They took er jerbs
Posted by clubsodaandsalt on May 19, 2007
I’m cautiously optimistic about the new immigration bill that came out of the Senate this week. It does many things that were way overdue, including offering a new “Z” regularization visa to illegals, and shifting the focus of immigration policy from a family-based system to a skills-based system. Details are sketchy, but I’m hoping that skilled-based migrants will be able to sponsor themselves soon, rather than having to go through an employer. As someone currently wading through the horror of the present system, I’d be happy to see those kinds of changes.
The most worrying aspect of the bill is the new guest worker program. Why would we want to copy Europe on immigration, where it’s been a complete disaster? Guest workers tend not to go home, and simply become a disenfranchised underclass with no apparent means to progress in society. This strikes me as a poor idea.
Overall, though, this certainly seems like a big improvement, and it’s to Bush’s credit that he’s pushed so hard to make this a reality. Unfortunately, given the way that his Department of Homeland Security and his State Department have made the lives of skilled migrants much harder in the past 4 or 5 years, even if this passes, his legacy on immigration will be decidedly mixed.