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January 18, 2005

Guest Worker Plan in Doubt

Here is an article about the need for immigration reform;
Guest Worker Plan in Doubt, Los Angeles Times 1/18/05
• Bush vows to overhaul immigration laws, but others say most of his political capital will go to efforts to revise Social Security and tax system.

By Mary Curtius, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Even as President Bush stresses his commitment to reworking the nation's immigration laws, some key supporters on the issue say it is so politically divisive that they doubt he can achieve his goal, given the administration's ambitious agenda.

In interviews last week, Bush insisted he would pursue legislation that would legalize some of the estimated 8 million undocumented immigrants in the United States by granting them temporary worker status. Under his plan, illegal immigrants could apply for legal status and, if they qualified, could stay in the country for as long as six years.
Some conservative Republicans have denounced the plan as a form of amnesty, and say it would encourage illegal immigration. But Bush has said he would deal with the problem of illegal immigrants in a humane way. And he has linked the plan to national security.
"It's a big, important issue because there are millions of people here" illegally, Bush told the Wall Street Journal. "I happen to believe that a reform of the legal system, a guest worker program, for better lack of a word … will help border security."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), an outspoken advocate of immigration reform, has said that Bush convinced him during a recent meeting that the president was serious about pursuing legislation this session. McCain is working with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the Senate's key Democratic player on the issue, to try to develop bipartisan legislation.

But several immigrant advocacy groups, labor unions and lawmakers who would be involved in such an initiative say the White House has not reached out to them to produce a bill that could overcome opposition among some Republicans and win the necessary support to pass. Some take that as a sign that the administration is going to spotlight other priorities — including overhauling Social Security and the tax system — this year.

Posted by VisaLawyer at January 18, 2005 07:44 AM


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