STRIVE Act: not everyone happy with "touchback" (even for just one day)
Posted Sat, Mar 3, 2007 at 10:21 am
The Gutierrez-Flake amnesty scheme contains a "touchback" provision. Current illegal aliens who pass a screening and meet other requirements would be given a legal worker permit immediately. Then:
Illegal immigrants would within the next six years have to leave the United States for either Mexico or Canada, go to a processing center and re-enter the U.S. legally. Lawmakers were vague about exactly how long they would have to stay outside the country under what is being called the touchback provision. But staff members said they could stay as little as one day.Despite what is clearly a sham and a very bad joke on American citizens, not everyone is happy. From this:
...Alicia Acosta, an undocumented immigrant living in Montana Vista for the past 14 years, said it would be a hardship on families like hers to have to live [sic] her home.Others realize how much of a giveaway this is:
"We would have to take the kids out of school. And if we live the kids here, how to support them here from over there (Mexico)?" she said.
"This is going to energize our community in a very positive way," said Fernando Garcia [a Mexican citizen], the executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights [a group indirectly linked to the Mexican government].From this:
Garcia led a lobbying trip of El Paso immigrants to Washington, D.C., this month and is organizing a march in support of pro-immigrant legislation at UTEP April 10.
..."It's a light version of touchback. You don't have to go back to your country. You don't have to go back to Colombia, you can go to Mexico or Canada. It means you could go to Juarez and come back," he said.
...Rep. Flake explained that the touchback provision was important because it would create a record of legal entry for immigrants.
"We applaud the Congress for introducing a bipartisan and comprehensive immigration reform bill," said Jennifer Allen, director of the Tucson-based Border Action Network, devoted to promoting rights of immigrants of all stripes and border communities. "If something doesn't get passed this year, our communities will continue to struggle and suffer."From this:
However, she and representatives of the like-minded Derechos Humanos oppose forcing illegal immigrants to leave the country. The groups also want to see more oversight of border security authorities to prevent abuses.
They also question how many people may be denied a ruling of "good moral character" based on vague language defining it.
"We have questions about the operational viability and the political viability of [the touchback provision]," said Frank Sharry, leader of the National Immigration Forum...From this:
..."I think it's unrealistic, though, to expect these people to leave," said Ana Maria Patina, a lawyer and Hispanic activist in Santa Ana. Patina was skeptical that the government could create a program that would let illegal immigrants leave the country and return quickly.
And Amin David, leader of Los Amigos of Orange County, said even a short stay outside the country would worry fearful illegal immigrants.
He said the proposed $2,000 fine – $500 to apply for legal status initially and $1,500 to get on the path to citizenship – will also be difficult for many immigrants to afford...
Christy Porter, executive director of Hidden Harvest, a produce-recovery program that has helped farm workers laid off following January's freeze in the Coachella Valley, isn't sure the new immigration plan will work.
"Once they hit the promise land, nobody's going back the other way," Porter said. "I just don't see people lining up on this side of the border taking their suitcases over."