Lurching Toward Immigration Reform
It looks as if a bipartisan group of senators have come up with immigration reform legislation that might actually pass that body. From the AP:
Key senators and the White House reached agreement today on an immigration overhaul that would grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States and fortify the border.
The plan would create a temporary worker program to bring new arrivals to the United States. A separate program would cover agricultural workers.
New high-tech enforcement measures also would be instituted to verify that workers are here legally….
The proposed agreement would allow illegal immigrants to come forward and obtain a "Z visa" and—after paying fees and a $5,000 fine—ultimately get on track for permanent residency, which could take between eight and 13 years. Heads of household would have to return to their home countries first….
The details are sketchy, so it's hard to evaluate the proposed law. And it's hard to know how the House will play along, since pre-Dem takeover, House Republicans were the real hurdle to clear in immigration reform (they didn't want no stinking guestworkers).
Anything that brings people into the official economy is a good thing. It's not clear that this reform will do that, especially give the touchback provisions.