Friday, June 08, 2007

Immigration Reform Demands Leadership

Although deep divisions exist regarding immigration reform in America, efforts must continue to find a just answer to this pressing issue.

One of America's strengths continues to be its diversity. We are a melting pot representing peoples from the entire planet and we must continue to find the common ground that allows immigrants to contribute to American ideals while protecting and increasing jobs for U.S. born workers.

[Reprinted from Yahoo News website –

Deep divisions derail immigration bill
By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Senate divisions that derailed a White House-backed immigration bill — for now, at least — mirror the U.S. society's deep differences over the issue, according to polling data, lawmakers and analysts. Those gaps will challenge any effort to get the measure back on track.

While most Senate Democrats appeared to back the bill, several liberal members said it did too little to keep immigrant families together and protect jobs for U.S.-born workers.

The split in the Republican Party was more obvious. The issue pitted social conservatives, who insisted that illegal immigrants not be granted "amnesty" for entering the country unlawfully, against business groups hungry for willing workers in hotels, restaurants, construction sites and other comparatively low-wage, low-skilled workplaces.

A bipartisan group of senators tried for weeks to bridge the chasms, but fell glaringly short Thursday night. Needing 60 votes to end debate and schedule a final vote on the bill itself, they won only 45. Senate leaders set aside the legislation until further notice.

House leaders, meanwhile, said they will not tackle immigration legislation until a Senate bill is completed.


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