Migrant bill moves forward in House

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals But some California lawmakers already are vowing to revolt if the final version of the bill includes what they dub “amnesty.” “If the guest worker program comes back, I and many of my friends will feel betrayed and we’re going to go south on our fellow Republicans when they need us on other issues,” warned Rep. Gary Miller, R-Diamond Bar. Meanwhile, Miller, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., and other Republicans said they plan to attach an amendment that would deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. Under the larger bill by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., illegal presence in the country – now a civil offense – would become a federal crime. But, Miller said, “Nobody’s going to go to jail. You would be deported.” WASHINGTON – Taking aim at illegal immigrants across the country, a key House committee passed legislation Thursday that would make it easier for deportations and mandate every employer check the immigration status of their workers. In a 23-15 party-line vote, the House Judiciary Committee also defeated an attempt by Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, to include a measure that would have helped many of the country’s 11 million immigrants gain legal status. The enforcement bill now is expected to be considered by the full House next week, giving Republicans a chance to pass tough border legislation without having to take a stand on the more controversial legalization aspect of the immigration debate. The Senate is expected to act early next year on its own version of immigration legislation that is likely to address the issue with a guest-worker plan. The meat of the Sensenbrenner bill is the creation of a $360 million worker-verification system. Within two years, all employers would be expected to verify the immigration status of new employees. Certain industry sectors would have three years to check existing employees, while all other employers would have six years. The bill also would expand penalties for smuggling and anyone entering the U.S. illegally. While Republicans voted down a guest-worker plan Thursday, many agreed one is needed. Berman assailed Republicans for sidestepping the issue and producing an enforcement-only bill with less than two weeks left in the session. “It can only be attributed to one of three things: stupidity, political panic or venality,” he said. Or, he suggested, “Perhaps it’s the fear of being Dreier-ized.” Glendora Republican Rep. David Dreier came under fire in his last election campaign from conservative talk show hosts and anti-immigration groups who assailed him as soft on illegal immigrants because of his support for a guest-worker program. He issued a statement Thursday supporting Sensenbrenner’s bill. Lisa Friedman, (202) 662-8731 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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