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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Democrat puts down his marker for amnesty

ALIPAC: Immigration Rally With a throng of Latinos chanting ‘Yes we can’ in English and Spanish in the shadow of the Capitol, Rep. Luis Gutierrez laid down his marker for a comprehensive immigration reform bill he’s expected to introduce before year’s end.

Gutierrez, D-Ill., is the biggest champion in the House for a broad-based bill that includes legalizing the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants now living in the United States. He capped off a string of speakers organized by Reform Immigration FOR America, a group created to try and get a measure passed during this Congress after the failures in 2006 and 2007.

October 13, 2009 - Dena Bunis, Orange County Register Communications: Immigration Rally“Justice for immigrants is today’s civil rights struggle,” said Gutierrez, who made it clear to the cheering crowd that they have their work cut out for them. “We have a Congress to persuade. We have a president to convince. We have justice to deliver.”

Gutierrez outlined what his bill will contain:
* A path to legalization for illegal immigrants who pay taxes, learn English, pass background checks.
* A commission to decide appropriate levels of future workers wanting to come to the U.S. This would be instead of a new temporary worker program.
* A “21st century enforcement strategies” at the border, that presumably doesn’t include the border fence that Republicans have insisted upon.
* Interior enforcement that doesn’t include workplace raids.
* A worker verification system with error proof database.
* A system based on family reunification
* Ag Jobs, giving agricultural workers a path to legalization.
* The DREAM Act, which would allow young people who crew up in the U.S. to be able to work and go to college legally.

Immigration reform is something President Barack Obama promised he would do early in his presidency. But the difficulty that he’s having getting health reform passed will likely make that effort even more difficult.

Immigrant advocates were furious when the White House made it clear they were “throwing illegal immigrants over the side,” in the words of one administration aide. What the aide was referring to was the fact that the Senate Finance Committee bill, which passed out of committee today, would not only bar illegal immigrants from getting health care subsidies, but wouldn’t let them buy a policy from the new insurance exchange the bill would create.

Obama has continued to say he is for immigration reform but that it will have to wait until next year.

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