Supporters pointed to the bill's tougher border security and workplace enforcement measures, along with an immediate infusion of $4.4 billion to pay for them, as reasons to keep the bill alive for a final vote Friday.

The carefully crafted compromise was left for dead after a similar vote three weeks ago but was revived by Bush and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who gave opponents more chances to change it.

1 comment:

Barenjager said...

I know EXACTLY how I feel about this. Bush and the Senate were WRONG!

The fix for immigration couldn't be simpler. Legal immigrants all have passports. They all have visas. Those passport and visa numbers are entered in a government database. Every industrialized country but the US has a national ID document which is linked to a government database. Most take the form of a passport. Passports are much harder to fake than green cards, social security cards or drivers licenses.

Every US citizen should be issued a passport at birth and have it updated every five years.

To curb illegal immigration, all that need be done is to provide employers with the means to do on-line verification of citizenship and visa status. Give them a way to do this, print out a receipt and keep that, along with a copy of the applicant's passport in their records.

When ICE shows up, if the employer has falsified or missing records for an employee, fine them $25,000 per day per violation (person). Do that and you'll see the issue go away.

What do we get in return? Reduced crime. Reduced hard drug flow. Reduced drag on education and healtcare and best of all, we get control of the labor market back. With that come jobs for those who aren't college educated. With that comes incresed tax revenue without incresed tax rates. We could afford to "subsidize" agriculture and other low rate of return industries because we'd be capturing revenue from tax on goods purchased here in the US rather than that money being sent out of the country.

BTW: For you privacy advocates out there that are shocked at my stance on a national ID card, you're off base. Try doing anything without your SSN. We've already got a national ID document. It's just a very poor one that is very easy to abuse. I'm advocating we get a better one, not something new.