As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

Hutchinson SAFE Visa Amendment might make sense

After listening daily to my fellow Texans puzzle over why our Texas delegation to Congress seems to be horribly silent on the Illegal Immigration matter, I am now puzzling over why this amendment was proposed on Wednesday, May 17, and has gotten ZERO press. I found this information while tugging on a thread from an article of Michael Reagan’s on NewsMax, and found this amendment at the Heritage Foundation’s site. While superficially I would agree with this logic:

NumbersUSA Urges A NO VoteThe creation of any new visa categories, when we already have numerous categories and 1 million new aliens entering the United States legally each year, is not feasible, even for nationals of countries who are "friendly" in terms of trade.

I would also say that much of what is outlined in the summary of Senator Hutchinson’s amendment makes good common sense, especially as an alternative to some of the other garbage that’s floating around out there around the Senate’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act . So I’ll just let you read it and decide for yourself how you feel about it.

The SAFE Visa

The SAFE visa pilot program has the following main provisions:

  1. Workers seeking admission into the United States would have to apply for SAFE visas from their native countries. Initially, SAFE would be a pilot program, available only to residents of countries that are signatories to the North American Free Trade Agreement or the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

  2. Workers could spend only 10 months per year working in the U.S. and would have to leave for two months to reside in their home country. This would be documented through point-of-entry and -exit screening. Workers who become unemployed would have to leave the United States if they could not get another job within 60 days.

  3. Workers who are illegally in the U.S. today could apply for SAFE visas, but only if they leave for their home countries and apply from there, like anyone else.

  4. Employers would have to withhold payroll taxes as for any other worker. Medicare taxes would be used to pay for any uncompensated emergency health care, and SAFE visa holders would be entitled to receive their portion of Social Security contributions upon reaching retirement age or when the visa is relinquished.

  5. A SAFE visa would be issued only after the applicant passes a medical exam and background check and provides proof of pending employment.

  6. The program would have an initial cap of 200,000 SAFE visas per year that could be increased by the President in 50,000-visa increments, as necessary.

If you follow the link provided to the Heritage Foundation’s website you can read what Kirk Johnson Ph.D.   thinks are advantages of the amendment, as well as what he believes is missing. 

Whatever side of this issue you are on, it is perhaps the most emotionally charged issue I’ve witnessed in my adult life. I know that the old joke was that Social Security was the "third rail of politics," but believe that George W. Bush may have been placed in a position where he had to clutch firmly onto the real third rail – dealing with illegal immigration.

As The Needle Bends

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May 21, 2006 - Posted by | Life and Ramblings

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