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Bipartisan Senate Group Reaches Immigration Deal

border-illegal-aliens-flag

Politico reported late last night at a the bipartisan group of Senators who have been working behind the scenes to put together a comprehensive immigration package have reached a deal which will be announced at a press conference later today:

A powerful group of senators from both parties has reached a deal on the outlines of a comprehensive immigration overhaul, a development that will drive an emotional debate on a hot-button issue unseen in Washington for more than half a decade.

The group is expected to unveil the basics of its proposal at a Monday news conference on Capitol Hill, essentially laying down a marker on the issue one day before President Barack Obama heads to Las Vegas to unveil more details about his own immigration proposal.

According to a five-page document provided to POLITICO, the sweeping proposal — agreed to in principle by eight senators — would seek to overhaul the legal immigration system as well as create a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s roughly 11 million illegal immigrants. But establishing that pathway would depend on whether the U.S. first implements stricter border enforcement measures and new rules ensuring immigrants have left the country in compliance with their visas. Young people brought to the country as children illegally and seasonal agriculture industry workers would be given a faster path to citizenship.

(…)

The bipartisan coalition includes influential Democrats such as Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, No. 3 in the leadership. It also has the backing of Sen. Bob Menendez, the Cuban-American Democrat from New Jersey poised to be chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. And it has the support of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, the new chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Republican heavy-hitters also have signed onto the deal’s framework, including two veterans of the bruising 2007 effort: Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. But it also won the support of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a rising GOP star and possible future presidential candidate. And the freshman Arizona Republican, Jeff Flake, who endorsed similar comprehensive plans during his House tenure, has also backed the proposal.

ABC News has the details:

Introduction:

We recognize that our immigration system is broken. And while border security has improved significantly over the last two Administrations, we still don’t have a functioning immigration system. This has created a situation where up to 11 million undocumented immigrants are living in the shadows. Our legislation acknowledges these realities by finally committing the resources needed to secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system, while creating a tough but fair legalization program for individuals who are currently here. We will ensure that this is a successful permanent reform to our immigration system that will not need to be revisited.

Four Basic Legislative Pillars:

1. Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;

2. Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families;

3. Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers; and,

4. Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation’s workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers.

Quite obviously, the first point that is going to cause the most consternation on the right, and will likely be a major point of contention for the legislation that results from this plan as it makes its way through the House of Representatives. Many on the right will view it as “amnesty,” which is the buzzword that brought down the effort to fix our immigration laws during the Bush Administration and which has become a rallying cry for conservatives. Since then, the GOP’s position on immigration has begun and ended with “border enforcement” and support for such things as the draconian immigration laws passed in states like Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama. Politically, this has led to the party become more and more isolated among Latino voters, of course, but it’s also meant that nothing at all has gotten done on immigration ever since the failed effort in 2007.

It’s only been very recently, that there have been signs of movement from the right on this issue. Partly, of course, this has been motivated by the party’s horrible performance among Latinos in the 2012 election and the prospect that the GOP’s long term competitiveness will be imperiled if they don’t improve their position among the nation’s fastest growing ethnic group. Additionally, though, the rise of Florida Senator Marco Rubio as a political star in the party and, most importantly, among conservatives. Ask anyone on the right today who they’d like to see run for President in 2016, and Rubio’s name will always be somewhere on the list, usually at the very top. Like his political mentor Jeb Bush, though, Rubio has been arguing for some time now that the GOP needs to moderate its tone, and changes its policies, when it comes to immigration. Specifically, this includes recognizing the fact that the majority of the roughly 11 million here illegally are going to be legalized in some way or another. The idea of tying that legalization to some guarantees on border security is an obvious sop to the right, but it’s an open question as to whether or not it will be enough. Needless to say, the fate of immigration reform rests in the House of Representatives and it will be some time before we have a clear picture of what its fate is going to be.

On the whole, though, this strikes me as a pretty good plan. The devil, as always, is in the details and we’ll have to wait until actual legislation to get a lot of that. But, for the first time in almost a decade we seem to be taking steps towards fixing a broken immigration system. And that’s a good thing.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Needless to say, the fate of immigration reform rests in the House of Representatives and it will be some time before we have a clear picture of what its fate is going to be.

    Considering that a 90-year-old blind woman doing 20 in the left lane on I-65 does more passing than the House, I think we already have a pretty clear picture of what’s going to happen. To extend the metaphor, the Teahadists are going to drive this b*tch straight into the nearest Farmers Market…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. John Peabody says:

    Go for it! Steps have to be made.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. matt bernius says:

    There are basically only two paths for this proposal:

    1. A relatively smooth and speedy path through Congress.
    2. Dies due to a Republican base revolt.

    This will be another big test of Bohner’s leadership — or rather his ability to keep a lid on the extreme of his party — and the RNC’s ability to control the base.

    On the plus side, there’s been enough movement within the Right Wing Media that this could work (especially given the emphasis on first enacting tougher border legislation). That said, because some, like Hannity, have changed there position, it could drive competitive voices to go hard in the opposite direction and rally their base against the proposal.

    That said, if it crashes and dies due to anti-immigrant sentiment/rhetoric from the far right, the Republican brand is going to take another significant hit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. mantis says:

    The idea of tying that legalization to some guarantees on border security is an obvious sop to the right, but it’s an open question as to whether or not it will be enough.

    It’s not an open question. It’s a foregone conclusion that House Republicans will kill this deader than Dillinger. It’s pretty sad too, as Pelosi could probably deliver nearly the entire Democratic caucus for this, but Boehner probably couldn’t even peel off 35 or so Republicans to go for it. Look at his reaction today. He’s “looking forward to learning more about the proposal.” You can rest assured he already knows everything there is to know, has discussed it thoroughly with congressional leadership, and he’s not even willing to offer any opinion on it. That’s not a man who leads his caucus.

    Until we clean out the House, no significant legislation will get through the Congress. End of story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. Gromitt Gunn says:

    #3 would be much easier with a National ID Card. Conveniently, a National ID Card would also render the majority of Voter ID laws moot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. C. Clavin says:

    It is amazing how getting your a$$ kicked in an election will motivate you to act…of course the Republicans don’t care anymore about immigration than they did in ’07 when they killed McCains efforts…but they do care about getting themselves elected. Hence bi-partisan support.

    It’s only been very recently, that there have been signs of movement from the right on this issue. Partly, of course, this has been motivated by the party’s horrible performance among Latinos in the 2012 election and the prospect that the GOP’s long term competitiveness will be imperiled if they don’t improve their position among the nation’s fastest growing ethnic group. Additionally, though, the rise of Florida Senator Marco Rubio as a political star in the party and, most importantly, among conservatives. Ask anyone on the right today who they’d like to see run for President in 2016, and Rubio’s name will always be somewhere on the list, usually at the very top.

    You seem to think Republicans piss-poor performance with Hispanics and Rubio as being two seperate items. That’s bunk. If Rubio wasn’t a Cuban, you wouldn’t even know his name. Rubio is at the top of the Republican list because he is a Cuban/Hispanic that happens to parrot the Republicanist line…not because he’s a Republicanist who happens to be Cuban/Hispanic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. C. Clavin says:

    “…To extend the metaphor, the Teahadists are going to drive this b*tch straight into the nearest Farmers Market…”

    Maybe. It depends on whether the Hastert Rule is going to continue to be honored or, as has been the case recently, it is ignored by Leadership.
    You are absolutely right if a majority of the majority is required to bring it to the floor.
    If it gets to the floor it will pass on a Bi-Partisan basis.
    Which is going to quickly bring the Hastert Rule to the forefront of discussion. If the Leadership can ignore it when it wants to and adhere to it only when it’s ideologically convienent…well we’ll see.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Rafer Janders says:

    1. Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;

    OK, but here’s my issue: if we’re going to create a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, we should, as a matter of fairness, also do so for legal immigrants, many of whom do not have such a pathway now.

    By giving someone a “pathway to citizenship” you’re essentially giving him a way to get a green card. But there are many legal foreign residents of the US here on work, school and family visas who do not have a way to get a green card or otherwise some form of permanent residency — when their visas run out, they have to leave. So it would create incredibly perverse incentives, not to mention be grossly unfair, if we didn’t address this issue and offer legal immigrants at least the same deal that is being proposed for illegal immigrants.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  9. C. Clavin says:

    @ Rafar…
    This ain’t about fair…this is about Republicans losing the demographics.
    Any analysis beyound that misses the entire point of the exercise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    2. Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families;

    Ahhhh yes, the all important American family, we absolutely positively must reinforce our faith in the American family by reiterating our defense of the American family which is beset on all sides by the forces of evil which seek to rend the American family from the very heart of American society as the……

    Jeebus, they are pathological.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Now we know why Bob Menendez has been getting such kid-glove treatment from the media of late. No questions about the illegal-alien sex offender on his staff who was protected until after the election, no questions about his romps with underage hookers in the Dominican Republic…

    But on topic: sounds like it might be workable. As long as the toughening of border security stays tied in, and it’s engineered so that LEGAL immigrants aren’t pushed aside for ILLEGAL immigrants, I think it might be a good thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  12. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In this context, I think it’s got validity–there are families in which some members are American citizens and some are immigrants (both legal and illegal). So it actually makes sense to keep families in mind when legislating in this area.

    Goodness knows even the people with green cards who are married to Americans for years have a hell of a time dealing with the damn USCIS, as was evidenced by my wife’s entirely unnecessary delays and difficulties with naturalization. Nearly 2.5 years from application to naturalization, when it should have taken less than 1 year, and we did everything right from the beginning. What a mess that place is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. michael reynolds says:

    Rather off-topic, but I don’t care. My wife, Katherine Applegate, just won the Newbery, which for people not familiar with kidlit is the Oscar of kid’s books. Now I have to bow any time she walks into the room. That is all.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 56 Thumb down 0

  14. C. Clavin says:

    I consider myself fairly well informed…but didn’t know what the fu** Indiana Jones was talking about…so I looked it up.
    Turns out an unpaid intern working in Menendez’s Newark office three mornings a week….is a staff member in Indy’s world. Turns out that the sex offense happened when the person in question was a minor..so the record was sealed and there was no possible way for the Menendez campaign to know about it.Turns out ICE categorically rejects Indy’s claim that anyone was protected until after the election.
    So now I am sitting here pondering how anyone as intellectually challenged as Indiana Jones #13 can get through the day. It must take a rubber helmet and constant attention from the Institution Staff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @ Michael Reynolds…
    Sucks to marry up, doesn’t it?
    Congrats to your wife.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  16. ptfe says:

    @michael reynolds: That’s damn fine work.

    But truth be told, I’m a little disappointed that your kids have yet to inappropriately modify your Wikipedia entries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  17. @michael reynolds:

    “My wife, Katherine Applegate, just won the Newbery, which for people not familiar with kidlit is the Oscar of kid’s books.”

    Comparing it to an Oscar is understating it, I think. Next stop…the canon. Congrats!

    As to immigration reform, glad that it’s bi-partisan. The squealers will squeal, no doubt, and let ‘em, I say. It’s not like they’re doing anything useful anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: That’s fantastic! As the father of an eight-year-old, I’m familiar with the Newbery and what it means. Please pass on my congratulations (“Hey, honey, some internet stranger who calls himself ‘Mikey’ congratulates you on the Newbery.”)…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @ ptfe…

    “…But truth be told, I’m a little disappointed that your kids have yet to inappropriately modify your Wikipedia entries…”

    But now the door is open for the rest of us kids………

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. Dave Schuler says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Congratulations, Michael!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. C. Clavin says:

    Back on topic…
    Any progress on this front, or any front from the reflexively obstructive Republicans, is welcome.
    I question whether the path is actually a bridge too far. We’ll have to wait for the legislation to see.
    But more importantly it shows how stupid…and white…the Republicans are. Republicans lost because minorities didn’t vote for them…true. But minorities didn’t vote for them just because they are minorities….they didn’t vote for them because of economics. It’s the economy, stupid. Bobby JIndal just gave a speech in which he said Republicans have to stop being the stupid party. But at the very same time LA is eliminating the state income tax, a move that benefits the wealthy, and replacing it with increased sales taxes, a move which will devastate the poor…a vast number of whom are…exactly…minorities.
    Republicans need to stop being the party of stupid. But they show no signs of it happening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. Andre Kenji says:

    Poor Michael. He is not even the best writer from his home.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: Congratulations to your wife!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  24. Mr. Replica says:
  25. Rob in CT says:

    Nice, MR!

    Looking at the “4 Pillars” of the proposal, it seems sensible to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. Tsar Nicholas says:

    The reasons why the Reagan-Kennedy legislation in the 1980′s failed so miserably are that it didn’t do anything of substance to dissuade the use of black market illegal labor, it didn’t actually have substantial border control and it didn’t really address the issue of legal status after amnesty. The results were catastrophic. Outside of the cocooned ivory towers, newsrooms and McMansions of the chattering classes, of course.

    So we’ll have to see about this reform package. Without actual border security (higher and thicker fences, where fences are practicable), without draconian sanctions against businesses who post-amnesty continue to employ black market labor, and without reforming and streamlining the visa, green card, citiizenship dichotomies, along with asylum, and along with the immigration courts, this reform package, assuming it’s enacted, will wind up failing too.

    Once you put aside the Republican Derangment Syndrome for two minutes (after all, a Republican president signed amnesty; a Republican president proposed comprehensive reform with further amnesty nearly a decade ago; what’s thought of as Republican organizations, the U.S. and local Chambers of Commerce, have been pushing for amnesty for over a decade) you’ll find that the extreme left-wing equally is to blame as the extreme xenophobic right wing. Completely open borders is just as insane as what you see and hear from the Michelle Malkins, Mark Levins and Michael Savages of the world. It’s just that the former groups get free passes, whereas the latter gets none. For obvious reasons.

    Three other points are germane:

    - Any reform package that does not include a radical increase of H-1B visas won’t be worth the paper on which it’s written. For obvious reasons we can’t fill technical, scientific, engineering, etc., positions from within our own borders. Better to have more people doing these jobs in country than having them outsourced elsewhere. The annual H-1B caps should be increased at least three-fold and preferably four or even five-fold. Or more.

    - E-Verify has mission creep written all over it. That needs to be narrowly tailored and not left to agency rulemaking.

    - Reporters would not know immigration laws from Led Zeppelin’s “Immigration Song,” but legislators don’t have the excuses of being loopy cannon fodder. Out in the real world there are major differences between residency and citizenship. We need to think very carefully about who gets what and upon what conditions. Painting with broad strokes is the hobglobin of bad legislation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  27. Moosebreath says:

    Congrats to your wife, Michael.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. mantis says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Once you put aside the Republican Derangment Syndrome for two minutes

    Ok, let’s look at that, shall we?

    (after all, a Republican president signed amnesty;

    Nearly 30 years ago. In case you haven’t noticed, your party has changed a bit since Reagan.

    a Republican president proposed comprehensive reform with further amnesty nearly a decade ago;

    It was torpedoed by his own party!

    what’s thought of as Republican organizations, the U.S. and local Chambers of Commerce, have been pushing for amnesty for over a decade)

    Ok, but again, the party those chambers typically support refuses to embrace any immigration policy that involves anything other than lava moats on the border.

    you’ll find that the extreme left-wing equally is to blame as the extreme xenophobic right wing.

    Oh yes, you’ve clearly made the case that the left is to blame. Look at all the fine examples of the left stopping immigration reform you offered!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  29. C. Clavin says:

    “…a Republican president signed amnesty; a Republican president proposed comprehensive reform with further amnesty nearly a decade ago…”

    Those Republicans couldn’t get elected today. Probably wouldn’t win a single primary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. rudderpedals says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: Led Zeppelin’s “Immigration Song,”

    It’s called “Immigrant Song”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. @Tsar Nicholas:

    “Completely open borders is just as insane as what you see and hear from the Michelle Malkins, Mark Levins and Michael Savages of the world.”

    Good thing no one’s asking for “completely open borders.”

    Oh, and this:

    higher and thicker fences, where fences are practicable

    is cute and everything, but a higher and thicker fence will only deter illegal immigrants coming by land from Mexico. It won’t do a damn thing about the ones coming in through international airports or ports.

    Higher and thicker fences = waste of time, effort, and money.

    Oh, and PS, here’s what your “draconian sanctions” look like in the “real world.” You might be onto something…..just what this country needs. More of that….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  32. Rafer Janders says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I’m just trying to make my usual point that in all the talk about a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, many people forget to mention that there is often no such path for legal immigrants. Many people who followed the rules and moved here legitimately for school, work and/or family reasons have no ability to stay long-term either, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a lobby pushing for ways to allow them to stay.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  33. @Rafer Janders:

    ” Many people who followed the rules and moved here legitimately for school, work and/or family reasons have no ability to stay long-term either, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a lobby pushing for ways to allow them to stay. “

    Sure they do. They get a green card and in five years (three if they marry) apply for naturalization.

    If they don’t do that, then by definition, they didn’t “follow the rules.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  34. michael reynolds says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    True enough. Fortunately I’m the most profitable writer in my family.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey:

    In this context, I think it’s got validity–

    No argument from me. But I fully expect to hear from one of them how Defense spending strengthens the family…. And you just know one of them will say it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    Sure they do. They get a green card and in five years (three if they marry) apply for naturalization.

    No, not true at all. I’m sorry, but you simply have no idea what you are talking about. Immigration law is extremely complicated and there are many exceptions and exclusions.

    A green card is not automatic, and many people here on work visas, for example, are not eligible to apply for one. I work with many foreign nationals who moved here for work and are stuck in this situation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds: My wife, Katherine Applegate,

    Congrats. I know her name as I think my sons liked a couple of hers especially well…. Or maybe it was my little sis, a primary school teacher…. Anyway pass it on, in the company of Gods.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. @Rafer Janders:

    “No, not true at all. I’m sorry, but you simply have no idea what you are talking about.”

    Yeah, I do. My ex-girlfriend is an immigration attorney and an immigrant herself.

    I think what you’re asking for is making a green card easier to get, which—hey, let’s do it. Seems like pillar 4 above is meant to address that very issue, making it easier for (certain) people with work visas to get permanent resident status if they want it, but right now there are quotas and other criteria involved.

    However it shakes out, I do expect it to be the case that not everyone with a work visa will be eligible for permanent residency. Not because we’re mean or xenophobic, but because if every work visa is a path to permanent residency (and later citizenship), what’s the point of having a work visa?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. Spartacus says:

    @michael reynolds:

    That’s truly awesome. Congratulations to your wife! Congrats to you, too, for holding on to such a talented woman:)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    Yeah, I do. My ex-girlfriend is an immigration attorney and an immigrant herself.

    And I’m also the child of a legal immigrant who naturalized, an attorney myself, the boyfriend of an immigrant here on a work visa, and someone who three times in the last five years has had to hire immigration counsel in order to deal with various visa issues for my firm’s foreign-born employees. So I know very well that not everyone here on a work, student or family visa is eligible for a green card. I and my immigration counsel have been trying to figure out ways to get permanent residency for one particular worker for the last three years without success.

    However it shakes out, I do expect it to be the case that not everyone with a work visa will be eligible for permanent residency.

    But now you’re backtracking — above you’d said everyone here on a visa would get a green card and/or permanent residency. Now you acknowledge they don’t.

    Not because we’re mean or xenophobic, but because if every work visa is a path to permanent residency (and later citizenship), what’s the point of having a work visa?

    Right, but if ILLEGAL immigration is the path to permanent residency and later citizenship, then what’s the point of a work visa either? We can’t be in a position where we say “you illegal immigrants, you all get a green card, but you legal immigrants, you don’t” — not without creating some pretty perverse incentives, that is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  41. C. Clavin says:

    Reynolds is officially the highest ranked thread-jacker in history.
    So he has that going for him…which is nice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Nice to know that even after Breitbart’s death there are some slimy enough to keep mindlessly parrotting his sites’ talking points wherever they go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  43. wr says:

    @rudderpedals: Maybe he was confusing it with Graham Nash’s “Immigration Man.”

    Or maybe he’s a complete moron who uses “facts” the same way he uses words — with no consideration of what they actually say and mean.

    Your choice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. C. Clavin says:

    Fat Rushbo has come out against the Immigration framework…hard to see it passing without the leader of the party being behind it. Maybe the Gang of Eight should have checked with him first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  45. @Rafer Janders:

    “But now you’re backtracking — above you’d said everyone here on a visa would get a green card and/or permanent residency. Now you acknowledge they don’t.”

    Not backtracking. I may have been unclear. In my original comment, I meant that there is already a process for people who follow the rules to get permanent residency. A work visa is one way, but it’s not the only way nor is it the best. (The quotas and such.)

    Also, while I support immigration reform, especially in this incarnation, one thing must be understood:

    A “tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States” does NOT mean that illegal immigration will become a legitimate path to citizenship. As an attorney, you already know that “fair” does not necessarily mean that everyone gets a blue ribbon.

    What it means is that people who are already here, and there are a lot of them, will be given a chance to remain here. People who have been deported or those with criminal records or falsified paperwork or any number of things may find themselves ineligible. That’s only fair.

    It’s also fair that people who came here with the intention of working temporarily (i.e., those on a work visa) may also find themselves ineligible. The good news for them is that there’s a process already on the books through which they can claim permanent residency. Sure, it’s tough, but that’s by design.

    As to the incentives, I’m not really worried about that. People don’t immigrate to this country because they’re provided incentive by immigration law. They come here because living in this country is incentive enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  46. stonetools says:

    Congrats to Michael and Mrs. Michael. That’s one talented familiy.
    Here is the voice of the Republican base, or at least Michelle Malkin, on the immigration proposal:

    Hey, did someone set the clock back six years in Washington? Because today looks a hell of a lot like the dawn of the Bush-Kennedy-McCain 2007 illegal alien amnesty. Deja vu all over again.

    Starring in the role of John McCain this time around? Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio. Standing in for George W. Bush? Barack H. Obama. The usual liberal Democrat and bend-over Republican suspects serving as the supporting cast? Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, illegal alien intern employer Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and freshman Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

    If this is how the Republican base truly thinks, this proposal will not pass the House. (We also know where Jenos gets his talking points).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  47. grumpy realist says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: Whaddya mean “for obvious reasons we can’t fill technical, scientific, engineering, etc., positions from within our own borders”? What you’re actually saying is that US companies aren’t willing to pay the salaries required to get people to fill those jobs. (Somehow, supply and demand aren’t supposed to work when it comes to the employment markets. CEOs seems to think they have a god-given right to pay crappy salaries and get perfect employees.)

    Republicans seem very enamoured of Teh Free Market until it starts working against them. Funny, that.

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  48. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    It’s also fair that people who came here with the intention of working temporarily (i.e., those on a work visa) may also find themselves ineligible. The good news for them is that there’s a process already on the books through which they can claim permanent residency. Sure, it’s tough, but that’s by design.

    I have to go to dinner so can’t really get into this, but I think you’re radically overestimating the degree to which it’s possible to turn a work visa into permanent residency. We’ve spent the last few years trying to do so for three of our employees, all highly-accomplished white collar professionals with graduate degrees from Ivy League or equivalent American universities who are doing an outstanding job.

    You’d think we could sponsor them, right? But to do so, we have to certify that no American could do the job, and to so certify, we have to advertise the job. If even one qualified American applies, then we can’t so certify and can’t sponsor them. The process is more than “tough” — it’s simply impossible to prove that there isn’t one qualified American willing and able to do the job, unless the foreign employee is a Nobel Prize winner or similar.

    Now, of course, many employers do provide labor certifications for foreign employees — but that’s because the employers are cheating. We’re not willing to do so, so our employees are out of luck.

    So these are people who are already here — how will they be given a chance to remain here? If we’re providing a path for illegal immigrants, how are we providing a path for these legal immigrants?

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  49. rudderpedals says:

    @wr:

    Maybe he was confusing it with Graham Nash’s “Immigration Man.”

    That would be a good start and you’re more generous than I am as he did mention zep. Tsar, do you remember the Nash song? Do you feel anything when you listen to it?

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  50. matt bernius says:

    @stonetools:

    Here is the voice of the Republican base, or at least Michelle Malkin, on the immigration proposal… If this is how the Republican base truly thinks, this proposal will not pass the House.

    @C. Clavin:

    Fat Rushbo has come out against the Immigration framework…hard to see it passing without the leader of the party being behind it.

    One of Rushes comments was particularly of note:

    It’s up to me and Fox News, and I don’t think Fox News is that invested in this. I don’t think there’s any Republican opposition to this of any majority consequence or size. We’ll have to wait and see and find out. But this is one of those, just keep plugging away, plugging away, plugging away until you finally beat down the opposition,”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/rush-limbaugh-immigration-reform-fox-news-obama-2013-1#ixzz2JJamZ3Qp

    I’d go further, I think Fox News will more-or-less come out in favor of the bill. And Hannity and Levin seem like they will side on passage.

    Chances are this is going to be an issue that really drives a wedge into epistemic closure of the Conservative Media Complex. Unlike the presidential race, where there were not serious alternatives to Romney, this is a binary choice issue. Either you choose to support the legislation or you do not.

    It’s not surprising that the good party types — i.e. Hannity — will come down on the side of what the Republican’s want. What’s interesting to see is that Limbaugh has decided that populism is the way to maintain his audience.

    One has to wonder if this is a signal of things to come as the Republican party starts to move back towards the center on a number of issues.

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  51. matt bernius says:

    @michael reynolds:
    The hugest of Congratz to your wife. That is an amazing honor!

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  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb): OK, not taking sides, Just relating my personal experience….. My wife was here for 20+ yrs (immigrant from Spain)(came here when Franco was in power) had a green card for app 20 years when I met her, an adult daughter of an American citizen,, a divorced psycho ex (he did six years in Potosi, I think), when I finally convinced her to get her citizenship, it took less than a year. (we were NOT married)

    I am just saying, not all situations are created equal.

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  53. @Rafer Janders: So when I say “A work visa is one way, but it’s not the only way nor is it the best,” that’s “radically overestimating the degree to which it’s possible to turn a work visa into permanent residency?” I don’t think I’m radically overestimating anything there. I’m sure the people you work with are all well-qualified and decent people, deserving of green cards. But it’s not up to me. I don’t issue green cards.

    So these are people who are already here — how will they be given a chance to remain here? If we’re providing a path for illegal immigrants, how are we providing a path for these legal immigrants?

    Take a look at the four pillars above. Then write your congressman to support this legislation.

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  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Clarification: SHE HAD an adult daughter of an American citizen,,

    sorry.

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  55. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist:

    What you’re actually saying is that US companies aren’t willing to pay the salaries required to get people to fill those jobs. (Somehow, supply and demand aren’t supposed to work when it comes to the employment markets. CEOs seems to think they have a god-given right to pay crappy salaries and get perfect employees.)

    Median annual salary for a mid-career engineer in my area is over $100K (doesn’t matter if it’s a manufacturing, electrical, software, whatever, as long as the title is “engineer”). That may be less than the engineer thinks he’s worth, but it’s certainly far from “crappy.”

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  56. @OzarkHillbilly:

    “I am just saying, not all situations are created equal.”

    Absolutely. Not saying your wife had it easy, but I think Rafer’s complaint is that his co-workers have to go through the hard route.

    Just curious, how’d your wife get her green card? Refugee status? Family sponsorship? I’m guessing she didn’t come over on a work visa and overstayed it…but –I dunno– maybe she did.

    (The ex-girlfriend I was talking about is working on her green card…in a sham marriage. I guess I dodged the bullet on that one!)

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  57. Latino_in_Boston says:

    I’m shocked superdestroyer hasn’t gotten in on this yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    Family sponsorship?

    That was it. She married an American sailor, had a child, they lived in Spain for a few years, then came here, where she lived for 20+, than met me after an ugly divorce (or two)….. and finally became a US citizen.

    and the rest is history as they say.

    Truth be told, I only know the past 7 years of her story, the rest I let her tell me as she wishes to. If I ask her no questions…..

    She tells me few uncomfortable stories.

    Fact of the matter is, her first husband was a complete asshole who in my first interaction with threatened to kill me and I tried to get him to come after me. Sad to say, he was sober enuf to realize what I was doing. BUT…. He is still an idiot and he still says idiotic things.

    Unfortunately, DA’s are a little more discriminating than I…. BUT…. Hope springs eternal.

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  59. @OzarkHillbilly:

    “her first husband was a complete asshole who in my first interaction with threatened to kill me “

    So you’re saying he’s a sailor….

    So after having a green card for 20 years, why did it take a year to get her citizenship? The paperwork?

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  60. Liberty60 says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:

    Apoplexy has rendered him unable to type.

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  61. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Hold the horses, put the celebration on hold, those darned Republicans are already undercutting the deal.

    Administration officials said Obama does not favor linking legal status to border security, arguing that undocumented immigrants should not be kept in a state of limbo.

    Er… I mean, obviously it’s those right-wingers who are manipulating Obama into taking this step… somehow…

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  62. superdestroyer says:

    The cheap labor Repulbicans are so desperate to give the cheap labor supporters like Sheldon Adelson what he wants, the they are willing to throw the middle class whites who are the most loyal supporters of the Republican Party under the bus and are willing to commit long term political suicide.

    Any Republican who supports amnesty, a massive increase in legal immigration, and a massive increase in H1B visas is a politicians who should not be allowed to have any say in politics or governance. Such stupids Repubicans are demonstrating that they not only do not care about conservative issues but they just cannot count or add.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  63. Mikey says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:

    I’m shocked superdestroyer hasn’t gotten in on this yet.

    You had to say it…

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  64. superdestroyer says:

    @Mikey:

    If anything should convince conservatives that the immigration deal is bad for them, it would be how virtually every progressive is telling them that their political survival depends on it. Of course, those same progressives fail to state how importing a massive number of poor from the third world helps a conservative party survive. Or how importing people who are immediately eligible for government set asides is goof for conservative politics? Or how importing people who will stress local schools, local governments, and local infrastructure is a good thing?

    The number one goal of any immigration reform is to make the left more powerful and to make middle class whites more irrelevant to politics in the U.S.

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  65. Mikey says:

    @superdestroyer: I’m not a “progressive” and I think their political survival depends on it.

    Because people who think like you are a dwindling minority, and some in the GOP are smart enough to realize it. And because listening to people like you got the GOP the reputation of “the party that hates brown people.”

    The GOP should have an absolute lock on the Hispanic vote. Hard-working, extremely family-oriented, generally socially conservative, overwhelmingly religious. Isn’t that what the GOP says it is?

    But no, they got sucked in by people like you who go on about how “middle class whites” are going to suffer. We heard the same predictions when my grandparents were getting off the boat in the 1920s (and the waves of immigration around that time were far in excess of what they are today). None of them came true.

    Not only are you stuck in the distant past, you’re stuck in a distant past that never even happened.

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  66. superdestroyer says:

    @Mikey:

    latinos do not attend church anymore than whites and much less than blacks. There is no link to church attendance and voting patterns for non-whites. More than 50% of Hispanic children are born to single mothers, not exactly the sign of a demographic group interested in family relations. There is absolutely no polling data that shows that Hispanics are socially conservative and are actually liberals as far as social policy goes. The unemployment rate is higher for Hispanics and whites and fail high school at a much higher rate than whites, not exactly a sign of hard working. Hard working demographic groups like Chinese and Koreas outpace whites in education instead of achieve barely above the level of blacks.

    I doubt if that many people remember that immigration to the U.S. was restricted from the 1920′s to the 1960′s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Act_of_1924 The U.S. went through the economic boom of the 1950′s was partially due to the lack of recent immigrants. If progressives really want strong unions and higher pay for the middle class, they would not be supporting open borders and unlimited immigration. However, since progressives support increasing legal immigration and amnesty, it should be apparent that progressives want to overwhelm conservatives with demographic changes.

    There is no hope for survival of a conservative party in the U.S. The Republicans have faced the choice of either committing suicide with immigration reform or slowing dying of the chronic diease of demographic change. The Bush/Rubio wing seems to have decided suicide is easier and better for the cheap labor republicans.

    If an immigraiton reform act is signed in the next four years, the Republican candidate in 2016 will receive a smaller portion of the Hispanic vote than Romney received. Hispanics will give all of the credit to President Obama and will reward Democrats.

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  67. Tyrell says:

    Studies have shown that most of these immigrants are industrious, hard workers, self sufficient, well behaved, religious, and have a strong traditional family structure. Sounds like the kind of people this country needs more of!!

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  68. superdestroyer says:

    @Tyrell:

    The you need to provide a link to those studies. I have posted the link about church attendance and out of wedlock births several times. Please provide hard data to counter.

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  69. Mikey says:

    @superdestroyer:

    latinos do not attend church anymore than whites and much less than blacks

    One does not have to attend a church to be religious. I’m pretty sure my Hispanic neighbors don’t attend church regularly, but there’s a cross on every wall in their house.

    The unemployment rate is higher for Hispanics and whites and fail high school at a much higher rate than whites, not exactly a sign of hard working.

    Are you serious? You know what I see as “a sign of hard working?” The actual Hispanics I actually know and work with.

    I doubt if that many people remember that immigration to the U.S. was restricted from the 1920′s to the 1960′s.

    I’m aware of that. I’m also aware that between 1890 and 1920, 25 million people immigrated to the U. S. If we adjusted for today’s population, that would be like 75 MILLION immigrating between 1990 and 2020.

    If an immigraiton reform act is signed in the next four years, the Republican candidate in 2016 will receive a smaller portion of the Hispanic vote than Romney received. Hispanics will give all of the credit to President Obama and will reward Democrats.

    And whose fault will that be?

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  70. C. Clavin says:

    Superdope wants it both ways…

    “…The unemployment rate is higher for Hispanics and whites and fail high school at a much higher rate than whites, not exactly a sign of hard working…”

    But we also can’t have bi’lingual education…don’t you see…Superdope wants to make life harder for immigrants…then use the result of that to discriminate against them.
    Why?
    Because Superdope is a racist, a bigot, and a fool. He/she does not deserve the attention he/she is being given.
    But here is all you need to know about Superdope:

    “…The number one goal of any immigration reform is to make the left more powerful and to make middle class whites more irrelevant to politics in the U.S…”

    He/she is simply afraid. Afraid that the advantages he/she was given, through nothing but pure dumb luck, are being assuaged. Superdope, like all racists, is a coward.

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  71. Mikey says:

    @C. Clavin: And yet SD seems to see nothing wrong with saying, essentially, that “we can’t do immigration reform because it would be bad for white people.”

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  72. Tyrell says:

    @superdestroyer: Pew Research and Barna Group have studies that show Hispanics have high participation in church and faith activities; that while the Catholic church is still their majority choice, there is an increase in those who are going into Pentecostal/independent churches.

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  73. Doubter4444 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Congratulations! That is a huge deal.
    My daughter is a great reader, I’m going today to buy it for her… some of my favorite books as a kid were Newberry Award winners – again congrats – that’s a fantastic thing.

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  74. SoWhat says:

    Looks like Obama is delivering the “poison pill” on immigration reform in service to the powerful and wealthy gay lobby now, just as he delivered the “poison pill” in ’07 in service of the powerful and wealthy union lobby when he was US Senator and GWB was POTUS.

    I can’t imagine any rational person thinking Obama is a “compromiser”.

    It’s scortched earth all the way baby!

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  75. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    As long as the toughening of border security stays tied in

    You mean like the plan to build a wall on the border and fire on anyone that approaches it that you were cheering for recently?

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  76. superdestroyer says:

    @Mikey:

    What is amazing is that immigration reform will be even worse for blacks but no one in the Democratic Party is allowed to even notice. The Republicans could point it out to blacks but it is pointless since blacks will never vote for the more conservative party.

    I suspect that middle class blacks believe that an increase in immigration will create more public sector jobs and that segment is dominated by blacks and is almost devoid of Hispanics.

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  77. Rob in CT says: