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5473: US Sen Vows Filibuster Over Immigration Amnesty Measures (fwd)
From: "BriceWebb, Carline" <CBriceWebb@oas.org>
US Sen Vows Filibuster Over Immigration Amnesty Measures
Dow Jones Newswires
WASHINGTON (AP)--U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm is threatening a filibuster over
immigration amnesty measures that U.S. President Bill Clinton and
congressional Democrats want added to a spending bill that must be passed
before lawmakers can go home.
Clinton has threatened to veto the bill for the Commerce, State and Justice
departments unless the amnesty measures are included. Enough Democrats in
both chambers have signed letters committing to sustain the veto.
Gramm, R-Texas, said it's irresponsible for Clinton and the Democrats to
link the amnesty measures to a bill that provides money for essential
agencies such as the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.
"Amnesty might pass, but it is not going to pass without determined
resistance," Gramm said. "This is profoundly wrong. This is dangerous for
the future of the country. It needs to be stopped."
- amnesty for all illegal immigrants who have lived in the U.S. since before
- allowing immigrants with work permits who are close to achieving permanent
residency status to pay a $1,000 fine and stay in the country while their
application is considered, rather than be forced to return to their home
- offering permanent residence to political refugees from El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti.
Supporters estimate the moves would allow 1 million to 2 million immigrants
to stay in the country.
GOP Opponents Say Amnesty Encourges Illegal Immigration
Republican opponents say amnesty encourages illegal immigration. They cite
Immigration and Naturalization Service statistics showing illegal
immigration surged in the years immediately after the last federal amnesty,
in 1986. The number of illegal immigrants grew from 360,000 in 1987 to
455,000 in 1988 and peaked at 585,000 in 1989 before beginning a steady
decline, according to the INS.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has proposed
alternatives to amnesty, but says the White House has balked at them.
One proposal would give immigrants who arrived from 1982 to 1986 and have a
dispute with the INS over permanent residency a day in court that was denied
them in a 1996 law that prohibited appeals. The proposal could help
approximately 500,000 immigrants litigate for green cards.
A second proposal would offer guest visas to close relatives of U.S.
residents. The proposal would apply to an undetermined number of adult sons
and daughters of citizens and spouses and children of green card holders.
Immigration advocates dismissed the proposals.
"That's not much of an offer," said Angela Kelley, deputy director of the
National Immigration Forum. "I would suggest that they go back to the