Republican Senator Kyl (AZ) is leading the way in trying to stem the flow of family-based migration. Many on the right are attempting to argue that we would need to put an end to parents, adult children and relatives of migrants coming to the US. This is not only outrageous it is completely misguided. And this is where we must draw the line, no government should have the right to keep families permanenetly separated. Senator Kennedy got it right when he said, “It would be a huge mistake to expand employment-based immigration at the expense of our historic tradition of family-based immigration.”
See the story below for more deatils:
Congressional talks stall on families
GOP proposal would give preference to skilled workers
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 05/03/2007 02:53:11 AM PDT
WASHINGTON — Who should get a preference when it comes to immigrants?
For decades, relatives of those already in the United States have moved to the front of the line.
The White House and senior Republican lawmakers now want to strictly limit the influx of family members and give preference to skilled workers sought by employers. Democrats say that is inhumane and impractical.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., says the issue has become “one of the most contentious” in pulling together a broad immigration bill upon which Republicans and Democrats can agree. The idea is to give many of the nation’s 12 million illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship and create a guest-worker program for new arrivals.
“It would be a huge mistake to expand employment-based immigration at the expense of our historic tradition of family-based immigration,” Kennedy, one of the key negotiators, said in a speech this week.
Nearly two-thirds of legal permanent residents admitted last year were family-sponsored immigrants, while less than 12.6 percent came in based on employment preferences, according to the Homeland Security Department. Roughly one-fourth fell into other categories, such as refugees and aslyum seekers.
Reshaping immigration laws is a priority for President Bush, who wants it as part of his domestic legacy. It also would be a popular achievement for Democrats to take to voters in the next election.
Senate Democratic leaders have promised to bring up a measure, with or without GOP agreement, within two weeks.
Bush put in a plug Wednesday for a swift compromise. “I will work with both Republicans and Democrats to get a bill to my desk before the summer is out, hopefully,” he told a contractors’ trade group in Washington.
Curbing the flow of immigrants’ family members into the U.S. — sometimes referred to as “chain migration” — has become a cause celebre for Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., a prominent conservative trying to broker the deal.
The White House, working to win GOP support for an immigration overhaul, included Kyl’s hard-line stance on family members in an early discussion draft and has sought to preserve at least some limits as part of any compromise.
Under the White House proposal, legal immigrants would lose the right to petition to bring adult children and siblings to the U.S. They could do so for spouses and minor children, but their ability to sponsor parents would be severely limited.
The proposal would limit or end preferences for people who had family members living legally in the U.S., and award many more visas based on employability criteria, such as education and skills.
Temporary workers could not bring family members at all unless they met a certain wealth threshold and had health insurance.
Last year’s Senate-passed immigration bill did not change the treatment of family members. Conservatives are pleased the issue is now on the table; Democrats are alarmed.
A spat among Senate aides over how to draft the family-related provisions led to a blowup last week, briefly stalling the negotiations.
The talks picked up again this week.