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Immigration Debate Moves to the Right

April 13, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Here is the AP’s most recent analysis [links added] of the behind-the-scenes struggle to round up support for passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year:

>The terms of the immigration debate have turned less friendly for illegal immigrants as lawmakers and the Bush administration struggle to reach a deal in the next few weeks.
>In an ironic twist, the outlines of a potential deal have moved to the right – toward a more difficult road to citizenship for the nation’s roughly 12 million illegal immigrants – even as the power in Congress has shifted to Democrats, who overwhelmingly favor a more permissive approach.
>The White House has floated a proposal that would require illegal immigrants to pay fines as high as $10,000, face long waits and return to their home countries in order to be eligible for citizenship – far tougher conditions than in a bipartisan measure passed by the Senate last year and backed by Bush. The immigrants also would be denied a right to bring family members to the United States.
>A bipartisan House measure introduced earlier this year would add a new mandate that undocumented immigrants go home before gaining legal status – a requirement that many Democrats and pro-immigrant groups have decried as “report to deport.”
>The changes reflect a new political calculus for Republicans, who fear that any plan passed by the centrist Senate will become more permissive toward immigrants in the more liberal House and during final Democratic-dominated negotiations.
>Democrats, in turn, recognize that any immigration plan must have substantial GOP support in order to have a chance of being signed into law, so they are considering tougher measures. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has told Bush he must deliver 70 Republican votes before she will attempt to pass any immigration bill.

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  • Anonymous 04/13/2007 10:50am

    This is a really great post on immigration and I was wondering if you would be interested in a link exchange with Immigration Orange. Email me at beausset at fas dot harvard dot edu if your interested. I hope this comment finds you well.

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