Friday, February 22, 2008

Amnesty is not dead in Washington

While the reporters are out of town covering the primary campaigns, House Democrats are busy crafting a “scaled-down” immigration amnesty plan, despite the issue's political minefields.

Washington insiders say that Hispanic House members, including Rep. Joe Baca, are seeking five-year visas for illegal immigrants who would have to pay fines and pass criminal background checks. Baca, a California Democrat, is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Baca said the possibilities of success for a 'compromise package' were discussed in high-level meetings that included Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairs of a key immigration subcommittee.

Democrats say drafts of the legislation have already been written and are being vetted behind the scenes.

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