Thursday, May 17, 2007

Immigration Deal in the Senate?

This is good news.

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, May 17 — Senators from both parties announced an agreement this afternoon on immigration-reform legislation that would bring illegal immigrants and their families “out of the shadows and into the sunshine of American life,” as Senator Edward M. Kennedy put it.

The bill would provide an opportunity “right away” for millions of illegal aliens to correct their status, said Mr. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. It would emphasize family ties as well as employment skills in weighing how soon immigrants could become legal residents, he said.

But it would also emphasize improved border security and would call for “very strong sanctions” against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, according to Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania.

Both senators acknowledged that the proposed bill, which was immediately praised by President Bush, is likely to come under fire both from the political right and the political left — decried either as “amnesty” or as “not humanitarian enough,” as Mr. Specter said.

To become legislation, the proposed bill would have to be approved by the House, which has had serious differences with the Senate on the issue. The House has tended to emphasize border security more than ways to allow immigrants to become citizens, and any mention of “amnesty” for illegal aliens has been anathema in the House.

Still, Mr. Kennedy said that the bill, however imperfect, was the best chance in years to secure America’s borders, help millions of people who have been living in fear and help to eliminate a sad and sordid “underground economy” in American life.

Read the whole story here.

No comments: