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Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Harry Reid, D-Nev., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., John Kerry, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., have reintroduced comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the Senate.

Menendez’s office said in press release that the bill is “aimed at addressing the broken immigration system with tough, smart, and fair measures.”

The Immigration Policy Center explains that Menendez’s proposal includes the creation of Lawful Prospective Immigration (LPI) status. Applicants for LPI status would be required to submit biometric data, go through security checks and pay a fine. After six to eight years of LPI status, undocumented immigrants could transition to Legal Permanent Resident status only after they pay taxes and additional fines, learn English and U.S. civics, and undergo additional background checks. And even then, LPIs would have to wait behind those already in line for LPR status.

The Policy Center also says the bill includes improvements to regulate the future flow of legal immigrants by creating a standing commission that would study labor market and economic conditions to determine the number of employment-based visas needed. The bill also supports programs that better facilitate immigrant integration, such as enhanced policies to help immigrants learn English and grants for states that successfully integrate newcomers.

This bill won't pass. It wouldn't be likely to get floor time in the Republican-controlled House. But it keeps the conversation going and the heat on what can be done on immigration: for example, an executive order by President Obama to relieve the burden on DREAM students by stopping the deportations.

That goal is aided tremendously by the story of Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist who told his story as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine and in this video:

Vargas might be the most prominent American DREAMer, but he's far from the only one, young people who live daily under the threat of being sent "home" to a country they might not even know, where they might not even know the language, or have a support system of any kind. Hopefully Vargas, the continued efforts of the DREAM students, and this new push from Senate Dems on comprehensive immigration reform will at least result in an end to the deportation of these young people in this administration.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Notably it includes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    third Party please

    UAFA. But as you said it won't pass.

    "I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans." - President Obama, 2/28/08

    by indiemcemopants on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 06:02:21 PM PDT

  •  Good for them. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, theboz

    Without commenting on the particular legislation, it is good to see the Dems proposing something, even if it has little chance of passing.  There is value to them in the proposing.

    Making NoNo defend against something once in a while keeps him occupied with matters other than trashing what remains of the country, for one thing.  For another, the Dems can be seen as at least being active, something that seems to be less and less important to the Senate in general as time goes on.

    As far as I'm concerned, the Dem leadership in both Houses should have a coordinated stack of legislative proposals going on a daily basis.

  •  Part great...part not so much (0+ / 0-)
    The Immigration Policy Center explains that Menendez’s proposal includes the creation of Lawful Prospective Immigration (LPI) status. Applicants for LPI status would be required to submit biometric data, go through security checks and pay a fine. After six to eight years of LPI status, undocumented immigrants could transition to Legal Permanent Resident status only after they pay taxes and additional fines, learn English and U.S. civics, and undergo additional background checks. And even then, LPIs would have to wait behind those already in line for LPR status.

    The Policy Center also says the bill includes improvements to regulate the future flow of legal immigrants by creating a standing commission that would study labor market and economic conditions to determine the number of employment-based visas needed. The bill also supports programs that better facilitate immigrant integration, such as enhanced policies to help immigrants learn English and grants for states that successfully integrate newcomers.

    The first paragraph here is absolutely wonderful.  The second paragraph is accepting that we'll continue to see more and more immigration from our Southern boarder at a time when we're having a difficult time dealing with those here already.  No...don't EVEN try to go with the race card here on me, okay?  I am being tutored by a Mexican friend in Spanish and I have no problem with getting a path of citizenship for those already here, but we need to stop the gushing flow of people coming into our country from Mexico...at least until we can provide for the 300+ million people already here.  Yeah, yeah...I know many of the immigrants fro Mexico provide a very needed labor service for us.  But, trust me, the more that come, the less they'll make.  Labor is like anything else...supply and demand.  We've got millions of immigrants currently that can't find work and are having to rely on whatever taxpayer assistance they can get in addition to any kind of help from family here and other means.  Let's get that squared away first.

    -- **Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.**

    by r2did2 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 06:10:30 PM PDT

    •  though farm workers get a lot of attention here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz

      The Pew Hispanic Center's research on employment concludes that only 3.5% of all undocumented workers in the US work as farm workers.  The other 96.5% are employed in other sectors of the economy.

      "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

      by Keith930 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 06:29:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Employed where, exactly? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Carnet

        96.5% are employed in other sectors of the economy?

        Um...where, exactly, would that be?  I have no doubt that there is, in fact, a small percentage in farm work, but a great many of the illegal immigrants aren't employed at all or are working odd jobs for cash only etc.

        But, hey, I don't have any data on that.....but I've been by the Home Depots and such in Arizona and have seen the reports in other states of the massive number of illegals that hang out around these home improvement places hoping people will come by and pick them up to get stuff done around the house.

        -- **Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.**

        by r2did2 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 06:59:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      r2did2, bruddaone

      I guess I will have my liberal creditionals questioned but I agree that we cannot continue to let in a flood of illegal immigrants when we cant even take care of the people we have here in the country now.

      For every Jose Antonio Vargas there is at least 10 illegals with a not so wholesome story.

      My point is when we can provide for all the people that are in America legally, than we can start concentrating on helping make for a better life for the people who are in Mexico.

      •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bruddaone
        I guess I will have my liberal creditionals questioned
        ....  hahahaha...nah, I'm pretty much the only one lately that happens to...especially when "I call 'em like I see 'em".  

        You get the point in my post and me thinks so does pretty much most of the people here truth be known.  

        Thanks for responding.

        r2did2

        -- **Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.**

        by r2did2 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 06:56:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly... (0+ / 0-)

        As I diaried about yesterday...it's a complete waste of time to placate folks to continue voting for them...

        I mean the diary starts with...it won't pass...that's all that needed to be said...

      •  You made a typo (0+ / 0-)

        "I guess I will have my liberal creditionals questioned but I agree that we cannot continue to let in a flood of illegal immigrants when we refuse to even take care of the people we have here in the country now."

        We have sufficient resources to take care of everyone here as well as accepting new immigrants.  We just give all our money to big corporations and the rich.  Seriously, how much of the money going to bomb Libya could have been used to keep some schools open?  How much money would we save if we had a government-run healthcare system?  How much better off would we be if the government bailouts would have gone to average people and to work programs instead of handouts to the rich?

        America is the richest nation on Earth.  We can take care of everyone we want to.  The problem is, "we" don't want to take care of anyone anymore, and we blame the poor for being poor.

  •  YES, introduce good bills, schedule votes on them (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, theboz, JC from IA

    Democrats in the Senate should be doing this nonstop. They should be doing this on every subject, whether they think it'll pass or not.

    Make the Republicans (and fake Democrats) look as worthless as they are. Get names on record.

    I'm tired of the excuses. I'm tired of fake Dems like Harry Reid sponsoring those excuses (public option?).

    Get these bills on the floor, please.

  •  What criminal penalties are there, by the way (0+ / 0-)

    for forging documents (Social Security, etc.) and does someone like Vargas get held to them?

    I'm 100% for immigration reform but I'm unclear on how this would work.

  •  Finally a bipartisan immigration bill! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carnet, akeitz

    It has Pat Leahy and Harry Reid.

    It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 06:20:59 PM PDT

  •  Cue, kos trashing dems. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists. So, how did Obama piss you off today ?
    Call the media when they Lie

    by amk for obama on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 06:36:14 PM PDT

  •  Here is a crazy thought (0+ / 0-)

    Instead of cheerleading all of Obamas illegal wars overseas you can pressure Obama to end those and then with all the money we save we can possibly do things like save social security and medicare and maybe even have enough money left over to help our neighbors to the south.

    But if you think Obama issuing a executive order for Amnesty will solve everything than you are wrong. If you thought the Tea Partiers when batshit crazy over obamacare just wait till Obama deems amnesty the law of the land. It will be wall to wall Tea Parties until Nov 2012 and than when the election does come even Sarah Palin would be able to beat him, and the first day of the new Republican Presidents term a executive order would be issued repealing Obamas executive order and you would be back to square one with a Republican president and republican majorities in both houses of congress, and good luck with getting any type of reform passed at that point.

    •  "Executive order for amnesty"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz

      Who ever proposed something like this? The POTUS obviously does not have the authority to make anyone a citizen, just to pardon them of crimes (and illegal immigration is not a crime).

      No one disputes that insane unilateral action would have backlash, that's why no one's proposing it. But a Senate vote on strict, realistic immigration reforms is hardly what you're describing.

  •  Won't get anywhere, but a good move (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    At the very least it shows the difference between the parties on immigration.  Now everyone knows what happens when republicans take power as evidence in states like Arizona and Georgia - an economic disaster and work shortage of lower paying jobs.  Dems need to continue building bridges with the Hispanic voters.  They are a major key to election success in the future since they make up a major proportion of new voters in the future.

  •  What has been causing the exodus from the south (0+ / 0-)

    As long as the Senate is considering comprehensive reform that won't get enough Republican votes, it would seem a good idea to do something to raise some consciousness about what has been going on that causes immigration.

    The problem is that there is some real power there.

    The multinationals and the big banks probably have many trillions of dollars invested in what amounts to a replay of "the clearances" that moved a lot of peasants off of land in the British Isles in the 1600s and shipped them off to America.

    For well over a century, big business has been waving gold in front of oligarchic landowners who see a benefit to themselves in clearing the land of indigenous peasants who have been content to practice subsistence agriculture for millennia.  

    Then you get the complications when there is social unrest over this and insurgencies and a lot of people have been disappeared over the years.

    The casualty count is staggering, and probably not likely to ever be added up.

    The overall climate in the entire hemisphere in which people are being treated like so much disposable stuff is very consistent.

    If we look at all this from some vantage point like outer space, or a map on a boardroom wall in a high rise bank, we see the same labor issues in Guatemala that we see in Detroit.  

    Bodies like the World Bank and the IMF and the WTO seem to have so much power that the US Congress won't even dare to look at this side of the picture.

    It is as if these people just popped into existence as they crossed the border.

    We should all be more aware of this.  The next cup of coffee we drink, the next bag of beans, the next burger made with beef, the next bananas or avocados, etc.  These are all made cheap and available to us by virtue of land stolen from subsistence farmers who have been pushed into the necessity to walk north.

    It is our money that is being used to create these hemispheric conditions, and we are also being swept up in this as workers whose incomes are declining in ways that we don't understand.

    To Wall Street, it is a win-win scenario:  Cheap land, more profit and then cheap labor and reducing labor value.

    A truly comprehensive solution to this has to come from a far larger perspective on what is really going on here.  

    The Republicans will never support this because they are part of the Wall Street strategy and they too, see it all as a win-win.  In addition they get to pander to the bigots.  

    Border enforcement?  When there is an exodus that involves something like a half a million people a year pushed north by a Wall Street program involving probably most everyone's local banks and local capital?  

    Why do we not understand that?  We are more and more, living like refugees in our own country.  We really have to start connecting the dots.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:41:56 PM PDT

  •  Still waiting (0+ / 0-)

    to hear what exactly is 'broken' with the current system. LPI sounds like an interesting concept. The only thing I see broken is people who have broken the law.

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