strive act: Page 1
"As much as I malign the president, I thought he was receptive... He was engaged in the conversation, asked questions and continued to make a commitment to comprehensive reform... ...We support [the Flake-Gutierrez STRIVE Act] very strongly, and we support the fact that this has to get done this year."
No word is given on Bush's support for STRIVE, but it appears they were all on the same page when it comes to amnesty in general. Grijalva didn't show for Bush's recent border trip, but apparently that's long forgot.
The article also points out that Grijalva would prefer an even worse form of amnesty, and that he's caught between his own "pragmatism" and the wishes of extremists such as his close friend Isabel Garcia. Her group, the Mexico-linked Derechos Humanos, supports Grijalva.
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."
Trouble in paradise: AFL-CIO, ACLU, NIF, AFSC not fully happy with Flake-Gutierrez; Teamsters, Democrat Lampson - 03/24/07
The American Civil Liberties Union - a group indirectly linked to the Mexican government - has a nit with the Flake-Gutierrez amnesty :
"Drafting comprehensive immigration reform is no easy task... [praise some provisions] ...Sadly, Title III of the bill attacks privacy by creating a national ID card. Creating a national ID card under the guise of a 'secured' Social Security card is not only financially and logistically daunting, it creates the possibility that we will become a society where 'your papers' will need to be presented at every turn. We urge Congress to strike this provision and build upon the hard work of Congressmen Gutierrez and Flake to keep constitutional problems out of this legislation."
Whether it will be struck - and if it is whether that will make the position of the bill's supporters weaker - remains to be seen.
For their part, the AFL-CIO says :
AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney says the approach to immigration in the 110th Congress "stands in stark contrast to the mean-spirited path that the House of Representatives took under Republican control in the last Congress." ...Milton Rosado, president of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), an AFL-CIO constituency group, welcomed the legislation...
However, they also indicate several problems they have with "guest" worker programs; the STRIVE Act contains one such program.
"We have questions about the operational viability and the political viability of [the touchback provision]," said Frank Sharry, leader of the National Immigration Forum.
[The STRIVE Act] fails to protect the fundamental human rights of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in this country, according to the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker social justice organization... [it] offers little to address the root causes of undocumented migration and contains several troubling provisions... One such provision is "Touchback," which requires an applicant to leave the U.S. and re-enter the country to receive legal immigration status. This is not a practical starting point for the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants now living in the U.S...
And, from this:
On the House side, Several Democratic freshmen campaigned against so-called amnesty to help their party win control of Congress... Among them was Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas, who won the conservative Republican district once held by former Majority Leader Tom DeLay... "He would not support a bill that has a road to legal residency for illegal and undocumented workers who are already here," said Lampson spokesman Bobby Zafarnia... Democrats also are facing opposition from unions. Many AFL-CIO member unions and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are concerned that employers will choose to hire foreigners over more expensive American workers... They want limits on work visas for foreigners, but also full labor protections that would let them join unions... "The ideal immigration reform bill would not contain a guest worker program," said Yvette Pena Lopes, a Teamsters lobbyist. If one is created, the Teamsters and other unions want it to expire in three to five years, Lopes said.
4/5/07 UPDATE: John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO says:
...under the Bush plan, the 12 million undocumented workers in this nation will continue to labor in second-class status as newly defined "temporary" workers. This plan will only perpetuate the dire situation of these workers and their families, and will lower standards for all of America's workers. Our nation should instead provide a path to citizenship for these immigrants who are already working here, paying their taxes and enriching our communities. The key to raising standards for all workers is to ensure that all workers are able to enforce their rights. As long as there are workers who are unable to exercise their basic rights to the minimum wage, to a safe workplace, or to join a union, we will continue to have a second tier of workers... The theme of the Bush plan is inequality. It guarantees inequality now, for 12 million undocumented workers, and it guarantees inequality for those immigrants who come to our shores legally in the future. A two-tier society is not the America we want and is not the America that workers deserve.