imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

A Review of Immigration Proposals in Congress

by Justin Akers Chacon Wednesday, May. 10, 2006 at 4:03 PM

A Choice Between Bad and Worse: Why We Can't Compromise on Immigration Legislation

International Socialist Review Issue 47,

May–June 2006

B R I E F I N G

A REVIEW OF IMMIGRATION PROPOSALS IN CONGRESS

A choice between bad and worse

The Sensenbrenner-King bill (HR4437), “The Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005”1

This bill proposes to:

• Make the presence of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. a felony;

• Make conviction of unlawful presence in the U.S. an aggravated felony, which could make millions of undocumented immigrants permanently ineligible for any legalization program;

• Expand the definition of criminal “alien smuggling” in such a way that anyone who assists an undocumented person to live or remain in the U.S. could be charged with a criminal offense;

• Increase penalties for employers that hire undocumented workers up to ,000 and up to five years of jail time;

• Require the construction of a 700-mile wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The McCain-Kennedy bill (S.1033/HR 2330) “Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005”2

Republican co-sponsor Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has summarized the bill as being designed to protect “Americans from immigrants,” stating, “Homeland security is our nation’s number-one priority. This legislation includes a number of provisions that together will make our nation more secure.”

They include:

Increased enforcement. McCain-Kennedy calls for even stricter border enforcement, including an increase in border technology to track migrants; a Border Security Advisory Committee to collaborate with Bush’s Department of Homeland Security; expanded border policing on the Mexican side of the border; and increased spending for the Border Patrol.

Punishing the undocumented. The bill increases employer sanctions, which punish companies that hire undocumented workers. It phases in a database to keep records of migrant workers, which will allow for the tracking of undocumented workers.

It empowers the Department of Labor to conduct “random audits” to ensure compliance with labor law, which could mean raids on worksites that employ undocumented workers. It also requires the expansion of “aerial surveillance technologies”—i.e., more planes, helicopters, and unmanned drones to hunt for migrant crossers.

A guest-worker program. Employers will be empowered to use a guest-worker program to push down the wages of all workers—which is what led to the degradation of agricultural labor during the Bracero Program’s existence. Workers will only have access to health care in case of emergency, so regular health maintenance and preventative care will not be provided.

The twelve million undocumented workers in the U.S. can only apply for temporary work visas if they pay an exorbitant fee of at least ,000 (application fee, plus fines), prove they are “not a security threat,” and show they paid taxes while in the U.S. without authorization. They can only remain in the U.S. if they can prove that they have long-term work and have learned English. This will discourage most undocumented workers from participating in the program, perpetuating their segregated status.

A limited path to residence. The bill allows guest workers to remain in the country for a maximum of six years, after which they will have to return to their country of origin, or “be in the pipeline for a green card.” This is tricky language since it doesn’t explain how difficult it actually is to get a green card.

The bill will raise the number of yearly employment visas available to guest-worker applicants to 290,000 a year (from the current 140,000). But this language is also deceptive since under current law, such visas are divided on a per-country basis (currently 7 percent). This means that under the legislation, Mexican workers would only be eligible for a maximum of 28,000 visas a year.

Furthermore, visas are distributed according to “types of employment.” Unskilled workers, for instance, are only eligible for about 30 percent of these visas according to the bill, although leftovers from other categories could be added to this total.

So the majority of the 400,000 annual guest workers and the twelve million undocumented currently in the U.S. will be bottlenecked out, or priced out of the process. The bill also excludes those undocumented workers who have been in the country for less than a year, and those who have not been consistently employed while in the United States.

Furthermore, there is an average four- to seven-year waiting period for the green card process. An employer can sponsor a worker for a green card, or a worker can apply themselves only after four successive years of work, and even then, there is no guarantee that they will receive one.

There is no reference in the proposal to change the waiting period—only that if the four years pass without a green card, “delays are recaptured for future allotments.” In other words, the status of the vast majority of workers will remain uncertain for indefinite periods. The bill allows for indefinite one-year extensions until the case comes before a court.

If the applicant loses a job or leaves the country, they could lose their opportunity. Since names and information will be on file, the bill will likely facilitate the process of regularized deportation of those not “in the pipeline,” and likely increase funding for such a process.

Families will have difficulty uniting. Only after getting permanent residence can guest workers apply to bring their families into the country (if they are already here, they get status along with the undocumented applicant). Since only a minority of workers will likely get green cards, this will exclude most from reuniting with their families, and increase the pressure on them to return.

Currently, the waiting time for bringing immediate family members into the country through this process is four to seven years, and only 27,000 slots are allotted to Mexicans (although the bill makes reference to raising this cap another 19 percent). Furthermore, workers must have an income at least equal to the federal poverty line to qualify. In other words, poorer workers will not be reunited with their families. McCain-Kennedy won’t change the deadly pattern of migration and segregation.

The excluded will still cross. The McCain-Kennedy bill offers only 400,000 slots for applicants (although this can be raised an extra 20 percent), far less than current levels of migration, as well as the increase of low-wage jobs in immigrant-receiving states. This means that the majority of migrants will still cross through deserts and mountains. Family members eager to reunite with loved ones will bypass the long waits and risk crossing through the rough terrain. With increased border militarization, this will mean more deaths.

The undocumented will remain in the shadows. The bill would require undocumented workers to register with the state, pay huge fines, and run the risk of being deported. It reinforces the status quo—the segregation of undocumented workers—which will continue the cycle of racism and exploitation.

Some of the major provisions of the Hagel-Martinez compromise amendment3

• Undocumented workers who have been in the country for at least five years could receive temporary work visas only after meeting several conditions, including payment of a ,000 fine and any back taxes, clearing a background check, and learning English. After six more years, they could apply for permanent residency without leaving the United States. They could apply for citizenship only after five years.

• If an undocumented immigrant is in the country for between two and five years, they could obtain a temporary work visa after reporting to a border point of entry, which means they would have to leave the country before reapplying.



• Officials said it could take as long as thirteen to fourteen years for immigrants to gain citizenship. In part, that stems from an annual limit of 450,000 on green cards, which confer legal permanent residency and are a precursor to citizenship status. In other words, millions of workers would remain second-class citizens for many years, since as non-citizens they will not be afforded basic democratic rights.

• Workers in the United States for less than two years would be required to leave the country and apply for re-entry alongside anyone else seeking to emigrate. In other words, as much as 30 percent of existing undocumented workers in the U.S. are excluded altogether.

• Separately, the legislation provides a new program for 1.5 million temporary agriculture industry workers over five years.

• It also incorporates further criminalization: It increases employer sanctions, and it calls for a “virtual fence” consisting of surveillance cameras, sensors, and other monitoring equipment to further militarize the existing border walls that push migration into deadly regions.

While the most immediate task at hand is to send HR4437 to defeat, it is clear that neither of the other bills embrace the interests of the millions who have poured out into the streets.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 For a detailed analysis of the Bill, see the website for the National Council of La Raza at http://www.nclr.org/content/policy/detail/35618/.

2 Quoted in Justin Akers Chacón, “Why you should oppose the McCain-Kennedy bill,” Socialist Worker, March 31, 2005.

3 David Epso, “Congress unites for illegal-immigrant deal,” Associated Press, April 6. 2006.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Another good article by this author johnk Thursday, May. 11, 2006 at 9:59 PM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy