Tuesday, June 05, 2007

immigration update

Migra Matters has a useful summary of this week's amendments to the immigration bill in the Senate.

Regarding the Menendez-Hagel amendment (#4 on the Migra Matters list), this bill is full of pernicious provisions, but one of the worst is the one that would nullify family-based petitions filed after January 2005. This would basically yank the rug out from under tens or hundreds of thousands of families who tried in good faith to legalize their status here. The Menendez-Hagel amendment would at least extend the cutoff date to January 2007. Not perfect, but better.

Via Ezra Klein, the Washington Post reports that the bill has so far survived amendments meant to kill it, and has gathered enough momentum to possibly carry it through the Senate. However, none of the advocacy groups pushing for comprehensive reform seems to like the bill very much. If the bill passes, we will be replacing our current dysfunctional system with a new dysfunctional system. At this point, though, I am hoping that any change now will lead to more positive developments down the road as the political dynamic shifts to favor immigrants more than it does now.

Brad DeLong points to a CBO study showing that the fiscal consequences of the bill as proposed will be minimal, with added border security the biggest single cost. But somehow I doubt that will prevent GOP politicians from running "illegal aliens are stealing our social security" ads in the next election cycle.

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