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amnesty deal struck

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WASHINGTON (AP)—Republican and Democratic senators huddled Thursday trying to close in on an immigration compromise to grant quick legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants while fortifying U.S. borders against new ones.


A group of lawmakers that has been haggling over the terms of agreement for weeks were reviewing language negotiated Wednesday night in efforts to nail down a deal. Among the final sticking points was a stubborn dispute over how much family ties count toward green cards under a new "point system." The plan prioritizes advanced skills and education levels for future immigrants.


Two of the lead negotiators, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., booked time for Thursday afternoon in the Senate's radio-TV gallery for an announcement.


But Kennedy said some were hanging back as an agreement inched closer.


"There are just some people who don't want to close on this. There comes a time in every negotiation where people have to close," Kennedy said. "Today is it."


Kennedy said Thursday was likely the last chance for a compromise before senators scattered for a three-day weekend.


"The immigration reform legislation has come to a boiling point," Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said just before going into Thursday's meeting. "We've tried to come to a consensus and I think we are very, very close, but every time we grasp it, it eludes a final resolution."


If no deal emerged, Senate Democrats were to vote Monday evening to bring up an immigration measure that passed last year over the objections of most Republicans, who have said they will block it. That would be a highly partisan start to the immigration debate, which divides the two parties and exposes fissures within their ranks.


Even with a bipartisan agreement, the immigration debate could easily devolve into a free-for-all in the unruly Senate.


Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he wants to complete a bill before Memorial Day, and President Bush says he wants to sign one by summer's end.

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only in politics are things portrayed as something totally different than what they are. for instance... this bills supporters claim that their is no amnesty in thier proposal. false. its like these great oxymorons... jumbo shrimp or military intellegence.

reminds me of mitt romney. 'first off i believe in the second amendment. but i also support an assault weapons ban"

or various republicans 'im pro life, abortion is murder, but lets bomb, iran, iraq, syria, north korea and palestine.'

they see no contradiction.


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Bush Hails Deal on Immigration Reform

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May 17, 2:59 PM (ET)




(AP) President Bush, second from right, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, participate in a...

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Key senators in both parties and the White House announced agreement Thursday on an immigration overhaul that would grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and fortify the border.


The plan would create a temporary worker program to bring new arrivals to the U.S and a separate program to cover agricultural workers. Skills and education-level would for the first time be weighted over family connections in deciding whether future immigrants should get permanent legal status. New high-tech employment verification measures also would be instituted to ensure that workers are here legally.


The compromise came after weeks of painstaking closed-door negotiations that brought the most liberal Democrats and the most conservative Republicans together with President Bush's Cabinet officers to produce a highly complex measure that carries heavy political consequences.


Bush called it "a much-needed solution to the problem of illegal immigration in this country" and said, if approved, the proposal "delivers an immigration system that is secure, productive, orderly and fair."


"With this bipartisan agreement, I am confident leaders in Washington can have a serious, civil and conclusive debate so I can sign comprehensive reform into law this year," he said in a written statement. Bush planned to make remarks about the bill later Thursday at the White House.


Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, his party's lead negotiator on the deal, hailed it as "the best possible chance we will have in years to secure our borders and bring millions of people out of the shadows and into the sunshine of America."


Anticipating criticism from conservatives, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said, "It is not amnesty. This will restore the rule of law."


The accord sets the stage for what promises to be a bruising battle next week in the Senate on one of Bush's top non-war priorities.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called the proposal a "starting point" for that debate, but added that it needs improvement.


"I have serious concerns about some aspects of this proposal, including the structure of the temporary worker program and undue limitations on family immigration," Reid said in a statement.


The key breakthrough came when negotiators struck a bargain on a so-called "point system" that prioritizes immigrants' education and skill level over family connections in deciding how to award green cards.


The immigration issue also divides both parties in the House, which isn't expected to act unless the Senate passes a bill first.


The proposed agreement would allow illegal immigrants to come forward and obtain a "Z visa" and - after paying fees and a $5,000 fine - ultimately get on track for permanent residency, which could take between eight and 13 years. Heads of household would have to return to their home countries first.


They could come forward right away to claim a probationary card that would let them live and work legally in the U.S., but could not begin the path to permanent residency or citizenship until border security improvements and the high-tech worker identification program were completed.


A new temporary guest worker program would also have to wait until those so-called "triggers" had been activated.


Those workers would have to return home after work stints of two years, with little opportunity to gain permanent legal status or ever become U.S. citizens. They could renew their guest worker visas twice, but would be required to leave for a year in between each time.


Democrats had pressed instead for guest workers to be permitted to stay and work indefinitely in the U.S.


In perhaps the most hotly debated change, the proposed plan would shift from an immigration system primarily weighted toward family ties toward one with preferences for people with advanced degrees and sophisticated skills. Republicans have long sought such revisions, which they say are needed to end "chain migration" that harms the economy, while some Democrats and liberal groups say it's an unfair system that rips families apart.


Family connections alone would no longer be enough to qualify for a green card - except for spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens.


New limits would apply to U.S. citizens seeking to bring foreign-born parents into the country.



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New Mexico Force May Hire Mexican Nationals

EFE Ingles

via NewsEdge Corporation


Santa Fe, New Mexico, May 17 (EFE).- Struggling to fill vacancies on the force, the Santa Fe Police Department is considering recruiting Mexican nationals, even though such a move would require changing a state regulation that limits employment in law enforcement to U.S. citizens.


"A high percentage of our community is made up of Mexican citizens, men and women who have lived a large part of their lives in this country. I don't see why they can't be good candidates to become police officers," Sgt. Marvin Paulk, in charge of recruitment and training for the Santa Fe police, told Efe.


He added that the department has had 20 vacancies for the past six months because of the lack of candidates who meet all the force's requirements.


Paulk said that the main obstacle is the selection process, given that candidates must have a series of physical and psychological aptitudes to be accepted at the police academy.


"I know that there are state and federal laws that prohibit hiring officers who aren't U.S. citizens, but I think that we should consider the possibility of changing these rules," the sergeant emphasized.


According to census figures, the city of Santa Fe has a population of about 66,000, of whom 48 percent are Hispanic, most of them with Mexican heritage.


Paulk proposed using procedures similar to those used by the Army, which allows foreigners with legal U.S. residence to join and serve the country while they await citizenship.


"If they can go to war, I don't see why they can't also be police officers," he said.


Paulk said that another factor to consider in hiring Mexican citizens who are long-time U.S. residents is that they would be bilingual, an advantage for an officer in cities like Santa Fe with its high percentage of Hispanics.


"These people are legal residents. They've lived their whole lives in this community. I think they can be of great value in combating crime," Paulk said.


"They are people who love this community and who are familiar with the problems," he added.


The sergeant acknowledged that his proposal is far from becoming a reality because first changes would have to be made in both state and federal laws.


"I don't know how much support this idea would have, but I think that it's time to think outside the box," he emphasized.


Paulk did not rule out the possibility of formally presenting his proposal at some point to Santa Fe Mayor David Coss and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, himself the son of a U.S. father and Mexican mother.


In Paulk's opinion, putting his idea into practice would alleviate the recruitment problems confronted by the majority of the police departments throughout the country.


The Santa Fe police force has 135 active officers, and next week it will begin an intense television advertising campaign in Spanish to attract the personnel it needs.


Paulk said that the recruitment process is more difficult since Santa Fe must compete with other police departments, security agencies and the Army for candidates between 21 and 30 years of age.


"Therefore, I think that we should give a chance to people who are concerned about the communities where they live with their children and families," he said. EFE




<<EFE Ingles -- 05/18/07>>












Get Ready USA, Amnesty is on the Way


Conservative Voice | May 18, 2007

Craig Chamberlain


Here we are in the immediate aftermath of the attempted attack on Fort Dix, an attack that was being planned by men who immigrated illegally to the United States, and the Senate is getting ready to support another amnesty of illegal immigrants. This is just a much larger replay of the amnesty that was enacted in 1986. In that amnesty three million illegals were legalized, with false promises of a Democratic Congress to enact strict border security. Somehow they never got around to that part.


This time they want to legalize twelve million people who broke the law, and they give us more empty promises of border security. It is probably an inevitability that this becomes law. Senate Republicans will cave, vainly believing that something will actually be done on enforcement, and Congressional Democrats will gleefully open up the border to every criminal, terrorist, and parasite all to continue the balkanization of America and get themselves more votes.


Call it what you will, but I call it America's elected leaders selling out Americans. Apparently foreigners, esepecially foreigners that broke the law in coming here, are now more important than citizens. They violate immigration law, and usually they violate many other laws once they're here(don't believe the stories for one second that they are just honest hard working people looking for a better life. If that were true they would come into this country legally.) and we reward their criminal behavior. I can't see any other group of people getting a free pass on breaking the law. But since Democrats see votes in legalization, and Republicans see cheap labor they are williing to go for it. Maybe we can solve the overcrowding of American prisons the same way. Instead of arresting people we can legalize the criminals so long as they vote Democrat, and work cheaply for corporations. Why not? Once we've got the ball rolling why try to stop it?


Every year over one million people enter this country illegally. That is one million too many. Instead of rewarding the lawbreakers we must secure the border, first and only. We don't bother to assimilate our new arrivals any more. While it should come as no surprise that immigrants bring their old culture with them it should outrage us that they retain their old allegiances. For example, many Mexicans don't think of themselves as Americans who came from, or who can trace their ancestry to, Mexico. They just think of themselves as Mexicans who live in the United States with their loyalty to Mexico City and not to Washington. Muslims think of themselves as Muslims first. They are willing to take advantage of everything this country has to offer them, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and the right to vote, things they won't find in their own countries, but they are more loyal to Islam than to America. We give Mexicans( and other hispanics) bi lingual education, we let Muslim cab drivers refuse to pick up people who are carry alcohol, and give them seperate facilities.


This is Balkanization, where a person is more loyal to ethnicity, religion, or their old nationality, over the United States. There is no room for any flag but the American flag, no room for any loyalty but loyalty to the United States. We can't even bring ourselves to ask that immigrants learn English, is it any wonder that we can't get them to see America as their country?


What was once the melting pot has now become divide and conquer, and we have reached critical mass. Yet, Washington, led by President Bush(who should no better) is bound and determined to keep pushing things. America simply can't take any more of the worlds poor and huddled masses. We need a freeze on immigration to give us time to deal with the millions that are here, amnesty is not the way to do that. It will only invite more immigrants, most of whom will come illegally. Flaunting our laws and stealing the jobs of American citizens.


We can't afford amnesty. If there are any patriots left in Congress they need to remember that, and stop it before it's too late.

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