Commentary by H.G. Listiak
Bush Immigration Plan
Welcome to my world, where we've got a lot of noise over the President's immigration plan, which by no means is a done deal, as we roll into an election year. It's hard to put all of the details together since the Bush plan is only one of at least three sitting on the back burner ready to be cooked in Congress. It's kind of a damned if you do and damned if you don't deal for the President, with Hispanics and gringos alike split on the issue. It would not, I repeat, it would not offer permanent legal status for illegal aliens. If they can prove they have a job or a job offer from a U.S. employer they could get a three year work visa. Illegals already in the U.S. would qualify but would have to pay a registration fee. Those approved would be able to renew for three more years but would have to go back home after that and would not be given preference in becoming permanent legal U.S. citizens. Those who would hire the immigrants would be forced to prove that no American citizens want the jobs being offered to the immigrants. Basically, the President's plan puts the onus where it belongs, on those who exploit the immigrants for cheap labor and those who think drifting into America is a free ride. The good points are that it'll cut back on coyotes and border crossing deaths, at least giving U.S. officials a handle on who is coming into our country and why. The bad points are that it's complicated and very difficult to monitor. In time it probably won't be enforced, which will make our borders even more accessible than they are right now. Enforcement is the key, then again, that's always been the case. The I.N.S. runs around like a cowboy herding cats, and the situation only gets worse. At least now we have an Administration backed plan. Whether it's any good or not only time will tell, as I see it ...I'm H.G. Listiak.
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