Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Immigration Bill Is Back From The Dead

It appears all the arm twisting has worked as the Senate voted 64-35 to revive the bill.
The Senate action came shortly after President Bush urged lawmakers to support the legislation.

"I view this as an historic opportunity for Congress to act, for Congress to replace a system that is not working with one that we believe will work a lot better," said Mr. Bush.

The measure would tighten border security, create a temporary guest worker program and grant immediate legal status to millions of undocumented workers in the United States.
I believe that something does need to be done to stop illegal immigration. I am not sure that this bill will do that. I do not agree with a guest worker program unless that program is really limited to jobs that "Americans will not do".

The danger of this program is that companies will use the program to lower wages for all workers especially in higher paying jobs such as construction and meat packing where illegal immigration has forced wages down.

If we are to save the middle class of America, there must be safeguards in any guest worker program. I do not hold out much hope for that when corporate contributions to politicians will trump reasoned debate. The most important part of any bill would need to be border security. Without that what will stop the next wave of illegal immigrants from coming to the country? I completely sympathize with those that feel they must leave their homes and families for the hope of a better life. Lets not use their despair as a way to destroy our own middle class.

Doing nothing is not an option and we need to have thoughtful reasoned debate that is free of prejudice and hatred or what will pass will only make the situation worse. As long as we have what is basically a third world nation on our southern border nothing will truly change. Any bill that passes must address the financial inequities within Mexico and other Central American nations or this whole exercise will be a complete waste of time.

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