Time Magazine has an exclusive on a new House immigration plan by House Republican Mike Pence (R-IN). Purportedly a no amnesty plan, it is designed to get House conservatives on board immigration reform:
With the Senate headed toward a final vote on an immigration bill this week, a leader of House conservatives is asking his colleagues to support a free-market plan aimed at bridging the gulf between the versions in the two chambers. The proposal by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), provided to TIME ahead of an unveiling speech at the Heritage Foundation, is arguably less compassionate than the version being debated in the Senate and supported in principle by President George W. Bush. But it looks to be more palatable to House Republicans, many of whom have opposed creating a guest worker program before new border crackdowns have been given a chance to work.
"The solution is to set up a system that will encourage illegal aliens to self-deport and come back legally as guest workers," Pence, the grandson of an Irish immigrant, says in prepared remarks. "The visa will be issued only outside of the United States. Outside of the United States. That is a key point because it is the provision that will require the twelve million illegal aliens to leave. Now, some of you are thinking to yourselves that 12 million people aren't going to pack up and leave just to get a visa to come back legally. But, I believe most will."
Why would illegals self-deport? There's no real threat of forcible deportation because ICE is toothless.
His plan includes all the security measures of the bill that has already passed the House, and adds a provision for guest worker visas would be good for two years. A limited renewal would be available if the worker studied English and passed an English proficiency class. Federal law already has visa categories A through V. "The visas will be referred to as 'W Visas,' " Pence say in his remarks. "No kidding. I think it is obvious whose support we are trying to garner here."
Pence's measure would create private worker placement agencies called "Ellis Island Centers," licensed by the federal government to match approved guest workers with jobs that cannot be filled by Americans - a variation on an idea offered by Bush back in January 2004. "U.S. employers will engage the private agencies and request guest workers," Pence says. "In a matter of days, the private agencies will match guest workers with jobs, perform a health screening, fingerprint them and provide the appropriate information to the FBI and Homeland Security so that a background check can be performed, and provide the guest worker with a visa granted by the State Department."
We don't enforce our country's current immigration laws; adding another layer of beauracracy will do nothing. Additionally, there will probably be a waiting period as this new department approves paperwork. Illegals will still cross the border because they won't wait the time required.
Again, we must seal the border first.
Update: Quin Hillyer of The American Spectator Blog just returned from Rep. Mike Pence's speech at the Heritage Foundation and liked what he heard: "it combines the best parts of the House border-control act with the Krieble Foundation proposal I've touted here several times."
I would like to know the details.
Update II: Read the speech Rep. Pence gave to the Heritage Foundation here. I've provided a snippet:
I see the solution as a four-step process. Securing our border is the first step. The second step is to make the decision, once and for all, to deny amnesty to people whose first act in the United States was a violation of the law. The third step is to put in place a guest worker program, without amnesty, that will efficiently provide American employers with willing guest workers who come to America legally. The final step is tough employer sanctions that ensure a full partnership between American business and the American government in the enforcement of our laws on immigration and guest workers.