For several years now, Sen. Larry Craig has teamed up with Sen. Ted Kennedy to relentlessly push the AgJobs bill (the Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act, currently S. 359), which would grant amnesty to most illegal alien farmworkers, and their families (plus admit many, many more through a harmful “temporary” worker program). Estimates are that as many as three million illegals could take advantage of this amnesty.
Sen. Craig has said he intends to offer his amnesty as an amendment when the military spending bill is considered next week on the Senate floor. His hope is that if his amnesty is added to the Senate version of the bill it will be too difficult for pro-borders Republicans in the House to kill it when the two bodies meet to reconcile the different versions of the bill.
AgJobs lets illegals who work in agriculture to get amnesty. Of course you can bet that just about every illegal in the country would come forth claiming to have worked under the table in some tomato field for a few weeks (which is all that is required to get the amnesty - at least in the 2004 version of the bill).
Western Growers Association President Tom Nassif spoke with Peter Jennings last week on ABC World News Tonight to voice his support for the "AgJOBS bill," which would give legal status to some U.S. farmworkers.
Congress may be becoming more sensitive to and worried about anti-immigration sentiment. I noticed in articles about the AgJobs bill that the number of co-sponsors in the Senate are a lot lower than they were last year. Frank Gaffney thinks that many previous cosponsors of AgJobs will still be willing to vote for it this year.
Interestingly, Messrs. Craig and Kennedy have significantly fewer co-sponsors (43) on their legislation this year than in the last session of Congress (62). At this writing, it is unclear if many of those senators who no longer want to be publicly associated with this amnesty bill will nonetheless vote for it.
In fact, AgJobs had 63 Senate cosponsors in 2004 and 115 House cosponsors. Note that while in the Senate almost two thirds of the 100 members were cosponsors. But with 435 members in the House of Representatives the AgJobs consponsors in the House last year were slightly more than a third of the total membership.
Republican Party activists who want more restrictive immigration laws and real enforcement of immigration laws need to start requiring Congressional candidates to pass a litmus test on immigration.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2005 April 09 12:03 PM Immigration Politics|