Senate Moves on Immigration “Reform”

The LA Times is reporting that Republicans and Democrats in the US Senate have reached a compromise on immigration reform.  The key for Dems was the question of who would be on the Senate negotiating team when the bill goes into conference with the House’s punitive bill that would make felons of undocumented migrants, their families, friends, and churches.

According to the Times Ted Kennedy says of his bill “Business and labor, Democrats and Republicans, religious leaders and
the American people strongly support our plan to strengthen borders,
provide a path to earned citizenship for those undocumented workers who
are here and put in place a realistic guest worker program for the
future.”

As far as labor goes, that’s not completely true.  The AFL-CIO opposes the Kennedy-McCain bill while Change to Win supports it.  Last weekend at the Labor Notes conference in Detroit I listened to a lawyer for the AFL-CIO explain their opposition, which boils down to 1) opposition to generalizing guest worker  programs beyond their traditional sectors (temporary agricultural work and high tech workers) and 2) the fact that the conference process with the House’s bill will likely result in a really, really bad deal.

Other AFL-CIO and CtW representatives noted repeatedly that polls show that 60% of union members are opposed to liberalization of immigration laws.  Washington Post has an article to check out on immigrants who now favor strict immigration restrictions.
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Following up on the protests:  the Village Voice has a good collection of stories on immigration and the recent protests.  See their special sections tagged protest and immigration.
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In other news, turns out the NSA has been keeping tabs on all phone calls made in the US, not just international calls as previously admitted.  Prez. Bush, the valiant defender of civil liberties, is defending the program as a necessary antiterror measure. See reports in NY Times, Washington Post.

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