Plan to Send Immigrants Home Defeated

The Senate has killed amendments by Kay Bailey Hutchison (R, TX) and Jim Webb (D, VA) that would have required those who are here illegally to return home to apply for the new “Z visa” and limit legalization to those who had been in the country at least four years, respectively.

Both concepts seem reasonable on paper and would answer many of the objections of people who charge this bill amounts to “amnesty.” Unfortunate, they’re incredibly impractical. If we could get people to go home or had any way to track when they got here, we wouldn’t need to pass a new law to begin with.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Congress, Uncategorized, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. just me says:

    I agree that it is impractical to required all illegals to return to their native countries to apply for Z visas.

    However, the current law requires proof of residency as of Jan 2007, I don’t see much difference in having to prove you have been here by that date or one 4 years earlier. Although this whole provision will be moot anyway, since many illegal workers work with false papers they purchased, I can’t see why they couldn’t buy false papers that “prove” they have been here before whatever date is set.

    I like the idea of having a specific “in US” date-but any date picked will be arbitrary, and there are already people at work figuring out a way to profit off helping illegals get around it so it too is probably moot.

  2. Bill says:

    Good, this should help immensely in getting this horrid crock shut down completely. I think Hutchinson said she wont vote for it if her amendment isn’t in it. Webb to. But we know how politicians all lie.

    Besides, I haven’t figured out why they are doing this entire kabuki dance. I just talked with a comm. director for my congress rep. and he said the whole thing is DOA in the House.

    IF they even take it up…they will completely rewrite if from scratch, have committee hearing etc. and it wont resemble the Senate thing at all.

  3. arky says:

    “Unfortunate, they’re incredibly impractical. If we could get people to go home or had any way to track when they got here, we wouldn’t need to pass a new law to begin with.”

    Exactly! And it’s not as if this new law will do anything except acknowledge that we can’t (or won’t) enforce the law anyways.

    You don’t deal with a crime wave by decriminalizing the actions, you do so by enforcing the laws you have.

  4. Bithead says:

    I find it interesting that diverse sources such as Jim Webb and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, come to the same conclusion.

  5. thunderbird says:

    Now how low will the polls go for the demacartic traitors in our imperial senate you,ll never hear from NEWSREEK or TIME