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May 20, 2008

Amnesty Amendment Included in Iraq Funding Bill

Michelle Malkin has been on this for days. I, obviously, haven't. And the vote is tomorrow.

I've never been particularly incensed about temporary guest worker measures. I suppose it's a "reward for law-breaking," but it's not granting citizenship for lawbreaking.

That said, the measure is still deficient:

“There were no hearings on it and nobody had any idea that this was about to happen,” Sessions said from his Capitol Hill office.

His staff had a late night analyzing the 101-page provision that would allow certain agricultural workers to stay in the country legally, and when Sessions came to work the next day, he was back in fiery form as lead critic of any new program that doesn’t cut down on the number of border crossers…

… At issue was an amendment giving temporary legal status to those who can prove they’ve been working on U.S. farms in the past two years, pay a fine, and continue to work at least 100 days a year over the next five years.

“This amendment provides a consistent, stable workforce for an industry that depends almost exclusively on undocumented labor - agriculture,” said sponsor Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. She and fellow sponsor, Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, called it an emergency measure to keep planters, pickers, pruners and packers on the job. The number receiving the special status would be capped at 1.35 million, according to Craig’s office.

Although similar to a plan that was in the failed immigration reform legislation last year, it had one key difference - a five-year expiration date. In response, the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed by a 17-12 vote to add it to the war funding bill.

The expiration date did not assuage Sessions. He figures the 1.35 million workers who gain the temporary legal status would be joined by about 1.62 million of their relatives.

“What do you think will happen at the end of five years? Is anybody going to ask them to go back home?” Sessions asked.

Yes, that is the problem. Their relatives come -- we can't separate families! -- and then, five years later, we can't ask them to leave because they've now had kids on US soil and, once again, we can't separate families!

Ughh. They're just never going to stop.

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posted by Ace at 03:52 PM

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