One News Now
February 15, 2008
A spokesperson for the grassroots immigration organization Numbers USA says House Democrats are having behind-the-scenes discussions about creating a special visa for illegal immigrants — a proposal they believe will enjoy considerable Republican support.
As part of its stated mission to support what it calls “comprehensive immigration reform,” the Congressional Hispanic Caucus desires “a tough, fair, and workable path to legalization for the undocumented.” The website for the group argues that “the only practical and humane solution is to set up a program that gives individuals a chance to come out of the shadows, register with the government, submit to security screenings, pay restitution, learn English and U.S. civics, and maintain a clean work and criminal record.”
Rosemary Jenks is director of government relations for Numbers USA. She has learned that members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are spearheading the effort to approve a plan that would allow any illegal alien living in the United States to simply prove they have a job, pay a fine, and pass a background check, to receive the gift of legal status for five years.
The five-year visa plan would be attached to a bill that would increase the number of temporary workers in the hopes of getting Republican support, she says. Jenks contends this is an attempt to stall the deportation of illegal immigrants until they can get full amnesty.
“Rahm Emanuel [a Democratic congressman from Illinois] has said publicly that he doesn’t believe that they will be able to get the full-scale amnesty passed until the second term of the next president,” she states. “That, of course, puts it right about five years from now. So the hope of the Caucus is that they can this so-called temporary visa — a five-year visa for illegal aliens — passed, and then when they’re able to they can get the full-scale amnesty.”
Jenks supposes that Democrats are afraid that should either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama be elected president this year, passage of an amnesty plan during a first term would likely preclude the Democratic president from being re-elected for a second term.