U.S. Senate struggles on April 6 with immigration bill compromise

The Senate this week came up with a compromise which in my judgment is doomed to fail, for at least two reasons. First, the anti-amnesty lobby wants to shred it. Second, it will be incredibly hard to enforce. To me, this is a means by some Senate Republicans to record a pro-business, pro Hispanic voter vote for a McCain-like bill before such a bill is mauled in conference committee by the House. The business lobby and Hispanic community appears to be strongly in support of the McCain-like bill as it will provides for a continuity of residence and work.
The Senate is (as of right now) proposing in effect to modify the bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is modeled after the MeCain bill. This bill pretty much allows all illegal immigrants to stay in the country for a nominal penalty and sets them on the road to long term residency or citizenship. I addressed the Committee’s March 27 work here.
The compromise creates artificial categories of immigrants defined by duration of illegal residency so far in the U.S. The Pew Hispanic Center quickly came out with an estimate of the duration of illegal residency so far. It says it has “produced estimates of the unauthorized population according to the categories established in the legislation now before the Senate. These estimates are based on the March 2005 Current Population Survey. For a full report based on that data please go to” here.
Time in the US
Five years or more: 6.7 million
Two to five years: 2.8 million
Less than two years: 1.6 million
Total: 11.1 million
Based on analysis of other data sources that offer indications of the pace of growth in the foreign-born population, the Center developed an estimate of 11.5 to 12 million for the unauthorized population as of March 2006.

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