Category: Archive

July possible for immigration hearings

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Whether or not the required hearing transpires will depend heavily on the workload faced by the panel, which is chaired by Pennsylvania GOP senator Arlen Specter.
Sources in Washington are indicating that an effort is now underway to move the bill more quickly along the legislative track.
But the measure’s progress is dependent to a considerable degree on what other immigration measures might be tossed into the debate.
Observers are waiting for movement from both the White House and that portion of the congressional GOP that is reluctantly, or openly hostile, to any reform that smacks of amnesty for illegal and undocumented immigrants.
The Kennedy/McCain measure, formally entitled the “Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005,” or S.1033, is a bipartisan effort with a matching House of Representatives equivalent already in play on the other sides of the Capitol building.
The New York Times reported in recent days that President Bush might soon propose immigration changes that would first tighten up border security before looking to possible law changes that would open a path to legalization for illegals already in the country.
The president has largely been absent from the immigration debate since he set forth his idea for temporary work visas in the opening days of 2004.
In a recent editorial headlined “Bush goes wobbly on immigration,” the Daily News in New York stated that Bush appeared to be losing his resolve on the immigration issue just as Congress was beginning to get to grips with it.
The editorial was supportive of the Kennedy/McCain bill.
The bill provides for, among other things, a three year non-immigrant work visa which could be renewed one time for a second three years.
This provision appears to reflect President Bush’s desire to see a guest worker program. The bill dubs it the “Essential Worker Visa Program.”
Most crucially for the undocumented Irish, the bill further proposes an earned legalization process for the undocumented, an aspect of the bill that is certain to attract the strongest response from congressional critics
The legalization process is outlined in a part of the bill headed “Adjustment of Status for H-5B Non-Immigrants.”
The proposal would allow those undocumented on the date of the bill’s introduction to register for a temporary visa (H-5B) that would be valid for six years.
Applicants would have to show work history, a “clean criminal record,” and convince immigration authorities they were not a security problem in order to be eligible for a temporary visa.
Upon receipt of the visa, the undocumented individual would receive work and travel authorization. Their spouses and children would also be eligible for the same visa.
In order to then qualify for permanent status, according to the bill’s language, “individuals would have to meet a future work requirement, clear additional security/background checks, pay substantial fines and application fees [$2000 or more per adult] as well as back taxes, and meet English/civics requirements.”
Meanwhile, the Irish government is inviting applications for its annual grants to Irish immigration centers in major U.S. cities.
Application forms are available from Irish consulates in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and New York, or the embassy in Washington. Details are also available on the Irish government’s Department of Foreign Affairs website, www.dfa.ie.
Last year, the Irish government distributed $653,241 to Irish immigration centers in the U.S.
“The amount available this year will be further increased, reflecting the high priority the Government accords to the welfare of the Irish in the U.S. and our particular concern for the undocumented Irish,” a DFA statement said.
Applications for grants should be submitted to the appropriate consulate or the embassy by July 8. Payments of grants will be made before the end of September.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese