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July 31, 2007

Specter has new immigration package

Check out "TheHill.com - Specter has new immigration package"

"The Senate Judiciary Committee’s senior Republican said on Thursday that he is on the verge of offering a new immigration reform package, making significant changes that could win over recalcitrant members from both parties

Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), who accompanied President Bush Thursday on his visit to Pennsylvania, said he has spoken to Bush and the two Cabinet members who have led immigration talks about his new bill. Specter also told reporters that he has spoken to most senators involved in this spring’s failed “grand bargain,” outlining his plan and appealing for a restart to the arduous immigration debate.

“I’m ready to unveil it now,” Specter said. “I’ve got letters to the 100 senators on my desk.”

Specter explained the new measure would omit the controversial “Z visa” program, which would have given the nation’s 12 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Removing the Z visa would offer conservatives less opening to tag the bill as “amnesty.” But he would leave intact the family reunification standard that this spring’s defunct immigration bill partially replaced with a skills-based system.

The lone change in the status of the 12 million, Specter said, would be removing their status as fugitives from justice, an attempt to diminish their incentive to remain outside the system and in fear of deportation.

Specter added that he already has met with “stakeholders” from outside groups involved in the complex immigration debate, and he plans to hold more sit-downs next week. Offering green cards to immigrants seeking employment in the high-tech industry is under consideration, he said".

Posted by VisaLawyer at July 31, 2007 06:36 AM

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