I am up to my eyeballs in Immigration legislation! Should we have a temporary worker program? Should we let them become citizens? How many highly skilled visa applicants shall we let in the country? How much more security can we put at the border? What penalties are in place for employers who “knowing and recklessly” hire illegal aliens?
Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying it. I live for this stuff. For work, I only truly care about a few small identity management portions of the bill (I mean come on…don’t we want to establish a minimum level of assurance that we know who is coming into this country!). But my provisions are all wrapped up with the whole bill. I care about the immigration on a personal level as a Texan who understands the need for these workers, the reason they cross illegally, the burden it puts on state services and its citizens, and how it affects small businesses.
It is such a divisive issue; I can hardly get a handle on it in my own head. And if you know me, you know I am hard core about speaking English and doing things legally. But if I was in Mexico, I would cross illegally every time I got the chance if I could not get here legally. That will always be the case when you have a third world country bordering the
U.S. But I also see this beyond the southern border issue. For me, it all comes down to homeland security. I want to know who is in this country. The more I can authenticate people (those who are here already illegally and those who want to come here) the small the pool of the unknown becomes. Then we can focus on the higher risk, unknown population. But that’s just me. This issue is different for everyone.
The fact that a group of bi-partisan Senators were able to put together a deal, well that just amazes me! And now they are trying like hell to keep that deal together. They are under assault from the left & the right, from the business community, from consumer groups and from members of their own party. My association isn’t even sure we can back the bill, even though there are some really great provisions in this bill for my issues.
What kills me is this may not be the best bill, but its damn sure better then what we currently have! They originally wanted to bring the bill up this Monday and pass it by Friday! Can you imagine? The bill is nearly 500 pages. And it was not even available to the Senators until after 2:00 a.m. this past Saturday! (In fact, if you are really interested and want to do your civic duty, www.itaa.org/upload/es/docs/Immigration_Bill_Sub.pdf and read the bill. If you become so inclined after reading the bill you want to weigh in with your Congressional Representatives let me know and I will send you the information of who you need to contact.) Thank goodness reason prevailed and they will not vote on the bill until the week after Memorial Recess. Now I just get to spend 2 weeks listening to grandstanding and speeches. You too can watch it…turn on C-SPAN.
Anyway, the only point I really wanted to make is now is the time. It needs to be a combination of enforcement and a recognition of those who are already here and want to earn their citizenship and those that want to simply come over here to work for a period of time. This is the only time when the climate is right to have some sort of immigration reform. If it is not passed in this Congress we will miss our window for sometime. So let’s hope they can work together and give us something (you know…do their job!). I think the odds are against it right now. But never say never.
Irma – sorry for the political posting..I know these are not your favorite. J