April 19, 2005


Illegal Immigration Policy Is at Crossroads in Senate: One plan could legalize half a million workers, another would tighten border controls. (Mary Curtius, April 19, 2005, LA Times)

The Senate is set to vote today on measures that could open the door to legalizing an estimated 500,000 immigrant farmworkers and their families.

It will be the first test of strength in years between senators who support legalized status for at least some of the estimated 10 million illegal immigrants in this country and senators who advocate reducing illegal immigration by tightening enforcement and border controls.

Each side said today's votes also could signal how much support there was in the Senate for the sort of comprehensive immigration reform President Bush had said he wanted Congress to enact this session.

Bush's proposals have met stiff opposition from some Republicans, particularly in the House, who say the measures would amount to amnesty for the majority of the nation's illegal workforce.

At the core of the Senate debate, which opened Monday, is a provision sponsored by Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) dubbed AgJobs. It would provide a two-step process for illegal farmworkers to achieve permanent residency. Any permanent resident then could apply for citizenship.

Under AgJobs, those who did at least 100 hours of agricultural work in the 18 months before the legislation became law could apply for temporary residency. If that status is granted, workers who then put in 360 days in agriculture over the next three to six years could gain permanent residency. Their spouses and children also could apply for permanent residency.

Just do both; that's how Reagan got an immigration reform bill. That way you legalize the ones who are here and the enforcement provisions fall through the cracks later. No one's willing to pay for real enforcement for one thing.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 19, 2005 11:20 AM

"Their spouses and children also could apply for permanent residency."

So the Ag companies get cheap labor and the local citizens, the majority of which voted Republican and the majority of which oppose immigration, get to pay higher taxes for worse schools and get more crime.

At some point the Republican base is going to give up and stay home on voting day.

Posted by: carter at April 19, 2005 2:16 PM


Even the stupid party isn't that moronic.

Posted by: oj at April 19, 2005 2:31 PM