May 17, 2007

Grand Outline of Provisions of "the Compromise"

Hatched by Dafydd

The main purpose of this post is to pull together everything we currently know about the immigration-reform deal announced today. I had to go through six different sources to find it all; but here it is, all in one place.

For future reference, as this stuff works its way through Congress, I will repost the outline below and make changes, additions, and emendations as required. So consider Big Lizards your one-stop shopping center for the grand plan that will occupy as much of Congress's time as can be spared... after the urgent requirement to investigate every Republican, living or dead, who ever worked for George W. Bush (or said anything nice about him).

Sources: I have now read several thousand words on the Senate immigration-reform deal announced today by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ, 65%), Ted Kennedy (D-MA, 100%), John Kyl (R-AZ, 92%), and others:

- I read the AP, Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal (subscription required) stories on the deal.

- I read yesterday's WSJ's story (subscription required). I read the responses by Hugh Hewitt, Dean Barnett (buried in his American Idol post), John Hinderaker, and Paul Mirengoff (addendum on John's earlier post).

- I read the angry commentary by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC, 100%) -- John quotes it. I read Hugh's earlier "talking points" post, in which he revealed what the GOP wanted from the bill -- and Hugh's own guess as to what will make it into the final compromise (nearly everything he said the GOP wouldn't get -- they got).

- I haven't read anything on the subject by Michelle Malkin, the Center for Security Policy, nor Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO, 92%), and for a very good reason: their prior hysterical opposition to any immigration reform that even hints at anything other than a wall, imprisonment of employers, and mass deportations of 11 million illegals. They have collectively become "the boys who cried 'amnesty!'" -- at everything, without exception, that goes beyond enforcement. They have marginalized themselves (like the black vote) by being 100% predictable. They have made themselves nought but cosmic background radiation on this issue.

Sadly, Hugh and Dean now join those ranks. By contrast, John and Paul make reasonable arguments and explain their positions, rather than simply screaming "amnesty" at me. I disagree with them, but I will continue reading and mulling what they write.

Before getting into my own thoughts, let me summarize what is known about the deal; unlike anybody else here, I will include references for each datum. What a concept!

Immigration reform compromise package - original

  1. Reform of legal immigration. The compromise sets up a "point system" (as in Australia) for future immigration; immigrants would be accepted or rejected on the basis of the number of points they accrue [WSJ2 -- today's WSJ article.];
  2. Points would be allocated for English-language facility, education, advanced job skills that the country needs (I'm guessing high tech), and for family connections to other citizens more tenuous than spouse or children under the age of 21. Family relations will be deprivileged, while skills leading to faster, better assimilation will be privileged (I don't know if "country quotas" will be retained) [WSJ2];
  3. The only family connections that would allow automatic issuance of a green card would be spouses and children under the age of 21; older children and any other family relation would simply accrue some points but would otherwise have to satisfy the point-quota requirement in (2) [WSJ2];
  4. Border security. The following provisions must be "implemented" before either regularization of illegal aliens or enactment of the temporary-worker program can occur:

    1. 370 miles of additional border fence (unknown whether that means actual wall the whole way, wall plus fence, or wall plus fence plus virtual fence);
    2. 18,000 additional Border Patrol agents;
    3. "Effective, electronic employee-verification system for the workplace;"
    4. Crackdown on employers who hire illegals;

    I don't know if "implemented" means completed, begun, funded, or what; presumably, this will be hashed out during the actual Senate debate [all from WaPo -- the Washington Post article];

  5. Regularization of currently illegal aliens. Current illegal aliens can come forward, give full information about themselves, and obtain a "probationary" Z-visa card that would allow them to stay legally and continue to work but would not allow them to apply for citizenship [WSJ2];
  6. In order to get a regular Z-visa, allowing the alien to begin the path to citizenship, he must meet several requirements:

    1. The head of the household must return to his country of origin and apply from there [WSJ2];
    2. The family must undergo a criminal background check [WaPo];
    3. They must pay a $5,000 fine [WSJ2];
    4. They must pay back taxes -- I don't know if this made it into the final compromise, but it was in the talking points memo [TPM] that Hugh posted earlier;
    5. They must pay processing fees [WSJ2];
    6. They must go to the back of the line of legal immigrants -- see (7) below [TPM];
  7. Before Z-visas will be granted, the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has eight years to work through the backlog of already pending legal residency applications from those who are trying to immigrate here legally.

    Only after those are granted will USCIS turn to illegal aliens who have applied for residency per the process delineated in (6) above; this will take up to five additional years.

    After a green card is granted, citizenship requires an additional five years. Thus, from illegal status to citizenship requires a minimum of 13 years, possibly as long as 18 years. [WSJ1 -- the earlier WSJ article];

  8. Separate "guest-worker" program. A separate guest-worker program will be created which does not lead to citizenship; a guest worker cannot apply for citizenship unless he returns to his country of origin and applies in the normal fashion anyone else would (no line-cut privileges) [WSJ2];
  9. Guest workers can apply for a two-year stint working in this country. After that time expires, they must return to their country of origin for at least a one-year "rest" period. They could then reapply, again for two years here followed by a year back in their country of origin. They could apply one more time for two years here... after which they must return permanently to their country of origin [WSJ2].

Immigration reform compromise package - Mishnah

You won't be surprised -- you who actually read Big Lizards attentively -- that my least favorite part of this compromise is the guest-worker program. In fact, I hate the very idea of a guest-worker program.

I go along with Mark Steyn on this one... I think such programs in European countries have been prescriptions for disaster, bringing the great Moslem influx to Europe. Even here, I don't like the idea of a huge chunk of people coming here to work, even in two-year bursts, when they have no desire to become Americans and no sense of "Americanness."

But frankly, the rest of it doesn't sound all that bad, depending on how it actually works in practice. There's the rub, as John and Paul noted: They're both skeptical that the federal government can actually enforce the border-security provisions and actually make the guest workers go home after two years... but they have no doubt of the government's ability to regularize current illegals.

I concur in part and dissent in part: I agree it's more difficult to get the feds to fulfill the enforcement part of the deal; that's because Democrats are less trustworthy than Republicans, as a rule... the former are apt to decide that the Vision must be achieved by any means necessary. But "more difficult" is not equivalent to "impossible," and Democrats don't always get their way.

We must move forward; so long as we stand here, foot in hand, we continue to have wide-open borders. Even a scant 370 extra miles of fence is better than what we have now (duh). Remember, "not making a decision" is in fact making a decision, the decision to do nothing.

I think border enforcement and guest-worker control are both doable... provided we have a commitment to do them. But of course, if we don't have such a commitment, we certainly wouldn't be able to enact a Tancredoesque "enforcement always and only" reform. Dig?

The most important take-away from the compromise is this: It really, truly is a compromise. Many of the provisions above -- i.e., the "trigger" that prevents implementation of regularization until border security is implemented, the point system that privileges assimilability over extended family connections, and the limitations on how long guest workers can stay -- were opposed by the Democrats and only accepted to ward off a Republican threat of filibuster.

The Democrats were actually anxious enough for the deal that they gave as much as did we. This was the best we could get; but amazingly, it's actually better than the version floating around the Republican-controlled Senate in the 109th Congress -- which passed the Senate on May 17th, 2006... but couldn't become law, because the Republican-controlled House opposed it.

I am very, very pleased that the bill actually addresses my main concern: That we reform our legal immigration system to make it predictable.

Immigrants should know what they can do to make acceptance more likely, what standards they must reach, and that acceptance or rejection will be based upon individual merit, rather than arbitrary, capricious, collectivist, and corrupt. The immigrant is told what skills and education generate how many points, so he can work towards becoming an American citizen. This alone makes illegal immigration far less attractive.

This point is far more critical to our long-term interests and national security than anything we do about the 11-12 million illegals currently here; they constitute only a temporary problem, because they won't live forever. The other point critical to national security is securing the border with some combination of wall, fence, and virtual fence, in order to keep out the next 12 million potential illegal aliens. Compared to these two points, every other immigration suggestion is mere dicta.

But please, folks, take a deep breath and read, read, read about the compromise. This Big Lizards post is a good starting point, since I worked like the Dickens to organize everything into a grand outline. Then you can follow the debate as it flows across the Senate and eventually the House.

A knee-jerk rejection of anything other than enforcement as "amnesty" does absolutely nothing to secure the border... and a knee-jerk vow never to vote for any Republican ever again does nothing but fill the congressional carriage team with Democratic squirrels... and then give Hillary Clinton the driver's whip.

Even if you hate the very idea of regularization, remember this:

  • The lesser of two evils is still evil...
  • But by definition, the lesser of two evils is also still less evil than the other one.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 17, 2007, at the time of 6:46 PM

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» Trying to get your head around "immigration reform"? Start here from Right Side of the Rainbow
I’m reading everything as I try to understand the “deal.” I’d like to inform myself and maybe help to inform you, too. What, exactly, does the “deal” consist of? I’ve read a lot of opinion and conclusory observ... [Read More]

Tracked on May 17, 2007 10:08 PM

» The Problem With Labeling Those Who Oppose Senate Immigration Bill from Webloggin
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» About that "Fence" from Dean Barnett
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Tracked on May 18, 2007 7:45 AM

» About That Immigration Bill, Part 2 from MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
That last post was Vinnie’s, not mine. I still know where my bread is buttered, even if the butter isn’t spread quite as thickly as I might like on occasion. Sorry, y’all–we lost in November, and this* might be the best you can... [Read More]

Tracked on May 18, 2007 9:40 AM

Comments

The following hissed in response by: NewEnglandDevil

I think this is also the partial work of the 'Blue Dogs', who I believe were elected in large part because of what the Republican congress couldn't accomplish on immigration.

After reading what you've compiled, I'm actually marginally surprised that its as good as it is. It does figure that it would have to be a Dem Senate to get this passed though - Dems as the minority had no incentive to compromise. In the majority, they do.

The above hissed in response by: NewEnglandDevil [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 17, 2007 7:49 PM

The following hissed in response by: Hal

Based on what you have so far, Dafydd, I think I see two weaknesses, and you pointed the one out.

First, while I'm glad that the compromise wouldn't just hand citizenship to the illegals ahead of those who actually went the legitimate path, I can't help but wonder if the penalties are going to be incentive to not come forward and start the citizenship process. At that point, enforcement becomes the rule of the day.

But there's the rub, aye? If someone doesn't apply for the probationary Z-visa, then what? If they apply for it but don't qualify for the next step, then what? Will the feds actually start enforcing things? Will "sanctuary cities" be forced to follow the law?

I realize you pointed out that enforcement is the unknown factor at this point. To me, it'd be a start if the bill (or any bill) contained language essentially telling sanctuary cities to get over themselves and enforce the law.

The above hissed in response by: Hal [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 17, 2007 8:16 PM

The following hissed in response by: NoMoreBlatherDotCom

Actually, Tancredo and, AFAIK, Malkin don't support mass deportations. Perhaps you should broaden your reading list, including those who call amnesties by their true names instead of euphemisms?

And, of course, the 12-20 million here now aren't a temporary problem, because a) they will vote, and b) their children who remember their parents being legalized will vote. And, of course, they'll give even more power to both homegrown racial power groups like La Raza as well as the Mexican government. They will strengthen the base that both groups can use to obtain even more power, and together they will push for yet more amnesties.

More comments on this here.

The above hissed in response by: NoMoreBlatherDotCom [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 17, 2007 8:34 PM

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

Re: NoMoreBlatherDotCom at May 17, 2007 8:34 PM

If Tancredo seeks to take away any and every job, along with any and every benefit (including education and welfare,) from illegal immigrants in America, I suspect that he'd also like all of them to leave the country. Just guessing.

Myself, I'd like to find a way to let those who are working for a living, and having their taxes deducted right now, stay and work towards citizenship. Provided they pay a fine, learn English, and have stayed out of trouble, aside from immigration and I-9 form violations.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 17, 2007 9:07 PM

The following hissed in response by: patrick neid

d,
it was here at your site that i posted my original comments about immigration reform well over a year ago. all the predictions i made then have stood the test of time. nothing in the interim has changed. i said then that the 10 million illegals would be staying. like many others i have no problem with that. however where i do have a problem is that 10 million instantly becomes 30 million plus with spouses and children. even worse than that is the border will be left open for the next 10 million, as it has been these last 20 years after the touted 1986 amnesty agreement. who has forgot the fanfare of last year's fence signing bill for 700 miles which has already been discarded. the electronic fence that so many politicians are hiding behind is a canard. read the footnotes--it is not intended to keep people out but merely to keep an accurate count of those that sneak in.

a prediction. none of the provisions of this compromise will ever be enforced just as all prior provisions of various bills since the 1960's have never been enforced. in fact, by the time amnesty attorneys get done with their legal suits the courts will rule that it is a violation of human rights to keep families apart once one party has any kind of legal status here. all other provisions will be ruled pernicious.

the solution that no one wants because it works is the building of a complete fence the entire length of the border before any other thought is given amnesty, green cards etc. all the laws as written can be changed on a whim but the fence, that stays and does its job.

as a moral issue at what point are we responsible for hollowing out mexico by seducing its young to build our country and leave theirs to ruin as well over 40% of their young come north. would we as a country survive if 40% of our young between the ages of 20 and 40 left. i don't think so.

The above hissed in response by: patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 17, 2007 11:16 PM

The following hissed in response by: Adjoran

Well, those who want to bash Bush and the GOP Senators over this have some 'splainin' to do, Lucy.

Bush proposed a comprehensive plan which required more of the applicants (except his fees were lower) and, combined with the authorized fence, would have been a genuine interim solution to the problem. Conservatives said "NO!!!"

The first McCain-Kennedy bill last year was similar, but lax on enforcement and more lenient on terms than the Bush plan. Conservatives said "NO!!!"

So now we get the new version, even more lax and liberal, and cutting the fence authorization in half. Thanks, my friends. In seeking some perfect world of "enforcement first" before ANY "pathway to citizenship" or guest worker program could even be discussed, you have given us . . . this.

Bash Bush? Why, because you were too dumb to see he was asking for the most favorable possible comprehensive solution? Because we ended up with a much worse bill, and he will sign it because he knows he can't count on you anymore?

Gimme a freakin' break. Of course, few will accept the terms - most illegals working here are sending money home because their families NEED it every month. $5 grand and months or more back at home is a non-starter.

But all this means is the real problems aren't addressed - again. And the fence is cut in half.

Nice work, morons.

The above hissed in response by: Adjoran [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 17, 2007 11:22 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Hal:

I realize you pointed out that enforcement is the unknown factor at this point. To me, it'd be a start if the bill (or any bill) contained language essentially telling sanctuary cities to get over themselves and enforce the law.

Hal, this is exactly the sort of helpful suggestions we need: Republicans in Senate and House could insist upon such language, and I doubt it would be a deal-breaker for the Dems.

I made a suggestion in e-mail to Dean Barnett: The money must be appropriated for the border fence, then the checks actually cut and the money paid into an escrow account, from which the administration could pay the contractors as they did the work.

This would 100% guarantee that the fence will continue to be built, at least for the rest of Bush's term and probably through the next president's term as well... even if it's a Democrat.

NoMoreBlatherDotCom:

Can you please give me your general definition of the word "amnesty?" Thanks.

Patrick Neid:

the solution that no one wants because it works is the building of a complete fence the entire length of the border before any other thought is given amnesty, green cards etc.

Very well; you toddle off and start lobbying Congress. When you get the Democratic majority to sign onto this plan, come back and let us know.

Everybody:

A blogpost which linked this post appears to be under the impression that I lump everyone who dislikes this compromise into the boys who cried "amnesty!" category.

That is demonstrably false: I made a point of singling out Paul Mirengoff and John Hinderaker, both of whom distrust and dislike this plan, but who do not have the habit of labeling anything other than pure enforcement "amnesty." They make reasonable arguments against and seriously consider counterarguments.

The group I'm talking about should be obvious: those for whom every form of comprehensive reform, no matter what it looks like -- any proposal other than border fence + employer prosecution + illegal deportation -- is summarily dismissed with a reference to the Reagan amnesty (which really was an amnesty, unlike this bill).

It's perfectly possible to oppose this bill without being one of the boys who cried "amnesty!" I even made a point of mentioning two such.

Let me be clear: Both Paul and John do use (misuse, actually) the word amnesty; that doesn't bother me... people misuse words all the time. (How many people use "literally" to mean "metaphorically" or "apparently" to mean "evidently"?)

The distinction is that they do not simply say "amnesty" and walk away. They explain their objections in fairly precise terms... which means we can work on it.

We can see exactly what they fear and try to concoct some guarantee that will allay those fears... such as my suggestion above of a border-fence "escrow account," to prevent the Dems playing Lucy-with-the-football again. (Nobody else has ever suggested this, I think; another brand new idea from the lizards!)

Thanks,

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 3:39 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

Dafyddd:

Thank yo for being so rational. I wish everyone would try that hard.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 4:08 AM

The following hissed in response by: onlineanalyst

I have several questions regarding this process:

With the "temporary Z" process, do those who apply have full rights as citizens do, such as the ability to vote? Concomitantly, will voters lists be scanned and purged of those who have been in the shadows and voting illegally up to this time?

Will the "temporary Z" visa also include a biometric identifier for the applicant? Will the social security card of the "in-the-shadows person"(if there has been a card used) be verified for its legitimacy? If the SS card is fraudulent for any reason, does the applicant of the "temporary Z" visa incur any penalty?

What happens to those illegals who do not come forward to apply for the "temporary Z" visa? Are they deported for non-compliance, with no opportunity to apply again?

The "temporary Z" visa appears to be a long state of limbo for those who apply in that those who do so (rightfully) must go to the rear of the line for processing for a "permanent Z" after processing of the backlog of legal petitioners for citizenship takes place. What are the legal rights of those with "temporary Z" visas? (Actually this is an expansion of my first question.)

Does this legislation halt the acceptance of new legal applicants for citizenship until the morass of the backlog current legal applicants is addressed? If so, doesn't this possibility limit the acceptance of the law-abiding and possibly productive future citizens in the meantime?

Just some ideas to chew on...since not enough has been explained to our own legal, tax-paying citizens about why this compromise is such a "grand bargain".

The above hissed in response by: onlineanalyst [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 4:29 AM

The following hissed in response by: nk

As Dafydd describes it, I see nothing in this bill that cannot be undone by the next Congress. But how do we get a Congress willing to do what we want? I know, I know! We'll all just stay home on election day.

(I did, however, love this quip from another blog: "Bush has given up on his legacy here at home and decided to outsource it to Mexico.")

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 5:59 AM

The following hissed in response by: Papa Ray

"who has forgot the fanfare of last year's fence signing bill for 700 miles which has already been discarded."

Well, my buds and I haven't forgot. You know if they had funded those miles, contracted it out, started building it in earnest, (less than 10 miles built is not "earnest") passed a bill to help the states pay for a good ID plan [card] that has a chance of actually working.

They should have actually gave the Social Security Administration the money and resources to clean up and verify their database.

They should have accelerated and funded the provisons in the 2005 Real ID ACT. But they have not,[except for a small amount] in fact the corruption and ineptitude of the Citizenship and Immigration Services has been exposed and exposed again and again with no firings, reform [how about jail time] or even much concern by anyone in our governement.

They should have established a real commitment to actually fund additonal personel and the tools needed for ICE and the Border Patrol (meaning to actually give them the money, not just promise it sometime)... the American population might be in the mood to consider one of these "total" whatever you want to call it bills.

But they didn't do any of these things.

They lied again, reneged again and proved once again that we can't trust their sorry overpaid asses.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

The above hissed in response by: Papa Ray [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 8:20 AM

The following hissed in response by: patrick neid

D,

you mentioned

Patrick Neid:

"the solution that no one wants because it works is the building of a complete fence the entire length of the border before any other thought is given amnesty, green cards etc."

Very well; you toddle off and start lobbying Congress. When you get the Democratic majority to sign onto this plan, come back and let us know."

The 700 hundred miles of fence passed last fall, that has already been discarded, would pass again. The democratic majority is nonexistent for all intents and purposes when you consider the blue dog dems etc. When the details of this immigration bill are exposed it will not pass. A fence first proposal will always pass with the american people. Congress simply has to be pressured. With 40 years of non enforcement it literally fits the definition of insanity to assume that the same actions/behavior would generate a different result this time around.

The above hissed in response by: patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 10:27 AM

The following hissed in response by: Watchman

I would love for someone to explain to me why the Dems are not paying a political price for this. Illegal immigration is killing their biggest constituent groups (labor and African-Americans) in the job market. The GOP is ignoring not only their base, but a big opportunity to make hay with the other party's--and those opportunities don't come along that often.

As for the bill itself, in whatever form it ends up being written--probably after the vote!--it's not likely to become law. Nancy Pugnosi is already making noises that she won't even bring it up unless the House GOP joins the Senate in the nose-thumbing business. And I don't see that happening.

The above hissed in response by: Watchman [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 11:16 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

If Tancredo and Malkin are not supporting mass deportations, then what do they want? To just ignore these people? And isn't that a form of defacto amnesty?

No they say they want to ship them all out of the country....including the kids and then they say they do not really want to round them all up and ship them out of the country. I guess they want to wave a magic wand or something.

The Democrats are not paying a price for this because most Democrats are not that worried about minorities. They just aren't. For instance, I hear that Mexicans are showing in Louisiana to clean up from Katrina because the locals do not seem to be all that into doing it. They have been trained by the Democrats to not worry about working. Sad but true. Anytime fast food restaurents have to offer sign up bonuses to get people to work, the problem is not someone stealing someone's else's job.

And you know what? I have been voting Republican for some time now and I am getting tired of people telling me what I am supposed to think if I am part of the "base". It is like it is some exclusive club or something.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 12:24 PM

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

I think everyone has waltzed around the fundamental issue, and its various ramifications. That issue is trust or, more accurately, distrust of Congress to do what it has consistently failed to do, and enforce the immigration laws before giving away the store.

In this case, We don't trust that any enforcement will take place, especially BEFORE any semi-amnesty. It never did before. Not only that, but there doesn't seem to be any thought given to the enforcement, merely some statement that there will be some. The fundamental requirement, IMHO, is that we must absolutely require every existing illegal alien to register, and then insure that you cannot get any job without that "registration" card. That alone will seal the border as no fence possibly can. Then build the fence.

But the only thing this bill seems to have in that line is some ridiculous assumption that those who have already flaunted our laws will suddenly decide to comply with this one, pay those "fines and fees" and jump through all the hoops required, just to continue to do what they are are already doing except for the "privilege" of paying more taxes. No, the only thing really missing from this bill is an absolute requirement that EVERY worker must be registered, immediately, and only those who are here as of today can even be considered for these Z-visas. After that, the rest of it sounds pretty reasonable.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 12:33 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Onlineanalyst:

Bear in mind, as detailed as this bill is, it's not that detailed (yet); and much of what you ask would be answered by how the administration administered the law, and by how the courts ruled. I'll try to answer your questions based on what I've heard:

With the "temporary Z" process, do those who apply have full rights as citizens do, such as the ability to vote?

No, of course not. For voting, they need citizenship... which means they must go through that whole process of paying the fine, back taxes, etc., then waiting eight years for a green card, and so forth.

What I really don't know is whether they can get a probationary card and stick around for the rest of their lives without applying for a green card. On the whole, I hope so; I'd rather they stayed above ground than stay underground.

(If someone has been established here for years, he's not going to disappear even if he's deported; he'll return because he would be desperate -- and no wall is foolproof. So the only question is whether he stays here above ground or below it.)

What are the legal rights of those with "temporary Z" visas?

So far as I can tell, the right to work, live openly, and not be deported.

Concomitantly, will voters lists be scanned and purged of those who have been in the shadows and voting illegally up to this time?

Administrative question.

Will the "temporary Z" visa also include a biometric identifier for the applicant?

Yes.

Will the social security card of the "in the shadows person"(if there has been a card used) be verified for its legitimacy? If the SS card is fraudulent for any reason, does the applicant of the "temporary Z" visa incur any penalty?

The employer must verify the legitimacy of the Z-visa before hiring or face serious criminal penalties. I'm quite certain that holders of fraudulent Z-visas or Social Security cards -- if caught -- will be guilty of a crime; as to whether they're actually prosecuted, that's an administrative question.

What happens to those illegals who do not come forward to apply for the "temporary Z" visa? Are they deported for non-compliance, with no opportunity to apply again?

I would guess (because it's the only workable way) that there will be a relatively short "grace period" during which illegals cannot be deported if they qualify for a probationary Z-visa. After that expires, I presume an illegal caught without a probationary Z-visa (at least an application filed) will be deportable as usual. I have no idea about future applications.

Does this legislation halt the acceptance of new legal applicants for citizenship until the morass of the backlog current legal applicants is addressed?

Nobody has reported on this question, but I highly doubt it.

Papa Ray:

And your realistic alternative is...?

Patrick Neid:

Very well; you toddle off and start lobbying Congress. When you get the Democratic majority to sign onto this plan, come back and let us know.

Don't just tell us that you know you can get Congress to fully fund and build the fence... go and do it. Show us. Then you can come back and brag about it.

Terrye:

And you know what? I have been voting Republican for some time now and I am getting tired of people telling me what I am supposed to think if I am part of the "base". It is like it is some exclusive club or something.

The "Devil's Dictionary" type definition of party base: "That sliver of voters who, while sober, would nevertheless elect me to high office."

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 1:33 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

Dafydd:

Very funny. Really.

I think that people are overlooking the fact that Congress is not the only culprit. The illegals are not the only ones breaking laws here either. These folks are here because regular people hire them.

When Americans drive down the highway and they look out at a field and see hordes of people working there...where do we think they came from?

When you drive through a subdivision and look up on the roof and see a crew of dark skinned men hollering at each other in Spanish, do you call INS or if it is your house do you tell the contractor to stop work until and unless he has a crew of men with names like Doug and Fred?

Nope, we don't. Very few of us do anyway. I had that experience with a relative lately. Hates illegals, but he let them work on his house. He had a deadline.

McCain and Bush and Kennedy {shudder} are not responsible for that, we are.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 1:47 PM

The following hissed in response by: Baggi

Dafydd,

Thank you for remaining rational on this issue, Malkin has become impossible to read.

Allow me to preface my comments by hopefully giving myself a smidgen of authority in this particular debate as I started working for the INS in 1996 on the Tijuana/San Diego border and have been ever since then.

That's not to say that I know everything about this debate, but ive been on the front line for some time now.

First, its horrible how a beauracracy can destroy a good plan. That's what we had in the INS and it is even worse now in the DHS. So consider me highly skeptical. An example of this is hiring employees. This year I will make my overtime cap of $35,000 dollars (That's just overtime folks) because we are so short staffed. This is after we've been authorized for an almost 25% increase in employee's more than three years ago. Today, we are down over 10% from where we were this time last year.

This is because this job has a very high turnover rate and people do not stay in it. Does this bill address our hiring problems at all? I doubt it. Simply stating in a bill, "We will add X number of employee's to the border" is naive. Their are some very deep issues with employment in my job (And it's not the money, i'll make over 90k this year because of overtime), like sometimes having 4 hours between shifts which does not include your drive time, forced overtime all the time, even on holiday's, etc.

So that is my first beef with this new law. If they are setting out to add more employee's, call me skeptical if they don't fix the problems with maintaining the current employee pool.

Second, I have a big problem with the Z visa the goes back to employees. The Z visa is going to create a congestion nightmare. It will allow millions of people who are already here living and working illegaly to go home, get a Z visa, and then travel freely back and forth across the border.

This would be great if we didn't already have a problem with traffic congestion at the border and at our airports, etc. But because we are so understaffed, and have been since 1996 even though we've added thousands of employees (We keep getting busier at a rate that increases faster than our employees), it makes it almost impossible to enforce the laws. Our employee's hit their overtime cap, are already worn out and wanting to quit within the first few years because of the lack of anytime at home with their families, and really don't want to enforce the laws.

I know that sounds horrible but everything is working against our psyche. Our Supervisors are under pressure to break the traffic congestion at all times, this pressure comes from Washington because of commerce. This pressure from the supervisor trickles down to the officer who is constantly told to, "Make a decision." as though one could do so in seconds flat. This, combined with the fact that if you do find an illegal, that means more overtime, and you might just be tired and wanting to go home. It's almost so bad with the work hours that sometimes I suspect a conspiracy. One in which someone is clever enough to make us all work such long hours that we are too beat up and tired to keep catching bad guys.

A poor excuse I know, but a reality for the officers on the borders today. We're tired and understaffed and the Z visa and the promise of the Z visa is going to make things worse, at least in the short term.

Third (Hope someone is still reading), i'm worried about the follow through, like many others here have stated. In my experience officers are pressured in one way but not the other. For example, we always say that you'll never get in trouble for letting 100 illegals go north (North from Tijuana, i'm sure they say something different on the Canadian border) but if you send one U.S. Citizen back to Mexico on accident, you're busted.

So the pressure is unidirectional. And it sorta makes sense in a horrible sort of way. I mean, there is no way I could catch all of the illegals who go through my lane everyday. We're not superhuman on the border and we know that drugs and illegals get past us all the time. So we're excused for missing the occasional bad guy.

However, we turn around someone who wasn't supposed to be turned around and our butt is toast.

This is why i'm so much in favor of a fence. Ive seen the harm done to immigrants that come here without proper documentation and stay under the radar. Most of the ones ive removed from this country are really good people. They work twice as much as I do (And I think i'm overworked) and get a fifth the pay, and they're happy!

This appears to my mind as a grevious immoral wrong being done to these folks. They should be treated better. But the only way I can see that they could be treated better is by building a fence, increasing enforcement, and coming up with a way to form a better line to getting into this country that forces business in this country to treat people right.

Is this compromise going to do it? I dunno. I'll stay tuned to Biglizards to find out.

The above hissed in response by: Baggi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 3:31 PM

The following hissed in response by: Troll

My comments.

Side comment: I went out to tell one of my HOA paid landscapers THIS MORNING that I needed my irrigation fixed. Didn't speak a lick of english. Didn't understand a lick of english... I mean nothing. I could have been calmly telling him that I was about to kill him and eat with a side order of Fava beans and he wouldn't have had a clue.
Needless to say... I wasn't thrilled. What if I was dying and needed the simple assistance of having him call 911? Rediculous and unbelievable.

Big comment: Not in favor of this thing going down so quickly and so secretively. I doubt many are. But I would have loved to seen this tidbit in there. Making sure that getting a conviction for any Federal crime (including voter fraud) would mean a revocation of the Z-visa AND/OR your citizenship application.
This should diminish immigrants from voting illegally and commiting major crimes! Who could complain about that being in there? (please don't answer... ok answer)

The above hissed in response by: Troll [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 3:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: Troll

er... Felony... not Federal

The above hissed in response by: Troll [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 3:57 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Baggi:

Many of the problems you iterate don't relate specifically to this bill; but they're serious problems that still need addressing. And if you think about it, any provision that cuts down on illegal immigration is necessarily going to increase legal immigration, by funneling former border jumpers through the gates.

The only thing I can suggest is automating more of the process. For example, an IR camera that can tell how many warm bodies are in a vehicle; thus, if the machine says five living bodies, but you can only see four, then probably there's someone in the trunk.

Also a laser scanner that finds and scans the face of everyone in the car; then each person holds up his SmartPort (my cutsie name for a smart passport), the same laser scans the bar code, finds that record, and compares it to the biometric scan of the face.

If designed properly, this would take no more time than a wave-through, would be far more accurate... and you could have more car lanes with the same number of employees -- without burdening them with extra work -- because the scanner is doing most of the job.

(Then you add 18,000 new BP agents to the new technology, and the net workload for everyone would decrease.)

We still need human beings to look at people to see whether something looks "wrong" about them; but that can be done via surveillance cams, as in Las Vegas casinos.

The same system could work for pedestrian traffic: They enter a booth, thumb a pad, hold up their SmartPorts, and the door at the other end opens.

Unless something doesn't match; then a door in the side opens instead, and they can explain matters to you and your buds.

No system can ever be perfect; but I think we can use smart technology to greatly increase the effectiveness of each individual agent.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 4:51 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Troll:

Definitely with you on the crime thing. The hearbreaking case, however, is when it's a minor child who is convicted of a felony -- let's say a less serious one, like passing several thousand dollars worth of bad checks or using a lost credit card he found lying on the ground.

Do we revoke the Z-visa of the parents, who may not even have known the kid was doing that? Do we deport just the minor... to whom? Or does the provision not apply to minors -- even though minors are a big part of gang violence (and will be even more so if such a provision passes)?

We'll have to think this one through very carefully... we're waltzing through a legal minefield. But I still like the idea.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 4:57 PM

The following hissed in response by: NoMoreBlatherDotCom

RBMN offers standard misleading statements about Tancredo, such as him wanting to take away education from illegal aliens. (Sidenote: the lawyer who got the Supreme Court to rule for k-12 education for illegal aliens has at least three links to the MexicanGovernment).

Tancredo is on record supporting attrition and opposing mass deportations. I'd suggest getting your information on him from his website, not from people like RBMN.

Dafydd ab Hugh says: Can you please give me your general definition of the word "amnesty?" Thanks.

That's easy: how it will be perceived.

And, any form of legalization will be perceived by millions and millions and millions of prosespective illegal aliens as an amnesty and a giant giveaway. And, they'll come here to form a new group of those who'll have to be amnestied. And, because current illegal aliens will be voters, as discussed by me above, that will make those future amnesties even more likely.

The above hissed in response by: NoMoreBlatherDotCom [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 5:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: burt

According to today's Washington Times the structural barriers would consist of 200 miles of vehicle barriers and 370 miles of fencing.

Today's e-mail from FAIR info@fairus.org has the following:

Provides that Z visas last for 4 years and may be renewed indefinitely.

Waives numerous criminal provisions for eligibility purposes and no medical exam is needed up front.

Requires state and local governments are required to assist illegal aliens in providing documentation to support a Z visa application as a condition of receiving state impact assistance money.

Immediately grants probationary benefits (including work authorization, protection from removal, and a social security number) based only on an application and a 24-hour wait on a background check. Probationary benefits are not affected by the "trigger" in Title I of the bill.

Provides that any knowledge of English is required only upon the first renewal of a Z visa (i.e. after four years).

Allows Z aliens to apply for green cards and become citizens. While they must wait until some existing applications are processed, they are not required to wait in line behind those who have applied for green cards after May 1, 2005. Moreover, they get to live and work in the U.S. while they wait.

Provides that green card applications (for heads of households) must be filed in person outside the U.S. but not necessarily in the alien's country of origin. The alien can then re-enter under a Z nonimmigrant visa because it serves as a valid travel document.

Requires certain fees and a penalties. To become a Z nonimmigrant (head of household only) must pay a $1,000 penalty. To become a legal permanent resident (i.e. obtain a green card), a head of household must pay a $4,000 penalty.

The above hissed in response by: burt [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 5:39 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

NoMoreBlatherDotCom:

Dafydd ab Hugh says: Can you please give me your general definition of the word "amnesty?" Thanks.

That's easy: how it will be perceived.

Are you literally saying that if I looked up amnesty in the dictionary, the definition would read, "how it will be perceived?"

Please give me your definition of the word amnesty. Not an argument; not a position paper; just your exact definition of the word.

Thanks,

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 7:05 PM

The following hissed in response by: Baggi

Dafydd,

We already have something in place like what you mention. Although it is not fully automated.

It is called SENTRI, which was once called DCL (Dedicated commuter lane).

Basically, you have to pay a lot of money, go through a very long process, get a lot of background checks done, and then be held to a higher standard than the normal traveller and viola! You get to zoom through the border much easier than everyone else.

But you could never really fully automate the process like you suggest for many reasons. Some of which are the fact that we aren't just looking for immigration, we are also looking for customs. Which means we wouldn't know if they were bringing back drugs, or other harmful items into the United States by an automated process.

This is why even the SENTRI system that we have now has a random selection process. Every so often it picks out a vehicle to check and we go over it very carefully. Even the slightest infraction means you get removed from the SENTRI program.

Many of the problems you iterate don't relate specifically to this bill; but they're serious problems that still need addressing.

Agreed. But how can we expect to throw a whole bunch of new problems down upon the system when all of the old problems aren't yet fixed?

I have to say i'm worried about change. Mostly because my nature is to be conservative.

But change is desperately needed. Just hope that this current change being proposed is for the better.

The above hissed in response by: Baggi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 10:07 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

Tancredo may say he does not support mass deportations, but then again he does not support any realistic way to deal with the illegals here. His position seems to be that he will not round them up and ship them out, instead he will round them up and ship them out.

There are millions of these people here, if we do not make an effort to deal with that then any new illegals will just disappear inside that community. There will always be a place to hide. We can not document all of them, but if we want to stop people from hiring them and housing them etc, then we need to create a system that can not be circumvented by a bogus social security card.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2007 4:09 AM

The following hissed in response by: Davod

This bill will not solve anything. We know from past events that most if not all of the enforcement provisions will be left by the wayside.

The government cannot handle the comparitively minor number of permanent visa applications now. Just how do you think they will be able to handle 10-20 million at once.

Police background checks is one of the big hurdles for a lot of people wanting to get green cards. If your country of origin does not have an effective police records system, or is not trusted by the USG to provide honest information, it used to be almost impossible to pass the police check portion of the requirement.
Will the new visa have any such requirement?

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 20, 2007 4:58 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Davod:

And your realistic (that is, politically feasible) alternative is...?

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 20, 2007 5:13 AM

The following hissed in response by: NoMoreBlatherDotCom

Dafydd ab Hugh: Dictionary, schmictionary. In the real world it doesn't matter what you think something means. What matters is what everyone else thinks it means.

Almost no one in foreign countries who would consider coming here illegally is going to be deterred by the "tough" provisions such as paying fines. Almost all of them are going to hone in on the prize: U.S. citizenship. They are going to see this as amnesty, and they're going to respond by trying to become part of the current amnesty or all the others to come.

The above hissed in response by: NoMoreBlatherDotCom [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 20, 2007 10:30 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

NoMoreBlatherDotCom:

Dictionary, schmictionary. In the real world it doesn't matter what you think something means. What matters is what everyone else thinks it means.

Congratulations, you've just become a liberal.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 20, 2007 12:16 PM

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