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.I haven't written much about immigration because I see it as a complex policy issue that needs a pragmatic solution. I have no ready-made ideological response. So I'll just say I hope they figured it out as well as they could, congratulations for agreeing on something, and thanks for extracting this issue from the 2008 presidential campaign.
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 bill, whose general terms are agreeable to the White House, 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....
Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, who teaches immigration law at Cornell University, said: “The legislation taking shape in the Senate represents a major philosophical shift. It tells the world that we are emphasizing characteristics that will enhance our global competitiveness, like education and job skills. We would not rely as much on family background as we have in the past.”
Unlike me, Mickey Kaus is constantly talking about immigration. I have never understood why he's so heated up about it, but since it's his thing, let's see what he's saying:
This is looking more and more like the Bush administration's domestic version of Iraq: a big risky gamble, based on wishful thinking and nonexistent administrative competence, that will end in disaster. What disaster? 1) Lower wages for struggling unskilled--and semi-skilled--American workers (including, especially, underclass men) even when the labor market should be tight; 2) Income inequality moving further in the direction of Latin America--maybe even to such an extent that social equality between the rich and their servers becomes difficult to maintain; and 3) A large semi-assimilated population along our southern border with complex, understandably binational allegiances--our own Quebec. ... Actually, I can see why some Republicans might not be so bothered by (1) and (2). But what about Democrats?