Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Confused by the various proposals in the Senate? Wondering who stands where on the issue? Find your answers below (courtesy, Washington Post except where noted)

- Allow undocumented workers a path to lawful employment and citizenship if they could prove -- through work stubs, utility bills or other documents -- that they have been in the country for five years.

- To attain citizenship, those immigrants would have to pay a $2,000 penalty, back taxes, learn English, undergo a criminal background check and remain working for 11 years.

- Those who have been here a shorter time would have to return to one of 16 designated ports of entry, such as El Paso, Tex., and apply for a new form of temporary work visa for low-skilled and unskilled workers.

- An additional provision still under consideration would disqualify illegal immigrants who have been in the country less than two years.

- Would allow virtually all illegal immigrants, no matter how long they have been in the United States, to stay and work toward citizenship.

- A "roots concept" bill.

The Martinez-Hagel bill would propose splitting illegal immigrants into two categories: those who have been in the United States for more than five years and those who are newer arrivals. Those who can prove they have been in the United States for at least five years would be allowed to stay and file for legal residency and citizenship under the rules set out by the McCain-Kennedy plan. According to that plan, illegals would have to pay a $2,000 fine and back taxes, would have to be proficient in English and civics and would have to pass a background check. After 11 years, they could become U.S. citizens.

Those who have been in the United States less than five years would have to go to "a point of entry" like El Paso, Texas, and fill out papers to stay. They would not have to return to their country of origin. It's unclear if these people would be able to get on the path to citizenship; most likely they would not.
(Fox News)

- Demand that all undocumented workers return home and apply for a new two-year temporary work visa. Such visas could be renewed for a total of six work years, but workers would have to return to their home countries for a year before reapplying.

- Favor the approach taken by the House in December, when it passed a bill that cracked down on illegal immigration without offering any new avenue for lawful employment or citizenship.

- A handful of Democrats, led by Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.), resolutely oppose the provision in the McCain-Kennedy bill that would offer about 400,000 work visas a year to low-skilled foreigners seeking access to a U.S. workplace.

WaPo: Republicans Unveil Revised Immigration Legislation


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