The Whole Thing Is Crazy
Here’s the first bit of confusion the plan inspires in us - Does congress represent American citizens or illegal aliens? Based on press reports, the plan offers a menu of benefits for 12 to 20 million people living in the U.S. illegally, beginning with ability, upon demand, to have their illegal status wiped away with a temporary-residency permit.
What’s in this plan for Americans? What’s it going to cost American taxpayers and how does the bill address the needs of Americans?
The Star-Ledger report was light on criticism from American rights advocates and loaded with complaints from illegal aliens and their advocates.
Hilario Castro, an illegal alien from Mexico, says "Oh, Dios mío," - "They're going to take $5,000 from us. It will be easier to go and come back than it will be to pay that." Other “illegal immigrants gathered at the Red Bank train station last night summed up the plan” as “painful, but somehow doable”
Sen. Robert Menendez, “who took part in the negotiations, quickly denounced it.”
The bill would enable illegal immigrants to immediately receive permits to work legally and then apply for renewable one-year visas after paying a $1,000 fine. But it would require them to return to their home countries within eight years to apply for permanent residency, with another $4,000 fee for that stage of the process.Amy Gottlieb, attorney with the Newark chapter of the American Friends Service Committee, an organization that advocates for immigrants, said "They can't administer what they have right now. They'd have to double the size of the budget to have enough staff to process applications."
“Echoing the concerns voiced yesterday by many pro-immigrant and religious groups”, Gottlieb said “the measure was too punitive. Forcing poor illegal immigrants to pay thousands in fines and return to their home countries, she said, would only increase hardship and separate families. We are deeply concerned. The debate has gotten so polarized, so far apart. And cutting these deals that really disregard the humanity behind immigration is not a way to address the polarization."
The article did include the views of one advocate for Americans, Gayle Kesselman, co-chairwoman of New Jersey Citizens for Immigration Control. "Crazy," said Kesselman, "The whole thing is crazy."