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calendar   Monday - May 21, 2007

The Senate Sucks, Part II

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Bob Gorrell - National/Syndicated

Around and around we go, where it stops ... nobody knows. Now, the business people who helped push this lame excuse for an immigration bill through the Senate are balking. Evidently they looked a little closer at the bill and decided, “Hey! WTF!” The Chamber of Commerce just discovered the bill would make employers check a nationwide database for employee eligibility for all employees and they’ve got their knickers in a wad. Large businesses (like my old friend Oracle) think it sucks because they can’t pick and choose what skills they need.

DID ANYONE BOTHER TO READ THIS FREAKING BILL BEFORE SIGNING OFF ON IT OR IS EVERYONE COMPLETELY CLUELESS?

After Aiding Bill on Immigration, Employers Balk
(NEW YORK TIMES) - May 21, 2007

Employers, who helped shape a major immigration bill over the last three months, said on Sunday that they were unhappy with the result because it would not cure the severe labor shortages they foresee in the coming decade.

In addition, employers expressed alarm as they learned that the Senate bill would require them to check a government database to verify that all current and former employees — aliens and citizens alike — were eligible to work in the United States.

The Senate begins debating the bill on Monday. Supporters, including the White House, had hoped that senators would finish work on it this week, before the Memorial Day recess. But leading members of Congress said Sunday that the bill would take more time and could face significant hurdles.

The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said that the immigration bill “can’t possibly be completed before Memorial Day.” On the ABC News program “This Week,” Mr. McConnell said the Senate would need at least two weeks to digest and amend the bill, which he described as “a big, complicated piece of legislation.”

A delay over Memorial Day would give the public an opportunity to weigh the issue, while lawmakers are home, and would give critics more time to hone their arguments.

The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, expressed concern on Sunday about a central element of the bill, under which the government would establish a point system to evaluate would-be immigrants, giving more weight to job skills and education and less to family ties.

“I have serious objection to the point system that is in the bill now, but perhaps that can be improved,” said Ms. Pelosi, a California Democrat. She asserted that this part of the bill, ardently sought by the White House and Republican senators, could undermine “family unification principles which have been fundamental to American immigration.”

Besides revamping visa preferences, the bill would also offer legal status to most of the nation’s 12 million illegal immigrants and would increase the penalties for businesses that employ them.

In the last few years, employers have become a potent force in the debate on immigration, pleading with Congress to authorize more visas for both high- and low-skill workers.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, a bill co-author, said the point system was devised so America “can compete for the best minds that exist in the world.”

Robert P. Hoffman, a vice president of Oracle, the business software company, endorsed that goal but said the bill would not achieve it.

“A merit-based system for allocating green cards may sound good for business,” said Mr. Hoffman, who is co-chairman of Compete America, a coalition of high-tech companies. “But after reviewing the proposal, we have concluded that it is the wrong approach and will not solve the talent crisis facing many U.S. businesses. In fact, in some ways, it could leave American employers in a worse position.

“Under the current system,” Mr. Hoffman said, “you need an employer to sponsor you for a green card. Under the point system, you would not need an employer as a sponsor. An individual would get points for special skills, but those skills may not match the demand. You can’t hire a chemical engineer to do the work of a software engineer.”

- More ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/21/2007 at 11:19 AM   
Filed Under: • Illegal-Aliens and Immigration •  
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