The American people's faith in Washington will now plummet from its already low level. Regardless of how the "imigration compromise" may be revised, or whether it passes the Congress, the announcement of the amnesty deal clinches the argument that political leaders "just don't get it."
Some businesses may like the proposed deal, but few everyday Americans will. Any plan that creates a "Z Visa" or anything else that lets millions of illegals stay is amnesty. Period.
As bad as the announcement was, it can get worse. Democrat leaders are already harping that it needs to be liberalized more.
Key components of the immigration plan, as described by Senator Ted Kennedy:
- All illegal immigrants who arrived before Jan. 1, 2007, could stay and work after paying a $1,500 fee, passing a criminal background check, and showing a strong work record.
- They would also have to pay a fine of $5,000.
- After eight years, they could apply for a green card.
- A new visa category would be created for parents of U.S. citizens, allowing them to visit for up to 100 days per year.
- A temporary-worker program would allow 400,000 immigrant workers to enter on two-year visas, after which they would have to return home for a year before reapplying. The visas could be renewed up to three times.
- A new point system would add factors for green-card eligibility to lessen the "chain migration" of family members.
- The Border Patrol and interior enforcement would be expanded, and a new security perimeter would be created. Such border enforcement provisions would have to be implemented before immigrant-rights measures take effect.