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Sweet blog special: From the GOP debate in New Hampshire. Immigration on deck. McCain brilliant in calling doing nothing "silent amnesty." Report 1.

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MANCHESTER, N.H.---Immigration is expected to be an issue at the GOP presidential debate Tuesday night. It comes as the Senate this week is wrestling with a series of amendments to a major immigration bill soon to come to a vote.

Last year, critics on the left and the right were not so unhappy that the GOP-controlled Congress ended up doing nothing, since the legislation in play had elements neither side could live with. The climate is different this time around. Democrats now run Congress and are more or less united on the need to legalize the status of the millions of illegal immigrants who live in the U.S.

The issue is tearing the GOP apart. White House hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a key architect of the immigration bill, jabbed rival former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for not supporting the legislation.

McCain coined a new term, “silent amnesty” in taking aim at critics. It’s an apt phrase. Because doing nothing lets the illegal immigrants stay in the country without doing anything to resolve their status. Framing the matter as silent amnesty is a very clever--even brilliant way--to defuse the argument used against McCain and others that the immigration bill grants amnesty. Words always matter. Amnesty is a red-meat hot button word and McCain needs to neutralize the vocabulary.

McCain, in a speech Monday said “Pandering for votes on this issue, while offering no solution to the problem, amounts to doing nothing. And doing nothing is silent amnesty.”

The immigration bill being worked on in the Senate has thousands of details—each one could change the life of an individual. And by the way....giving illegal immigrants here a break...is a form of amnesty. But a process to legalize illegal status--full of hoops to get through--is a long way from the blanket amnesty that anti-immigration advocates talk about.



Click below for a memo from the Senate Democratic leadership on pending amendments to the immigration bill.


From the Democratic Senate leadership….

June 5, 2007
• The Senate will convene at 10am.
• Morning business for an hour, with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. The first 30 minutes will be under Republican control; the next 30 minutes will be under Democratic control.
• Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348).
• The time until 11:50am will be divided for debate on the following two amendments:
• Allard amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to eliminate the preference given to people who entered the United States illegally over people seeking to enter the country legally in the merit-based evaluation system for visas (#1189)
• Durbin-Grassley amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to ensure that employers make efforts to recruit American workers. (#1231)
• At 11:50am, the Senate will proceed to two roll call votes in relation to these amendments.
• Following these votes, the Senate will recess until 2:15pm for the Weekly Caucus Luncheons.

• The following amendments are pending to S. 1348:
• Kennedy-Specter amendment in the nature of a substitute. (#1150)
o Cornyn amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to establish a permanent bar for gang members, terrorists, and other criminals. (#1184, as modified)
o Dodd-Menendez amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to increase the number of green cards for parents of United States citizens, to extend the duration of the new parent visitor visa, and to make penalties imposed on individuals who overstay such visas applicable only to such individuals. (#1199)
o Menendez amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to modify the deadline for the family backlog reduction (#1194)
o McConnell amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require individuals voting in person to present photo identification. (#1170)
o Feingold amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to establish commissions to review the facts and circumstances surrounding injustices suffered by European Americans, European Latin Americans, and Jewish refugees during World War II. (#1176)
o Durbin-Grassley amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to ensure that employers make efforts to recruit American workers. (#1231)
o Sessions amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to save American taxpayers up to $24 billion in the 10 years after passage of this Act, by preventing the earned income tax credit, which is, according to the Congressional Research Service, the largest anti-poverty entitlement program of the Federal Government, from being claimed by Y temporary workers or illegal aliens given status by this Act until they adjust to legal permanent resident status. (#1234)
o Sessions amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to save American taxpayers up to $24 billion in the 10 years after passage of this Act, by preventing the earned income tax credit, which is, according to the congressional Research Service , the largest anti-poverty entitlement program of the Federal Government, from being claimed by Y temporary workers or illegal aliens given status by this Act until they adjust to legal permanent resident status. (#1235)
o Lieberman amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to provide safeguards against faulty asylum procedures and to improve conditions of detention (#1191)
o Allard amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to eliminate the preference given to people who entered the United States illegally over people seeking to enter the country legally in the merit-based evaluation system for visas (#1189)
o Cornyn amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to address documentation of employment and to make an amendment with respect to mandatory disclosure of information (#1250)
o Clinton-Hagel amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to reclassify the spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents as immediate relatives (#1183, as modified)
o Obama-Menendez amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to provide a date on which the authority of the section relating to the increasing of American competitiveness through a merit-based evaluation system for immigrants shall be terminated (#1202)

During Monday’s Session
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348)
The Senate agreed to the following amendments by unanimous consent:
• Cantwell amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to authorize the Attorney General to carry out a program, known as the Northern Border Prosecution Initiative, to provide funds to northern border States to reimburse county and municipal governments for costs associated with certain criminal activities, and for other purposes. (#1167)
• Alexander amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to establish an award to recognize companies for extraordinary efforts in English literacy and civics. (#1163)
• Cornyn amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to increase the authorization of appropriations for the Border Relief Grant Program. (#1238)
• Grassley amendment to the Kennedy-Specter substitute #1150, to clarify that the revocation of an alien’s visa or other documentation is not subject to judicial review. (#1166, as modified)
Rule 14
The Senate completed the Rule XIV process with respect to the following bills and placed them directly on the Calendar:
• Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (H.R. 2316)
• Lobbying Transparency Act of 2007 (H.R. 2317)

1 Comment

I'm from Arizona Mr. McCain's home state and it seems to he that he switches sides like the cowboys used to switch horses, whichever way the wind blows. People from Arizona realize that there is no way to deport those who are here because there are too many of them but also know we have to stop the leaks. The way to do that is to enforce the laws on the books now. If we stop the jobs they will go home. www.1-800BadCredit.com Dewey Kearney

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 5, 2007 11:25 AM.

Scooter Libby. 30 months. Cheney's statement--"Speaking as friends" Cheney wants Libby conviction reversed. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet blog special: Obama warns of despair leading to "quiet riots" in address at a Va. black U. is the next entry in this blog.

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