12.17.2005

But No Guest Workers

The House passed an immigration reform bill Friday, "billed as a border protection, anti-terrorism and illegal immigration control act, includes such measures as enlisting military and local law enforcement help in stopping illegal entrants and requiring employers to verify the legal status of their workers. It authorizes the building of a fence along parts of the U.S.-Mexico border."

The bill would require all employers in the country, more than 7 million, to submit Social Security numbers and other information to a national data base to verify the legal status of workers. The bill also makes unlawful presence in the United States, currently a civil offense, a felony. It also allocates funds to build more walls, fences, barriers etc.

On Thursday, the House approved an amendment calling for construction of a fence in parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Bush has proposed that undocumented immigrants be allowed to get three-year work visas. The president said Friday he strongly supported the bill even though it was missing that, or any other guest worker plan. More from the AP. Will post link to bill shortly.