LOCAL IMMIGRANT ADVOCATES DISCUSS HOUSE AND SENATE BILLS FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM

03/09/06

With the number of immigrants illegally in the United States estimated at 11 million, the tensions between Americans and Mexicans -- chiefly, working- class Americans and working-class Mexicans -- are rising. And those are tensions that congressional Republicans are eager to exploit.

In December the House approved a bill by Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin that would turn all those undocumented immigrants into felons. It would supersede local ordinances that keep police from inquiring into the status of people coming forth to report crimes or help in investigations. It would help create a permanent underground population in our midst, with no hope of ever attaining legal status. Another bill by Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy would reform immigration, beef up border security and allow some undocumented immigrants to achieve legal status. A third bill by Senator Arlen Spector would allow temorary worker status to undocumented immigrants but offers no hope of legal status. Our guests were:

Nancy Powers, Ph.D Consultant, Farmworker Solidarity Project Florida Catholic Conference

Bert Perry, Florida Director of National Farm Worker Ministry and

Margarita Romo, Director Farm Worker Self-Help, Dade City

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