Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > “Trade-offs” are already paving the way for passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

“Trade-offs” are already paving the way for passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

LatinaLista — When the “official” immigration reform bill finally gets drafted and subjected to congressional debate, the expectation in Latino communities is that it will be a loud and boisterous fight but key elements will be approved in some form — notably The DREAM Act and the fate of 12 million people.

Yet, if today’ actions are any indication, it’s clear that there will be “trade-offs” to getting the key elements of immigration reform passed.
Trade-offs are nothing new and in politics are to be expected but when there are so many overlapping elements that comprise immigration reform, with people working on separate agendas towards the same goal, it makes it harder to accept certain elements being sacrificed for others.
That’s what happened today when an amendment sponsored by Senator DeMint to the Department of Homeland Security’s appropriations bill requiring another 700 miles of border wall to be built by 2010 was passed.
Among the Senators who voted for it were some of the staunchest supporters of comprehensive immigration reform.

As if 700 miles wasn’t long enough, another amendment was introduced by Senator Kyl (R-AZ) calling for funds to build “not fewer than 330 miles of at least double layer fencing.”
Though countless articles and documentaries have been published/created in the last two years illustrating the needlessness of the fence and the adverse affect of it on those border communities and families who lie in its path, it seems this is a major trade-off that 21 Democratic Senators were willing to make.
Some of the Democratic Senators who voted for the fence were Bayh (D-IN); Feinstein (D-CA); Rockefeller (D-WV); Schumer (D-NY); and Specter (D-PA).
However, there is one last hope — President Obama.
Does he dare veto the bill and risk a negative backlash that could foreseeably stall the CIR debate in Congress when he has pledged to have it addressed this year?
Or does he do the politically prudent thing and sign it trusting that this concession will pave the way for passage of the rest of the elements to be included in any CIR bill?
Either way, one side will not be happy, but one side also has the power to make 12 million lives more difficult in prolonging their shadowy existence.
Unfortunately, it’s not hard to see in which direction the pen is leaning.

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  • Evelyn
    July 8, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    In the Senate, Republicans won two rare floor victories as debate continued on a $42.9 billion measure to fund the Homeland Security Department. First, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., pushed through a plan to extend permanently the E-Verify program, which uses the Social Security database to check whether workers are in the country legally. His plan would require companies doing business with the federal government to use the system.
    Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., won a 54-44 vote to require double-layer fences along 700 miles of the border with Mexico rather than vehicle barriers and high-tech equipment.
    DeMint said the U.S.-Mexico border “has become a battleground” as drug and weapons traffickers, along with illegal immigrants, move too freely. He said the department is spending too much on “virtual” fencing such as motion detectors. Those barriers, he said, don’t work as well as a real fence designed to block people crossing the border on foot.
    Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, countered that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency was the best judge of fencing for various parts of the border. He said some stretches of physical fencing can cost up to $5 million per mile.

  • Horace
    July 9, 2009 at 11:23 am

    “He said some stretches of physical fencing can cost up to $5 million per mile.”
    That’s a laugh coming from a tax and spend democrat. All the Republicans have to say to stay in tune with the current way of democrat wastefullness is “it’s not waste, it’s stimulus”. That fat walrus Bacus (a democrat by the way) has already stated that there’s no such thing as wasteful spending, only stimulus.

  • Evelyn
    July 10, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Schumer: Immigration Bill To Be Ready By Labor Day
    Associated Press
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The lead Democrat steering an immigration overhaul through the Senate said Wednesday he expects to have a bill ready by Labor Day that is more generous to highly skilled immigrant workers than those who are lower skilled and is tough on future waves of illegal immigration.

  • MaryElizabeth
    July 11, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Geee!! Horace if I recall…the Democrats always seem to leave office with a surplus in the budget; yet Republicans have a habit of leaving us in dept. Also, it seems to me that the last administration was really into giving out government contracts to their buddys. One private industry company that rings a bell with me is called the “Haliburt group” see Horace they liked to suck up as many government contracts that they could get their hands on. They liked those miltary contracts and the “private jail” contracts used to detain immigrants in the US. Talk about tax and spend…and “social programs” for the rich conservatives using our money. Now Horace…do you realise that whenever anyone in office has the name of “Bush” a recession always comes along with the name. Bush’s love to leave us with recession’s and this last Bush…has gotton us into a “depression.” Oh boy!! I just can’t wait for another Republican to get in their one day and spend our money “and give all there rich friends a tax break” and leave us with a deficit again…Oh!! and another Recession. What a treat!!

  • cookie
    July 11, 2009 at 9:52 am

    The Labor Day bill doesn’t sound like the kind that the pro-advocates were looking for. Note it will favor skillled workers over low skilled and will be tough on future waves of illegal immigrants.
    Most of the 12 million or so are unskilled so I fail to see that this is something for the pro-advocate side to get worked up over. Sounds like a win for the anti-illegal side to me.

  • Karen
    July 12, 2009 at 1:15 am

    Re: “That’s a laugh coming from a tax and spend democrat.”
    That rhetoric is so dated. Republicans have crashed our economy and now other emerging economies (China, India, Russia) are trying to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
    There is nothing wrong with spending money on education, infrastructure, etc. That’s what first world countries do. China is making massive investments in education and infrastructure. Pretty soon our top students will be traveling there to get degrees in math and science instead of the other way around.
    Third world Republicans cut education and health care and give massive tax breaks to corporations that send their jobs overseas to take advantage of cheap labor. Then that money does not get invested in our own country’s infrastructure or education.
    If you want to stimulate the economy you give tax cuts to the middle class, especially in the form of payroll tax cuts. But the Republicans never do that. They only give tax cuts to the rich in the form of capital gains tax cuts, which doesn’t create jobs.
    And when Republicans raise taxes its always sales taxes and gas taxes, which disproportionately affect the middle class, which stifles the economy.
    You want the middle class to have disposable income to spend.
    You should read “The Great Limbaugh Con” by Charles M. Kelly.

  • Karen
    July 12, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Mary Elizabeth: You can add the name Arnold Schwarzenegger to the list of Republicans who destroy the economy. He’s California’s Dubya.

  • Horace
    July 12, 2009 at 9:57 am

    So, ME, that gives the green light to the democrats to enact every new costly social welfare on their historical agenda in the time of a near depression? I’d say that sort of judgment is proof that the democrats are any worthier of being in power.

  • Evelyn
    July 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    A pathway to citizenship for immigrants here without legal status has already been opened up at administrative offices.
    Schumer said the way to get the bill done is to be very tough on future waves of illegal immigration. He declared himself pro-immigration and said the U.S. should encourage legal immigration and find some kind of path for people now here to find a way to legal citizenship.
    State Dining Room
    3:17 P.M. EDT
    My administration is fully behind an effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. I have asked my Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Janet Napolitano, to lead up a group that is going to be working with a leadership group from both the House and the Senate to start systematically working through these issues from the congressional leaders and those with the relevant jurisdiction. What we’ve heard is through a process of regular order, they would like to work through these issues both in the House and in the Senate.
    In the meantime, administratively there are a couple of things that our administration has already begun to do. The FBI has cleared much of the backlog of immigration background checks that was really holding up the legal immigration process. DHS is already in the process of cracking down on unscrupulous employers, and, in collaboration with the Department of Labor, working to protect those workers from exploitation.
    The Department of Homeland Security has also been making good progress in speeding up the processing of citizenship petitions, which has been far too slow for far too long — and that, by the way, is an area of great consensus, cuts across Democratic and Republican parties, the notion that we’ve got to make our legal system of immigration much more efficient and effective and customer-friendly than it currently is.
    Today I’m pleased to announce a new collaboration between my Chief Information Officer, my Chief Performance Officer, my Chief Technologies Officer and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office to make the agency much more efficient, much more transparent, much more user-friendly than it has been in the past.
    In the next 90 days, USCIS will launch a vastly improved Web site that will, for the first time ever, allow applicants to get updates on their status of their applications via e-mail and text message and online. And anybody who’s dealt with families who are trying to deal with — navigate the immigration system, this is going to save them huge amounts of time standing in line, waiting around, making phone calls, being put on hold. It’s an example of some things that we can do administratively even as we’re working through difficult issues surrounding comprehensive immigration.
    And the idea is very simple here: We’re going to leverage cutting-edge technology to reduce the unnecessary paperwork, backlogs, and the lack of transparency that’s caused so many people so much heartache.
    Now, we all know that comprehensive immigration reform is difficult. We know it’s a sensitive and politically volatile issue. One of the things that was said around the table is the American people still don’t have enough confidence that Congress and any administration is going to get serious about border security, and so they’re concerned that any immigration reform simply will be a short-term legalization of undocumented workers with no long-term solution with respect to future flows of illegal immigration.
    What’s also been acknowledged is that the 12 million or so undocumented workers are here — who are not paying taxes in the ways that we’d like them to be paying taxes, who are living in the shadows, that that is a group that we have to deal with in a practical, common-sense way. And I think the American people are ready for us to do so. But it’s going to require some heavy lifting, it’s going to require a victory of practicality and common sense and good policymaking over short-term politics. That’s what I’m committed to doing as President.

  • Alessandra
    July 12, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Regarding taxes, the U.S. has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. This doesn’t really create an environment that is competitive globally. Even Canada has a much lower corporate tax rate than the U.S.
    This business of “class warfare” isn’t beneficial. We have to create an environment which will attract business to the U.S., not chase it away. Not to say that there shouldn’t be oversight to prevent corruption and make sure that everyone plays by the rules.
    The Bush administration spent like drunken sailors, but so is the current one. Just because Bush’s spending spiraled out of control does not excuse the current administration from doing so. We just do not have the money now to continue on this path. We need to stop spending money we do not have. This is simply common sense. All we are doing now is either borrowing money from China or printing it; the countries who have been lending to us are not lending any longer because we are so far in debt. This is just simply not sustainable.
    Some citizens seem to think this nation is still “wealthy.” It is not; we are broke and we have to start living within our means. Like a family who lived way beyond their means, borrowing money and living on credit to sustain their lifestyle, our government now needs to cut up the credit cards and stop spending like there’s no tomorrow because for us there might not be one. I’ll be paying our current debt off for the next 50+ years and my children and grandchildren after that. Enough is enough.

  • TL Winslow
    July 14, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    The age-old pesky U.S.-Mexico border problem has taxed the resources of both countries, led to long lists of injustices, and appears to be heading only for worse troubles in the future. Guess what? The border problem can never be solved. Why? Because the border IS the problem! It’s time for a paradigm change.
    Never fear, a satisfying, comprehensive solution is within reach: the Megamerge Dissolution Solution. Simply dissolve the border along with the failed Mexican government, and megamerge the two countries under U.S. law, with mass free 2-way migration eventually equalizing the development and opportunities permanently, with justice and without racism, and without threatening U.S. sovereignty or basic principles.
    Take time to read the groundbreaking proposal by Googling “Megamerge Dissolution Solution”, or click the url.

  • Traci
    July 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    “That rhetoric is so dated. Republicans have crashed our economy and now other emerging economies (China, India, Russia) are trying to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.”
    Really, Karen? What a laugh! The reason they’re considering this is that they know Obama is going to print more money to cover his huge spending programs, thereby causing inflation and devaluing all of the U.S. currency in their possession. Who would want to receive dollars for services or goods if they threaten to become worthless.

  • Jose
    July 22, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    “Simply dissolve the border along with the failed Mexican government, and megamerge the two countries under U.S. law, with mass free 2-way migration eventually equalizing the development and opportunities permanently, with justice and without racism, and without threatening U.S. sovereignty or basic principles.”
    Thanks, but no thanks. Judging by the high Mexican birth rate, millions of whom are born into poverty, there would ultimately be a cross leveling of wealth through taxation, welfare programs and Earned Income Tax Credits that would destroy the standard of living for those of us who still believe in the United States of America. I like the money that I make and I don’t relish transferring it to others through the IRS. Your proposal is like merging a blue chip corporation with one that’s bankrupt. And Winslow, aside for that, what’s in it for us?

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