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New House Immigration Plan


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.


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Comments (14)

"Again, we must seal the bo... (Below threshold)
larry lind:

"Again, we must seal the border first."

Yup, no doubt about that.

I also like the idea of fining businesses who hire illegal aliens for work. If the illegals know they won't be hired many of them will deport themselves and hopefully will not want to come here, or so the thinking goes.

I agree with Larry. It's am... (Below threshold)

I agree with Larry. It's amazing that the Republicans aren't interested in punishing U.S. business owners who break the law, but will profess such outrage when an illegal "wetback" enters the country and works for sub-standard wages to support his family.

It makes the Republicans' stand for "family values" just another obvious lie told to the American people.

I agree with both you guys ... (Below threshold)

I agree with both you guys but, the Feds must first set up a system to identify false social security cards used for legalization in obtaning employment.

Hmmm.sigh. What o... (Below threshold)


sigh. What on earth are those GOP senators thinking of?

again..this will be the sce... (Below threshold)
Drew E:

again..this will be the scene of passionate speeches on both sides...but nothing will be passed. The Republican House, who are all up for election, will not cross the line they drew in the sand. If they do, that favorite chant "flip-flop flip-flop" by disgruntled members of their own party will echo during their stump speeches.

I agree that this would wor... (Below threshold)

I agree that this would work, but only if you make the hiring of guest workers "easy" and the hiring of illegal alliens "hard". Seal the border, reduce the incentives to hire illegal aliens, have replacement labor out of the current unemployed who are willing to work or a guest worker program and you can see the problem slowly unknot. Leave any of those 'legs' off and it will fail. Minimal government involvement (other than sealing the border) also makes sense.

Say, while you are about "s... (Below threshold)

Say, while you are about "sealing" the border, are you going to stop the traffic in illegal drugs, too?

Just wondering . . . I mean, since it is going to be "sealed" and all that . . .

Nope, still won't work. Her... (Below threshold)

Nope, still won't work. Here's the main problem: Most illegal aliens here like this country so much that they actually want to stay permanently. Any kind of program that has the word 'guest' in it, especially one that makes you go back home after your term is over, is a no-go. You can't tell an alien "Hi, welcome to my house. Please, make yourself over to the bathroom and scrub it really well for me, will you? You should leave by 6pm". No way... The only true option is to reduce the incentives to come to the US, and those require the hardest of things: First, build the economy south of the border to make it more attractive to stay (and saying "it takes too long" is not an excuse not to start working on it), and second, a constitutional amendment that abolishes birthright citizenship (which also happens to be a major incentive for aliens to want to come). Disclaimer: I'm not an illegal immigrant, but I'm a legal non-immigrant.

Mexican migrant laborers we... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Mexican migrant laborers were coming across and going home for a long time before we made such labor illegal. You give em an easy way to do it legally, and they will follow the rules. Mexicans tend to go for the "In for a penny, in for a pound" philosophy on such things. Mexicans and South Americans count for about 60-65% of all illegals... The rest are Asians, Europeans, and Indians who've mostly entered the country legally, but let their visas lapse and are still working at whatever brought them here.

The corporate pay masters w... (Below threshold)

The corporate pay masters want "guest" workers, so shut up and stop making noise about it.

Be a good American.

We could always make Mexico... (Below threshold)

We could always make Mexico our 51st state, then we would be one big happy family!

Hmmmm.Probably mor... (Below threshold)


Probably more like 51-55 rather than just one huge 51st state.

Funny thing is, it would probably work. From what polls I've seen there would be a majority of Mexicans who would approve of this if the annexation came with an automatic American citizenship.

Exactly what I think of this idea I have not a clue.

If we are going to build up... (Below threshold)

If we are going to build up the Mexican economy, as suggesed above, why NOT just annex the whole country and make it another state? I'd be more likely to support that over building up someone else's economy, most likely for no thanks.

Hmmm.Funny that th... (Below threshold)


Funny that this was put forward, though not the first, by Lee.

I wonder how long it'll take before this idea takes off. I wonder how long it'll take for Democrats to call Republicans facist imperialists for even considering this.







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