Senate Judiciary Committee Work on Immigration Reform Package Is Getting Closer to Finalization
By James E. Root


As seen in newspapers throughout the United States as well as in a March 17, 2006 article in the Los Angeles Times, entitled, “Guest-Worker Plan Gets Senate Boost,” there is currently a tremendous amount of pressure from U.S. business groups, labor groups, immigrants rights organizations, the national American Immigration Lawyers Association and other small businesses who favor creating a temporary-worker program. They are substantially interested in putting strong pressure on the Senate and Congress to pass such legislation to help fill jobs that Americans either cannot or will not do. Additionally these business groups are in favor of a program which would give current undocumented workers a way to obtain legal status in the United States.
Due to the strong pressure on the part of the groups mentioned above to complete and pass immigration legislation, on March 16, 2006 the U.S. Senate came close to an agreement on the Presidents Guest Worker proposal which would enable some 12 million illegal foreign nationals who are presently living and working in the USA a chance to legalize their status. Contrary to immigration opponents statements, this program in clearly not an amnesty, since illegal foreign nationals seeking legal status would have to pay a $2,000 fine, apply for a six-year temporary status, remain employed, file and pay their taxes, learn and demonstrate understanding of English and U.S. government.
At this point, however, there will be no vote will until after Congress takes a recess for a week. However the Senate Judiciary Committee is close to being ready to back the immigration legislation proposed by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy and Republican Senator John McCain.
U.S. business groups, labor groups, agriculture/farm businesses, immigrants rights organizations, the national American Immigration Lawyers Association and other small businesses experience the reality of the fact that many jobs in America are those that U.S. Citizens will not take. These occupations include: agricultural workers, landscaping, restaurant workers, construction, and other similar service and labor jobs due to the lower level of pay and undesirable working conditions. Farms and landscaping companies can often be heard to say that they have tried hard to fill their job openings with Americans, but cannot get any to either take such jobs or if they do, most if not all Americans who take such jobs do not last longer than one week at maximum. This harsh reality is faced by many businesses that contribute heavily to the America economy.
One example cited by the Los Angeles Times, clearly showed how serious the situation is and how critical the passage of the immigration legislation is to businesses, was of a produce grower, packer and shipper in California who could not find enough workers to handle the picking and harvesting of the lemon crop for his business. To accomplish the task he normally required eight crews of 25-30 workers each, but due to the crackdown on illegal immigration and also the fact that his efforts to get American workers were futile, he has to now run only 5-6 crews of 18-20 workers, and without a full workforce he faces the loss of lemon crops which will cost his company over $100,000 in losses.
This is also true of landscaping and the construction industry as well as many other small businesses and companies who are forced due to the severe labor shortage to hire illegal foreign nationals to do the jobs that they cannot get American workers to take.
Despite the reality that most illegal foreign nationals take such jobs and frequently work 1 to 2 other jobs, and contribute substantially to the economy in the United States, there are still many opponents in Congress who only favor border security legislation, and toughening laws on immigration enforcement against aliens and businesses.
Once this or any other immigration reform passes through and is approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, it then goes to the full Senate for vote, and must also be considered by Congress the House of Representatives, before it is finalized into a formal legislative Bill for presentation to the President for his signature.
You too can help!!! You are not without a voice, even if you are not legal in the United States. You are able to encourage those U.S. Citizen whom you know, your employers, and others who have the right to vote, to prepare signature petitions, and to contact their U.S. Congressmen and Senate Representatives, either my mail or over the internet and to add pressure in favor of the Guest Worker Program. Tell your story and encourage American Citizens to take action in favor of this necessary immigration reform legislation.
For more information and a “free” initial legal consultation please contact Immigration Attorney James E. Root at 1(888) ROOT-LAW or visit his website at www.RootLaw.com. Mr. James E. Root heads an Exclusive Immigration Law practice with two offices in Southern California.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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