Immigrant Song


All of the details are hazy, but President Bush's planned announcement of some sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. and the creation of a guest-worker program seem like steps in the right direction.

As the Miami Herald notes, Bush had planned a major overhaul of immigration laws prior to 9/11. It looks like his new proposal will not be that, but it's starting the conversation up at least. From the Herald account:

The proposal would provide a way for illegal immigrants who can show they have employment to work legally, although temporarily, in the United States. The new "temporary worker program," which also would include people still in their native countries who have a job lined up in the United States, would not, like the temporary visa programs already in existence that involve mostly technical experts, apply only to a certain sector of the economy or industry.

Bush wants to increase the nation's yearly allotment of green cards that allow for permanent U.S. residency, but won't say by how much, the officials said. Approximately 140,000 green cards a year are issued now.

He also wants the workers' first three-year term in the program to be renewable but won't say for how long; he won't set the amount workers should pay to apply for the program; and he won't specify how to enforce the requirement that no American worker wants the job the foreign worker is taking, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.