December 23, 2003


Immigration Reform on Bush Agenda (Mike Allen, December 24, 2003, The Washington Post)

White House aides would not provide details of the proposal, but the Republican officials said it draws on a bill introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would create a Web-based job registry, to be run by the Labor Department. Employers would post job opportunities that would be available first to U.S. workers and then to prospective immigrants, who would be allowed to come under a new visa for temporary workers.

The other half of the program would be what Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge referred to earlier this month as "some kind of legal status" for undocumented workers in this country. The sources said White House officials were more skeptical about this idea than about the temporary-worker program, but they concluded that they needed a response to the large population of undocumented workers for the plan to be credible and for Bush to get credit from Hispanic voters.

The blueprint is the most ambitious of its kind since a bill signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 that offered legal status to millions of illegal immigrants who had moved to the United States before 1982 and imposed sanctions on employers who knowingly hired illegal immigrants.

The White House plan is being designed by Bush's senior adviser, Karl Rove, in consultation with the domestic policy staff. Sources said the White House's biggest concern is that the new mechanism not penalize people who had followed the law and reward those who had not. McCain's plan, which was introduced in the House by Reps. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), tries to mitigate that problem by creating a new type of visa for previously undocumented workers who would be allowed to live in the United States legally for three years. Then the workers could apply for the temporary worker visa, which would be the path to a green card, or legal permanent residency. That would amount to a three-year advantage for those who entered legally.

Now there'll be no shutting the Buchananeers up.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 23, 2003 11:12 PM

We should take our cue from Canada and auction off a few thousand green cards every year.

Posted by: David Cohen at December 24, 2003 7:52 AM

I like the idea of temp. worker visas, but I think we really need to end the policy of automatic citizenship just for being born in the US. It's a policy that's being manipulated and abused and I don't see its necessity when there are millions who want to come here anyway.

Posted by: NKR at December 24, 2003 8:31 AM


So who gets to decide if your kids deserve citizenship?

Posted by: oj at December 24, 2003 8:41 AM