what is the immigration conflict all about?

Highlights of immigration proposals in Congress
— reported by the Houston Chronicle

Allows illegal immigrants who were in the U.S. before 2004 to continue working legally for six years if they pay a $1,000 fine and clear a criminal background check. They would become eligible for permanent residence upon paying another $1,000 fine, any back taxes and having learned English.

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Mexico Applauds Senate Committee Immigration Vote
Immigrant Rights Supporters Claim Political Win

— reported by the Click2Houston.com

The Mexican government on Tuesday applauded a U.S. Senate committee’s approval of a bill that would legalize some undocumented migrants and pave the way for citizenship, but said the action is only the beginning.

Officials in Mexico want what they have called “the whole enchilada:” regularization of all the approximately 6 million illegal Mexican workers north of the border.

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GUEST WORKER PROGRAM CLEARS KEY SENATE PANEL
The bill, which is subject to change, follows Bush’s plan and rejects stricter House provisions

— reported by the Houston Chronicle

With emotions about the issue running high across the country, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday agreed to a wide-ranging bill that would let the 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States work toward citizenship without requiring them to return first to their home countries.

But the bill, which generally tracks President Bush’s agenda, faces several challenges as opponents call it a form of amnesty for illegal immigrants.

[snip]

In addition to backing a chance for illegal immigrants to get legal status, the Senate panel voted to create 400,000 new “guest worker” visas for future, unskilled immigrants. Also, the committee approved a special “blue card” visa program for 1.5 million undocumented agricultural workers. The test program would end after five years.

The panel rejected a House provision that would make it a felony — punishable by one year in jail — to be in the country illegally, and rejected House language that could make it a criminal offense for churches, humanitarian groups and individuals to give medical care, food, shelter or counseling to undocumented immigrants.

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The committee action came after a series of protests across the country against the House bill and discrimination against foreigners. Some of the events drew hundreds of thousands of immigrant rights supporters.

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10,000 March Against Immigration Crackdown
— reported by Click2Houston.com

What was billed as “A Day Without Latinos” filled Milwaukee’s streets with thousands of demonstrators Thursday.

Police estimate more than 10,000 people turned out to protest congressional efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants.

Organizers say the crowd was closer to 30,000. About 90 Latino-owned businesses were closed for all or part of the day in support.

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Author: Paloma Cruz

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