June 7, 2007 10:30 PM PDT

Immigration overhaul bill dies in Senate

A massive immigration bill that would have created a new government database for employee verification and rewritten green card laws died late Thursday in the U.S. Senate.

The proposal, which represented the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration laws in a generation and was backed by President Bush, unexpectedly stalled on a procedural vote in the Senate of 45 to 50. At least 60 votes were needed.

At 628 pages, at least in its later forms (PDF), the bill was unusually convoluted and ignited an inferno of opposition from conservatives who said the new "Z" visa for illegal aliens would amount to an unacceptable form of amnesty.

Technology firms, too, fretted that the green card overhaul would chip away at the predictability of the current process for recruiting and hiring foreigners and leave too much control over the talent-screening process in the government's hands.

An opinion article by immigration attorney Martin Lawler in Thursday's Wall Street Journal calculated that the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act would have allowed Mexican horse groomers to obtain permanent residency--but blocked green card applications from actor Michael J. Fox, journalist Peter Jennings and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, all immigrants.

Another flashpoint for criticism was the proposed creation of the Employment Eligibility Verification System, which would have created new databases that all employers would have to use to investigate the immigration status of current and future employees or face stiff penalties.

Republican-led opposition proved fatal to the shaky alliance between the president and the Democratic Senate leadership, which had hoped that a hard-fought compromise would survive a series of procedural votes this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, however, predicted the measure would eventually resurface on Capitol Hill.

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18 comments

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Thank God!
This bill would have bankrupted our Social Security and Medicare systems much faster by adding a cost of 2.6 TRILLION dollars over the next 40 years.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/wm1490.cfm" target="_newWindow">http://www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/wm1490.cfm</a>

I thought buying votes was illegal? Thank God this bill was stopped.
Posted by Yog Sothoth (37 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vote buying
I think you are right. The Dems will never agree to anything short of amnesty as they are drueling over all the potential new democratic voters. For this reason, we are at an impasse that cannot be solved. Any effort to secure the border, or require employers to check status in a federal database will be blocked unless the dems can extort amnesty as the price to pay. Of course, many republicans would like an overly business friendly approach that floods the job market with workers, keeping wages down, so we get screwed from both sides.

The good news is that some states are taking the matter into their own hands. Arizona, where I live, is making life miserable for illegals when it comes to getting work or getting a drivers license. Perhaps the solution will come when the various states take steps to punish employers that hire illegals. The federal gov't is just too corrupted by special interest groups to actually come up with a reasonable solution to the problem.
Posted by C_G_K (169 comments )
Link Flag
There is a God!
I'm not sure about anyone else, but a guest in my house isn't someone's who's broken into the place. And someone who has broken in doesn't get invited to stay -under any condition.

Now if we can just get around to stop calling them illegal or undocumented immigrants. When my respective grandparents showed up here they were subjected to a massive amount of documentation. That's what made them immigrants. They were cataloged, numbered, and, in at least one case, had a slight name change. If you don't have the docs, you're not an immigrant. You're a lawbreaker. It's pretty simple.

Sorry, Mr. President. Or maybe not, depending on what you really intended...
Posted by hardedge (98 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Democracy in Action
Thank God our legislators had the courage to make the right decision. This bill would have given our country an Open Door policy at the least, and put and extreme financial hardship on hard working, tax paying, American Citizens. Illegal immigrants have no bonds to this country, military, taxes,or any other way, would they protect this country, I THINK NOT. God Bless America.
Posted by kerrdog21 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
you talking about politicians?
Sorry our legislators didn't have courage for anything. They are running scared because they know we know they are traitors who have sold us out in China and are selling us out with illegals. God bless what? What is America? It's not a country because a country has controlled borders. It's a "market". The United Market of America, unless we unite and get rid of traitor politicians and enact laws to PROTECT US!
Posted by GrandpaN1947 (187 comments )
Link Flag
Before we pop the
champagne corks, we still have a problem that needs dealt with, today. As it stands now, nothing is being done.
Posted by suyts (824 comments )
Reply Link Flag
We don't need new legislation
Status quo is better than what this bill would have done. Besides all we really need to do is to actually enforce the existing laws, adding new laws doesn't do anything is none of them are enforced and if the administration isn't going to enforce the existing laws what makes anyone think they would enforce new ones?
Posted by pmfjoe (196 comments )
Link Flag
Is it the question of back to "Business As Usual"!
By the U.S. Senate's failure in its attempt at this Immigration overhaul bill the question is: Is it "back to business as usual"; appearing more or less like -- by "not making" a decision is in fact "making" decision!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Still yet; it would be good to know before hand....
... if that "prospective" employee (student, ex-student) possesses fake documentation or is in concert with others to make that journey to the airport or that next plane trip a scary encounter for some!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
Indian IT companies openly discriminate, U.S. cos. want a Green Card Whip
Listen this bill was under attack by the following corporate LEECHES

Oracle
Google
Microsoft

Google especially should be ashamed of its behavior. They should be fighting for equal opportunity and freedom, not openly denying it to others and their workers.

No loss. We need to make sure that if the bill comes back we have the following safeguards for both h-1b employees:

#1 - Give immigrants the ability to control their own destiny. Allow h-1b employees to apply for Green Cards on their own (if they choose to). So that they can be safe from company shutdowns or layoffs, and can freely move around to make sure they are getting a fair value for their labor.

Let's put an end to the GREEN WHIP.

Open up the whole U.S. labor market to allow U.S. Citizens to compete in an open and fair market for U.S. jobs:

#1 - We are not asking for any job entitlement, just an equal opportunity for U.S. citizens to apply for and be considered for jobs in the United States. No employer, be they from India or any other country can be allowed to hire only from their native country for jobs based in the United States. To do so is clear discrimination, bigotry in its worst form, and must be banned.

H-1b jobs shops used by Google, and alike, practice open discrimination against workers in the United States, because these shops discriminate against americans, in favor of people with an h-1b.

For too long companies have been using the h-1b program to facilitate the IT Offshoring process. At the same time, these same companies have openly discriminated, barred, U.S. candidates from applying for jobs within the United States.

In open testimony, before Congress, a job candidate called a U.S. recruiting agency and asked if she could apply for a job. The Congress and staff were shocked to hear (and be direct I-witnesses to) that the recruiting agency would not consider her resume because she was not in the U.S. on an h-1b visa.

Two congressman, Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassely are investigating this, and several related incidents. As part of the investigation they sent a letter to the top users of h-1b Visas. Which happen to be the major Indian IT Outsourcing firms. These companies whined to the Indian government. Now the Indian government is putting up a smoke screen over the whole issue, a smoke screen consisting of International threats of Sanctions against the United States.

The U.S. needs to shine a bright light on the open job discrimination perpetrated against U.S. citizens. But India (specifically Karmal Nath) want to force/black-mail the United States into allowing open discrimination to occur within the United States.

We need to fight for the equality of the U.S. worker on U.S. soil. Not a handout, not entitlement, just equality.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Immigration Bill Dies - Finally
Also what is not mentioned very often are the billions of dollars that are sent back home to their native country. Whereas if these were Americans, those dollars would be spent here to support the American economy.

And please contact your senator &#38; congress person and stop "Birthright Citizenship". The cost to deliver babies is enourmous and we all pay for it through additional taxes and then the child is automatically a US Citizen.
Posted by drkrc (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
The only change needed...
The only change needed to existing laws is much harsher fines
($100,000 per head should do it) and much more diligent
enforcement against those who hire illegal immigrants. Problem
solved in a few months with no silly and expensive fences, walls,
electronic surveillance. Then valid U.S. workers could get back to a
fair employment playing field, and the Mexicans could go back and
make Mexico a better, less parasitic, less corrupt country.
Employers who've enjoyed the bounty of cheap, illegal labor should
be forced to take the hit. Not workers and not consumers.
Posted by Todd Templeton (69 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What about a Government website for employers?
Harsher fines would help, but you also need to make it easier for businesses to check an employee's legal status. You don't want busineses to be on the hook for forged documents that a prospective employee might offer as proof of legal status.

One solution would be a government run website that allows all employers to put in a SS #, passport #, green card # or whatever is used to identify somebody in this country.

This website would then spit back the name, address and other things that the employer could check on the application to verify that this person isn't stealing somebody's identity!
Posted by Yog Sothoth (37 comments )
Link Flag
Kennedy won't let it die
Those that voted"for" that horrible bill will probly sneek something new in, I plan to start voting again though, because both Maryland senators voted for that thing, and they got to go!:)(I haven't voted in a long time due to the"stability" of my life the past few years, but it's time to start again.
Posted by ralahinn1 (52 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This bill deserved to die
1. It wouldn't do a damn thing to stop the illegals.
2. It would screw up the system even worse for those of us who play by the rules.
3. It would provide a whole new set of criminalized behaviors to give the the executive branch an excuse to exercise force against the citizens of this country, i.e. you and me.
4. It would raise taxes.
5. It would divert tax money into the pockets of the cronies of the government representatives supporting this bill. The rich get richer and we end up paying the bill, assuming we can get the job.
6. The more databases the government creates to "manage" people, the more screwed up the data becomes, and the less capable they are of cleaning ANY of them up.
7. For what it's worth, I've yet to hear of an I.T. worker (or any other white collar worker for that matter) losing his or her job to an illegal immigrant. You just don't see a lot of ******** wearing 3-piece suits to work; although that might not necessarily hold true of snowbacks.

I use the terms "*******" and "snowback" in their traditional meanings to describe illegal aliens who come across the Mexican or Canadian borders. You don't like the terms, too bad; they are both accurate and appropriately derogatory of people who break the law.
Posted by Dr_Zinj (727 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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