Immigration saves us plenty |

Immigration saves us plenty

On July 11, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced a guest worker bill that authorizes a temporary, non-immigrant program be established with any country that enters into a specific agreement with the U.S.

While the debate rages over whether immigration is good or bad for the U.S., Sen. Cornyn’s bill creates a new, non-immigrant visa class to meet critical labor shortages in U.S. markets. Passage into law is by no means certain, and Congress will amend and change the bill during the course of the discussion. But both political parties want some type of immigration reform in time for next year’s elections.

“My guest worker program is a balanced, common sense approach to our broken immigration system,” says Sen. Cornyn. “It addresses the need for better border and homeland security while acknowledging the important contributions that immigrants make to our economy. Special interest groups on both ends now dominate the debate, employing scare tactics to scuttle reforms that do not comport with their narrow views. We can and must do better.”

The main points of the bill cover the qualifications necessary, the types and numbers of workers, the requirements for employers, and the penalties. The bill also contains a provision to allow the illegals in the United States to apply while here, under their native country’s guest worker program, and if qualified and approved, gain NON-IMMIGRANT status.

The bill then authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to establish an evaluation system that prioritizes who is eligible to have employer sponsorship for “green cards” based on full participation in the guest worker program for a continuous three-year period.

This evaluation procedure is a point-based system that takes into account: whether the foreigner has an employer sponsor; whether the foreigner received promotions or pay increases during the period, paid taxes during the period; the foreigner’s proficiency in speaking English; the foreigner’s education; and whether the foreigner has refrained from any illegal activity either at home or at any time in the United States.

Anyone who meets the criteria in the system and has participated for the full three years would be eligible for the employer to then sponsor the foreigner for a “green card.” Of course, the Department of Homeland Security through the offices of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services has the sole authority to approve the applications submitted.

“It’s a start,” says immigration lawyer Donald Lemon of Mountain Immigration in Eagle-Vail. “We are tracking a number of the bills currently in Congress. We will see which bill or some combination thereof that is finally passed. I think everyone agrees that the system is not working and something must be done. When a law is enforced or implemented only arbitrarily it is capricious and ultimately becomes fundamentally unfair. An international law doctrine, desuetude, reduces a treaty that has been massively violated by numerous states over a prolonged period to a paper rule that is no longer binding. We are facing the same situation here with our immigration laws. We need a major overhaul that addresses our security concerns, protects our economy, and keeps our country open and free.”

Mountain Immigration has summaries of the various bills in English and Spanish available for anyone who would like to see what is being proposed. Mountain Immigration offers free consultations to answer any immigration questions.

Heather Lemon

Can do no right

Well, from the safety of the White House, our sensitive and thoughtful president has spoken once more. In doing so he has demonstrated his great concern for the lives of our servicemen.

I can’t help but wonder how many of them in Iraq – with families at home – appreciate him saying “Bring ’em on”? Not too many, I expect. But it might have some appeal for Republican warriors (and voters).

Reason enough to say it!

David Le Vine

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