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Dems Want Citizenship For Illegals

red states rule

Senior Member
May 30, 2006
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First it was Pres Bush, now it is the Dems. Dems blocked money for norder security and enforcement. This should help the Dems sagging poll numbers

Democrats pitch citizenship path for some illegals
By S.A. Miller and Stephen Dinan
July 26, 2007

Senate Democrats yesterday defeated a Republican effort to authorize $3 billion for new border security and immigration enforcement. Instead, the Democrats proposed a new agriculture workers program to bring in hundreds of thousands of foreign workers and grant legal status to illegal aliens now working in the fields.

It was the first major skirmish on immigration since President Bush's bill collapsed last month, and members of both parties are filing piecemeal measures to deal with various aspects of the crisis and leave for another day the issue dealing with the estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens already here.

"We're now moving to Plan B," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who took a bruising last month for his support for the broader immigration bill, and who was the chief sponsor of yesterday's border-security amendment. "That will require us to address the major changes that must be made a piece at a time. Today, we're addressing border security, visa overstays, sanctuary cities and other important issues."

But Democrats argued that the amendment broke legislative rules that separate rewriting legislation and enacting a spending bill, and, joined by three Republicans, defeated the measure 52 votes to 44 votes.

"This is not a vote on immigration," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, accused Republicans attempting a "do-over" to placate conservatives angered by the earlier bill. "I guess it's to try to make them politically OK among the voters."

The piecemeal approach is favored by some members of both parties, including several of those who fought hardest for the earlier bill, including Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican. The two top Democratic 2008 presidential candidates, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, told the National Council of La Raza earlier that they would be "open" to voting for piecemeal legislation.

Finding the pieces everyone agrees on will be difficult. Republicans want security first, and Democrats want legalization for illegal alien college students and agriculture workers.

Democrats tried to get an agreement yesterday to pass an agriculture worker bill that would create a program for future agriculture workers and offer a path to citizenship to hundreds of thousands of illegal alien agriculture workers already here. Republicans objected to giving illegal aliens a path to citizenship, a proposal that doomed the Bush legislation.

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