TribLIVE

| Home


Weather Forecast
 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Immigration bill's prospects seem dim

Daily Photo Galleries

By Gannett News Service
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009
 

WASHINGTON - A leading congressional advocate for immigrants' rights introduced a bill Tuesday that would allow millions of illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens and would end a controversial program that enlists local police to enforce immigration laws.

The 700-page bill by Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., is widely viewed as too liberal to pass.

Obama administration officials have said they are looking instead to a more moderate, bipartisan immigration reform bill to be introduced in the Senate early next year by Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Still, Gutierrez made it clear that he and his allies expect a seat at the negotiating table as lawmakers and the White House seek middle ground on the polarizing issue.

Gutierrez's bill, endorsed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Black Caucus and Asian Pacific American Caucus, would allow illegal immigrants to stay in the country while they apply to become legal residents or citizens. They would have to pay a $500 fine and show they've made a contribution to the country through work, education, military or community service.

The legislation also would repeal the 287(g) program, which enlists local police and sheriff's deputies to enforce federal immigration law. The bill says only the federal government has the authority to enforce those laws.

It also includes a provision that would allow states to offer in-state school tuition to students who aren't citizens and whose parents may be in the country illegally.

The bill acknowledges that strong border security is needed, but it also calls for increased oversight of border control agents to ensure civil liberties are protected.

"As a candidate for president, Barack Obama promised comprehensive immigration reform, and we have brought him the bill to accomplish this," Gutierrez said.

Opponents of the bill said they're angry the bill offers amnesty to millions of illegal workers while so many citizens are out of work.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates fall short in bid for Lester, who’s traded to Oakland
  2. EPA talks on pollution limits trigger protests, arrests Downtown
  3. After years of lobbying, Big Ben has Steelers running the no-huddle
  4. Pa. senator investigates Rocky Mountain high at taxpayers’ expense
  5. Spaling, Penguins agree to $4.4 million deal
  6. It’s lights out for Bayer sign on Mt. Washington
  7. Steelers hold high hopes for pass defense
  8. Steelers notebook: Brown calls Sanders’ comments about Roethlisberger ‘terrible’
  9. Oakland eatery Fuel & Fuddle to reopen under new owners
  10. 2 more charged in PennDOT corruption investigation
  11. Elderly funeral home director gets up to 12 years for murder
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.