Immigration Bill Revived

I can’t say I completely comprehend the ever-changing immigration bill since amendments are being churned out faster than I’m able to keep up with the current provisions. For my own piece of mind and perhaps others I thought I’d share a few short paragraphs I found useful in an AP article.

Here’s a link to the full text: After test vote, immigration deal has pulse

“…The measure would give immediate legal status to an estimated 12 million immigrants now living in the United States illegally. The new “Z” visas would allow them to work legally, but not to stay in the United States indefinitely.

Those immigrants would have to pass background checks, pay thousands of dollars in fines, and travel back to their home countries at least once after applying for a green card granting them permanent legal status. But they would have to get in line behind other foreigners who did not break the law to enter the country.

Border security would be tightened, with another $4.4 billion set aside to keep more immigrants from entering the country illegally. A “guest worker” program would allow foreigners to work in the United States for two-year stints, provided they return home for a full year in between jobs. Employers would also face new penalties for hiring illegal immigrants…”

“…Several GOP senators have offered an amendment that would require applicants for the Z visa to return to their home countries before being allowed to work legally in the United States. The current version of the bill requires only seekers of a green card to make the trip, and some critics say that condition is too onerous for some immigrants, especially those from faraway countries.

Kennedy indicated yesterday that he would not fight that amendment. “I can live with it,” he said.

Lawmakers also expect a floor fight on the question of whether to give more weight to family ties or employment in awarding visas. The current bill would limit family-based visas while giving more consideration to people with certain skills or degrees.

Many Democrats don’t like that change, calling it antifamily, but accepted it to try to get a bipartisan deal.

“I’m optimistic” that the measure will survive the amendment process and win final approval at the end of the week, said Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and a chief negotiator of the bill.”

What a mess this bill is so far.  Touch and go citizenship, merit-based citizenship, anti-family reunification, guest worker programs, $5,000 citizenship fees, and ultimately long waits…It’s such a mess for immigrants, and is still messy for the many adoptees who are green card holders or are with out documentation.  I thought I also read some provision about mandating English as the primary language at all businesses in the U.S.  I hoping I’ve misinterpreted that provision, or that has somehow been struck out of the current bill they’re negotiating.

Feel free to weigh in on this one.  I’m sort of sick of trying to navigate my way through this mess.  I think we all know the not just the ramifications for immigrants, but for adoptees.

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