Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Analyst says Specter's new immigration plan 'same-old' amnesty

Analyst says Specter's new immigration plan 'same-old' amnesty

Jim Brown
August 1, 2007

A policy analyst with a prominent conservative think tank says a new immigration bill set to be introduced by Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) is, in many ways, a rehashing of the amnesty legislation that failed in the Senate in June.

Senator Specter says his bill would not include the controversial Z-visa program that would have granted amnesty to millions of illegal aliens living in the U.S. However, the legislation would allow illegal aliens to sponsor their entire extended family for admission into the U.S. The chain-migration provision would replace the skills-based points system included in the previous immigration bill.

Jim Edwards is an adjunct fellow with the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. He says Specter's bill appears to be the "same-old same-old" the Senate just defeated, minus a few things.

"What he is dropping out is the skills-based point system. There was a minor step towards some rationality in the Senate bill which would have allowed points to be accrued by a potential immigrant based on his level of skills, education, and things of that nature that we might actually need," says Edwards.

The Hudson Institute fellow recalls the public's general response to the earlier bill that was aimed at immigration reform. "The American people, when they paid attention on this, were pretty adamant and pretty one-sided in terms of their rejection of the Senate bill," he shares.

Edwards predicts that since there is so little change in this bill, compared to the previously defeated immigration bill, the American people will "rise up in arms once again." He says because of this he doubts the Senate will be eager to take up Specter's bill.

Specter claims to have consulted with President Bush, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez regarding his bill.

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