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House Dems Introduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation

December 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

While Congress continues to plow full steam ahead on health care, Democrats in the House recently took a big step forward on another huge and contentious issue, immigration. On Tuesday, Rep. Solomon Ortiz [D, TX-27] and Rep. Luis Gutierez [D, IL-4] introduced comprehensive immigration reform legislation that will serve as the starting point for Congress’ work on the issue this session.

“We have waited patiently for a workable solution to our immigration crisis to be taken up by this Congress and our President,” Gutierrez said upon introducing the bill. "The time for waiting is over. This bill will be presented before Congress recesses for the holidays so that there is no excuse for inaction in the New Year.

View the bill details, read the text, find news and blog coverage and more here:

H.R. 4132 – Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Prosperity and Security Act of 2009

As a first step on immigration reform for the 111th session of Congress, it’s pretty aggressive. The bill touches on just about all elements of immigration reform, from border security to foreign worker visas to employment eligibility verification. It generally follows the same framework of the comprehensive immigration bills that were attempted by the 110th Congress under President Bush and failed mainly because of public opposition to providing a process for immigrants who are currently undocumented to eventually become legal residents.

Like the bills proposed under Bush, the new bill would require undocumented immigrants to show that they have contributed to the U.S. through work, military service, education or other such service and do not have any felony convictions and no more than three misdemeanors before they can apply for citizenship. They would also have to prove that they were in the U.S. before December 15, 2009 (the date of the bill’s introduction to Congress), wait 6 years from the date of their application before gaining citizens status and pay a fine of $500.

In a number of areas, the bill is more generous to undocumented immigrants than the bills that were attempted under Bush. The new bill, for example, provides DHS broad authority to decide and define which “vulnerable populations” would be exempt from detainment and deportation. It also includes a long list of places, like colleges, cemeteries and churches, that ICE would not be allowed to detain undocumented immigrants in or near.

During the last session of Congress while Republican President Bush was supporting immigration reform, similar immigration legislation was able to attract Republican support and co-sponsorship. Now that Democratic President Barack Obama is in office supporting immigration reform, this year’s bill has not attracted any Republican support.

Pictured above is Rep. Gutierrez speaking about immigration reform at a rally in October on the grounds of the Capitol.

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  • swordsman7 12/21/2009 12:49pm
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    Hear goes another attempt to tell the american taxpayer/voter that they have no idea what they want. The people have spoken on this issue while Bush was President now we must tell our government NO 1 more time on this issue. The reason for this is D.C. must find away to get new taxpayers in the system so they don’t get caught blowing your money from your social security. i am sorry to say that one of the senators is from Texas, did we not fight you for this state, and you lost?

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    spender 12/21/2009 6:10pm

    You know, illegal immigrants often end up having taxes taken out of their pay, and then they miss out on all the benefits because they can’t file returns. If tax revenue is your racket, you’re best bet is to get as many undocumented workers here as possible, keep them paying in to Social Security and Medicare, but never legalize their status so they can’t collect.

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    bolt18_80 12/22/2009 6:56am

    Oh, you know good and well that they’ll collect…but it won’t be through a valid SS#. That’s how they work it. First they get here, then they use the ten thousand different methods of obtaining a false identity so they can draw on your dead grandfathers social security.

    What we need to do is take the money they’re spending on debating this legislation and hire more INS workers to hunt these illegal !@#$’s down and ship them back to where they came from!

    Deport! Deport! Deport!

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    MrFisk 02/14/2010 7:59am
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    + -1

    What you have to understand is simple. You me and everyone else that is in this country is an immigrant. That is how this country was made.
    Even our forefather were the same as us.
    The difference no is that the idea has been lost.
    The reason why so many men died for us has been forgotten.
    All you may see now is nothing but, people who’s language and culture you don’t understand and you want them out because you don’t understand or see the entire picture.
    I mean, I respect your point of view but, there much more to know about the people we know now as illegal aliens.
    If you come to think about it now, you may come to understand that we are as much illegal as well they are too.
    This is the United States of America…. Not America of the United States.
    Look at our American History. and learn a lot more than you already know. Then, once you do read some more about the subject…. only then will you agree with me. but, not until then. Right now I know you will disagree with me.

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    MrFisk 02/14/2010 8:00am
    I for once in my life see things differently. I watch the news and I listen and I see more than just illegal immigrants.

    I see people who suffer and live a very difficult life way harder than ours but, like I said. you need to be willing to learn and listen to the other side of the story you know. you need to learn the facts of what is and is not. and learn about what we can do so we can stop doing what we shouldn’t do and do what we must.

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  • bolt18_80 12/22/2009 7:00am

    You jackass legislators wake UP! My God…we don’t want this type of legislation! They’re called ILLEGAL for a reason!

    One question in regards to…

    Like the bills proposed under Bush, the new bill would require undocumented immigrants to show that they have contributed to the U.S. through work, military service, education or other such service and do not have any felony convictions and no more than three misdemeanors before they can apply for citizenship.

    How the HELL is it that they are contributing through “military service” if they’re undocumented citizens? What is the government doing that would allow this to happen?

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    donnyshaw 12/22/2009 7:17am

    Here’s some info on undocumented immigrants serving in the military:

    And here’s the provision in the bill requiring undocumented immigrants to show that they have contributed to the U.S. in some way, including military service:

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    KISS 12/25/2009 1:26pm

    Liberal deception at best. “Illegal Immigrants: Uncle Sam Wants You” gives the impression the Military trains recruiters to find an ‘easy mark’then trick him or her into beliving lies, only to die. The father, Fernando, has dual US/Mexican citizenship. Jesus is NOT illegal. Sketchy details = propaganda. School recruitment, recruiter bonuses, etc. Many industries do this. The ‘appeal to pity’ is sickening. Recruiters going after illegals or undocumented, the ‘vunerables.’ Young men are required to register at 17. My son did at school and joined the Marines. Jesus and my son sound similar. They chose to do what they believed in, must share values the Marines seek; faithfulness, honor, courage, teamwork. Jesus was a fine man, his sacrafice is not in vain, and I empathize with his parent’s grief. BUT, the journalism sucks & so does parts of this bill.

  • jnichols80 12/22/2009 9:36am

    I agree. Last I checked if you are not a citizen of this country you have now constitutinal rights. Why because it isn’t your constitution!!!! Every illegal in this country is slaping the face legal citizens who came here and worked to becom citizens. I’m so sick of the lets take care of everyone mentality of America. There are plenty of citizens here who need help with out helpin Illegals. If this bill passes it will just incourage even more to jump the border. What a crock of Sh$t. When the hell is congress going to wake up and listen to the americans who voted for them. Last time I checked they were supose to vote off of what the state believes is right not personal oppinion, yet when is the last time you were polled to se what you want to happen in this country. Our founding fathers are rolling over in their grave right now.

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    bolt18_80 12/23/2009 6:43am
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    Apparently someone forgot to tell the Mexican looking for the military benefits that there’s a chance YOU WILL GET KILLED in the military. IMHO, it’s a similar situation to the black lady who wanted to stay home with her kids because she was getting deployed. When you sign up, you sign a paper stating that you have someone to take care of your kids in the event you are deployed. This situation with the Mexican kid is even more ridiculous.

    Here let me spell it out for you America so there isn’t any more confusion…


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    ArmyMedicsWife 05/31/2010 9:21am

    Let me add this to your list, bolt




  • BKS01 12/27/2009 4:42am

    These people who are trying to once again force legislation on the American people are simply truing to add to their voter base since their recent voting has lost them a considerable amount.
    In truth immigration reform can be simple, cost effective, and easily enforced. Fine any company, individual or organization 5k for every illegal found to be working for them and watch the gates at the border fill with illegals going home.
    There are laws in place for legaly entering and working in the US. Abide by the laws in place.

  • Sonflower 01/31/2010 1:50am

    I live in Texas. The Mexican illegals have taken over our neighborhood. They do not obey our laws, they have no comprehension of stopping at stop signs. In December my daughter was injured and her car totalled by one running a stop sign. I have slammed on the brakes many times to avoid an accident. They have trashed our once lovely state. They have no concept of using trash cans. I have been told by two different “former” Mexicans that they were going to take back Texas one illegal at a time. They seem to be doing just that. Wake up America! Send them home, I want my country back.

  • openmicnites 02/10/2010 9:09pm

    DEPORT DEPORT DEPORT vote no on HR 4321 and fire these traitors that introduced this legislation

  • b58 03/01/2010 1:07am

    The illegals gets paid for the work they do then they cash their checks and buy money orders to mail the money to Mexico. They buy groceries and at the checkout line they pay with welfare cards us taxpayers are paying for. They will not buy insurance of anykind.They get healthcare through Medicare and Medicaid and go to school all at the expence of us taxpayers. Most of the illegals works on contract labor 1099 and never pays or files income tax. They trash our neighborhoods and 3 or 4 families lives in one house.Washington just can’t get it that illegal means against the law. CASE CLOSED . Now Deport the ones jumping the border ILLEGALLY UNDOCUMENTED AGAINST THE LAW.

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  • Nikita63 05/17/2010 3:05pm

    I do not understand WHY it is that Congress, BOTH HOUSES cannot understand the definition of the word illegal. Is it because it is not in Spanish, or some other language? Illegals all, are a problem for the body politic because they take jobs from citizens, are often eligible for help citizens cannot qualify for, in many instances pay no taxes for fear of having their illegal status discovered and fear their just reward: DEPORTATION. I favor Arizona’s recently passed Immigration law which calls for verification of status for cause. Those who decry it as profiling can take a look at what is asked of CITIZENS and others by the U.S. Census and try to convince me that it is not profiling; both racial and economic and quite frankly, NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS! If the 111th Congress and the President will not ENFORCE our laws on immigration,
    let alone reform them, We will CHANGE the demographic in November and then, do it ourselves; FOR OUR OWN PROTECTION! Arizona alrteady has!

  • JHENRY 05/23/2010 11:02am

    I agree whole heartedly with all those who think illigals should be deported and there should be no amnesty!!!

    I firmly believe that all those senators and Reps that stood up and applauded for Calderon when he said he didn’t like the Arizona Law should be immediately
    impeached and never be allowed to serve in any type of office ever again whether it be a State office or a local mayor or city council office. It is really disgusting when your own President cowtowns to another country’s president. Especially when it is the other country’s president that allows its’ citizens to cross borders iligally and then bad mouth’s a State for its’ taking care of its’ citizen when the member of congress and president won’t lift a finger to uphold immigration laws already in place and instead, without reading a law says it is unconstitutional. VOTE THEM OUT!!!

  • ondroad 06/06/2010 11:30pm

    I totally agree with bolt. I believe that all illegal immigrants are to be kicked out of the United States and deported to wherever they came from (most likely Mexico). These democrat guys with the Mexican names supporting this outrageous bill will of course support their fellow illegal immigrant brothers in order for them to come live in the U.S. If some stranger comes in your house and says “I wanna live here”, would you let him in? Only stupid people would (democrats). Like that stranger, you don’t know if he’s a bank robber, murderer, rapist, or just some guy who wants to raid your fridge. Citizenship should be obtained the right way as it was always was. Go to the embassy and apply for citizenship and be a benefit to the USA, not some other person who is just taking up space and jobs. Some unintelligent people say “Oh but we too are illegal immigrants from the past. Why are they any different?” Well, for 1, we are not illegal immigrants, we conquered America from the brits.

  • ondroad 06/06/2010 11:44pm

    Barack Hussein Obama will definitely let this bill pass if it goes through Congress (which it probably will unless the Republicans are voted in) because he himself is probably an illegal immigrant. His citizenship is still not proven. This guy has a racist for a wife and “pastor”. Plus, he has a Muslim father. I still wonder at why people voted him in. Of all people, he is voted in. He would definitely support these 2 mexicans trying to let in their illegal immigrant brothers. These illegal immigrants are a hazard to American society and that is a major concern. Another thing that has to be taken care of is the matter of being born in the states and automatically becoming a citizen. This is horrible. Illegals come into the country on a visa and have their baby in the US. then they have an American in the family. There needs to be an amendment to this law.

  • crunchy 06/08/2010 2:21pm

    ok for all who have been shouting so loud about the immigration here is a simple question. how did italians came in here. how did french came in here the dutch came in here and how did the fuck**ng jews came over here..who is native and who is not… what are these rules for since you people came in first that means you owned this place? who built you the roads? who built you the stunning buildings over here? who built you technology that you claim to have discovered? who brought in cars and gave you jobs? what are you thinking of your selves? do you think america is the richest country in the world? it has 6trillion in debts and its the highest bby any country. don’t think you own this place ok.. you social security taxes and all the taxes that you pay are humbuck. if you work in the same way in any other country you can’t even survivefor a single month. where did the african american come from are they legal what is the origin or all the presidents of united states?

  • garylloyd 07/03/2010 2:43am

    The first lie is that the number of illegals is 11 million. Bear Sterns, the wall street banking house used micro-economic indicators to get to population at arrived at 20 million. This was five years ago. We’ve had one million more per year enter the country. Add to this the 5 million non-Hispanic illegals and that gives us 30 million.

    The second lie is that the bill is for America’s prosperity. If there was any truth in that we’d have had open borders a long time ago.

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