Friday, June 08, 2007

Immigration Bill Appears Dead

President Bush suffered a devastating setback on his top domestic priority on Thursday as a broad immigration bill collapsed in the Senate amid an apparently irreconcilable partisan standoff.
Crafted by a bipartisan group of senators after three months of negotiations with the White House, the bill seeks to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants, create a temporary guest worker program, toughen security along the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada, and crack down on employers who hire illegal workers.

Bush, who has called for immigration changes since the outset of his presidency, has aggressively committed his administration to passing the bill, even criticizing Republicans who denounce it.

If the bill isn't revived, it would mark the president's second defeat on the issue within the span of a year and would invite a political backlash in advance of the 2008 presidential election.
What I do not understand is why they don't have separate bills for each part of the immigration problem. Border security is the most pressing concern. If you do not stop the flow of undocumented workers into the country this bill, even if it is passed, will not solve the problem. A guest worker program is equivalent to indentured servitude and hurts the middle class and must be rejected UNLESS guest workers are paid similar wages to Americans in similar jobs.

The reason this bill is failing is because Liberal Democrats see the Guest Worker Program as bad for American workers and Conservatives see the bill as amnesty for those that entered the country illegally.

Doing nothing is the same as granting amnesty and allowing a guest worker program. Enforcement of employment laws is so poor that I believe you have a better chance of being struck by lightning then you do being fined for hiring an undocumented worker.

No immigration reform bill can succeed without help from the Government of Mexico and other Latin American nations whose economic policies force their poor populations to seek refuge in the United States. Immigration is one of the most complex isues currently facing the United States. Doing nothing only makes the problem grow.

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