Immigration: Frist Disses Legalization Plan As Amnesty

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Thurs. Mar. 30, 2006: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist yesterday opened debate on the controversial immigration reform bill by stating that he opposed the Judiciary Committee’s plan that will allow millions of undocumented immigrants to eventually earn legal status here.

“I disagree with this approach, not just as a matter of principle, but because granting amnesty now will only encourage future and further disrespect for the law,” said the conservative Republican Senate leader.

He is instead pushing his own plan, which includes a guest worker program but does not address the millions living in the U.S. without legal status.

However, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Arlen Specter, the son of Siberian immigrants, reiterated that the bill Committee members put forth to the Senate on Monday “is not amnesty because the lawbreakers are not being unconditionally forgiven for their transgressions.”

The bill will come to the Senate floor this afternoon and Frist has dedicated the rest of this week and all of next week for debate on the plan as approximately five Republican continue to side with Democrats on the bill.

Meanwhile, President Bush yesterday met Canada’s PM Stephen Harper and President Vicente Fox in Mexico yesterday for the tri-nation Cancun summit. Fox, asked about the immigration movement, told reporters Monday night, “I am very happy that we are advancing, I am optimistic. This is a good sign and we must all carry on working.”

Bush earlier this week stated, “No one should pretend that immigrants are a threat to American identity, because immigrants have shaped America’s identity.” –