Friday, May 16, 2008

Senate Committee tucks Ag-Jobs amendment into Iraq spending measure

The Senate Appropriations Committee has tacked onto an Iraq spending bill a controversial provision to help pave the way for undocumented agriculture workers to win legal status. The move could revive the immigration debate on the Senate floor.

The amendment was approved by a 17-12 vote. Critics say the amendment amounts to amnesty for people who entered the country illegally. A broader comprehensive immigration overhaul, with a path for citizenship for the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, failed in a divisive Senate vote last year.

'No matter how one characterizes it, this enormous amendment still amounts to amnesty,' said Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.). 'I oppose amnesty. All these immigration issues should be addressed through the regular order.'

The Senate plans to take up a series of bills next week, and is likely to approve the funding for the wars. The measure is one of the few likely to get enacted before the election in November. The amendment was sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Larry Craig (R-Idaho).

1 comment:

  1. In a quick parliamentary maneuver, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's 'AgJobs' amendment to the Iraq spending plan was quietly killed. The plan would have given temporary legal status to 1.35 million illegal immigrant farm workers, as well as their spouses and children.

    "The American people have been clear they want us to restore the rule of law to our immigration system before legalization programs are considered," declared Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. "Stripping it was the right thing to do."


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