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Who Should We Let In? Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Who Should We Keep Out?


"See, the technology industry desperately needs more foreign engineers, but Congressrefuses to increase the number of visas for high-tech workers without completely overhauling the entire immigration system."

"Given how few Republican members of Congress represent competitive districts with sizable Hispanic populations — there are only four House districts Republicans hold that have a Hispanic population of 25 percent or more and were carried by President Obama in 2012 — and the strong feelings against reform within the party base, it’s not hard to see why McConnell (R-Ky.) and Boehner (R-Ohio) have cooled on the idea of passing immigration reform before the midterms."


Cong dist FL-13 in Pinellas will hold a Special Election on March 11th to fill the seat vacated by the death of Bill Young, who served 42 years. There will be a regular election in November.

The Republican party has a mixed stance on Immigration. A comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) plan (s. 744) was championed, co-sponsored, and even co-authored by some GOP senators including Florida's own Marco Rubio. Before the ink was dry, these republicans distanced themselves, claiming they never supported the measure.

In the Republican lead house, no vote has been taken and the bill has not been brought to the floor. It is claimed the democratic minority plus those republicans supporting CIR would be sufficient to pass the bill to send to the president. However, this minority will not dishonor political process and split with their speaker to force the bill to a vote without his permission.

Immigration reform will be one of several important issues in the March 11th election. The republican party has stated a desire to appeal to minority voters, and Latinos are a large voting bloc. However, not all Latinos support CIR. Pinellas county has a large Latino population, but redistricting was used to maintain a "majority minority district" by consolidating downtown St Pete with downtown Tampa and Sarasota. District FL-13 is considered close, PVI R+1%, voted for President Obama 50-49 in 2012, and by 51-48 in 2008. A single issue may make a big difference here.


Many view Immigration Reform as a humanitarian issue. Families are divided, deported, exploited by laws designed to enforce national boundaries, but used against desperate people.

Others view Immigration Reform as a business opportunity Many industries require immigrants' labor and seek both a temporary and permanent pool of workers in their industries. American workers in those fields feel immigrants are displacing them and forcing wages down.

Others view Immigration as a political issue. Immigrants are a voting bloc, and those that are perceived as supporting that bloc may be able to count on more current votes. Additionally, increased residency permits would add to that bloc, possibly ensuring decades of political victories into the future.

Others consider the issue a matter of “Right and Wrong”. The illegal immigrant knew what they were doing was wrong when they crossed the border. They deserve no special favor, treatment or status. Americans that illegally cross into their home country would be treated MUCH worse.

Others see the free market at work. Most workers want to return home, and visit America only for money. With an ease of temporary work visas, the expense and danger of entering the country, and the abuse and exploitation would end. A worker could come here temporarily, earn a seasonal living, then return home and buy his farm, house, or machine that he needs to start his life there. Just enforce EXIT requirements.

Others feel that national boundaries are a man-made construct that are nonsensical. Corporations (people when they want to be), freely flow across borders to follow resources, labor, capital. People should migrate as they require for food, work, or safety. Let them seek their roots when their homeland becomes available to them.


Can you state your own opinion on immigration? on immigration reform?

Why should it stay the same, be tightened, be realigned?

What purpose does it serve, and sub-populations need to be taken into consideration?

And does this apply only to the USA, or should it apply to ALL countries across the globe?

= = = = = = = = = =

(S. 744) Senate CIR Passed, June 27,[masked] - Wikipedia writeup – Detail analysis

The bill requires implementation of most features before any permanent residency will be granted (fence constructed, agents deployment, e-verification implemented).

A slow phase in (5, 7, 10 years) allows gradual reduction of current backlog of applications.

A new “W” visa for temporary unskilled workers in “shortage occupations” but holders may petition to become permanent. Increased permanent resident visas for foreign graduates of US universities in science & related fields. Increase temporary visas for high-skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and investors.

It gives immigration courts more authority. Increases residence hurdles for drunk driving, domestic violence, identity theft. Creates programs and foundations to aid integration for new citizens.

Sect 1: Security

More than doubles border agents, at least 700 miles of fencing, increased mobile surveillance including radio and aircraft, new border patrol bases and stations, hiring additional prosecutors, judges, staff, and providing additional training to patrol agents. Also implementing an electronic exit system for locating, resolving and deporting overstayed visas.

Sect 2: Immigrant Visas

Current undocumented immigrants can apply for RPI (Registered Provisional Immigrant) status if they have a rigorously clean record, and pay a $1000 fee. RPI's will not be eligible for federal support programs. RPI application will start being accepted 1-2 years after enactment, but deportations will stop immediately. RPI status lasts for 6 years with one renewal, and must be continuously employed during the period.

After 10 years with an RPI, one may apply for permanent residence (Green Card) which will go to the end of the line of all current pending requests. Must remain employed, learn English, be current on taxes, again pass background checks, and pay an additional $1000 fee.

CHILDREN (Dreamers): Allows accelerated green card. Enter US illegally at 15 or younger, RPI for 5 or more years, graduate HS or GED and 2yrs of college or 4yrs of military, English competency, and background check.

AG WORKERS (Blue Card): Grants a temporary visa based on annual hours of fieldwork. Background check, continuous employment (in agriculture), pay fee, not eligible for federal benefits. May apply for legal residency (Green Card) after FIVE years, if working in agriculture, pass background check again, pay fee again.

CURR IMMIGANTS (Point System): Eliminates preference for siblings, adult married children, and the diversity program. Grants “points” for skills, employment history, and educational credentials. Visas available will fluctuate based on formula including unemployment rate. Points include English proficiency, civic involvement, age, and nationality.

The Point system is applied to clean out all current backlog requests before RPI's are considered.

Section 3: Interior Enforcement

Five year phase in of making current employer eVerify system mandatory. Employers of illegal workers will face escalating fines, but not if they used eVerify in good faith. Will create an online database across state and national sources, including photo verification and enhanced tamper resistant documents. Creates an electronic port exit system combined to the entry system to track overstayed visas. Defines a national standard for foreign employees.

General improvements for asylum seekers, expanded protections for victims of human trafficking and smuggling, for battered and abused individuals, and stateless people. It grants the right to counsel for immigration trials, and increases deportation for gang, drug and violent crimes.

Section 4: Non-Immigrant Visas

Increases H-1B visas for STEM (Science, Tech, Eng, Math) and L-1 (employee of multinationals with specific skill). Creates W visa for unskilled workers (ex:hospitality) in federally designated shortage occupations. The current visa count is doubled, and is indexed to economy and unemployment rate.

This is a compromise between business and labor. Requires market salary and proof of local recruiting.

Section 5: Youth Jobs Fund

To offset the economy and increased immigration, grants for federal funds will go for summer and year-round employment opportunities for low-income youths ages 15-25. Block grants will go to states with programs that comply with labor laws. Paid for by a $10 fee on each visa.

Join or login to comment.

  • Jean M.

    I LOVED this meetup. I loved Brent's more laid back style of moderating, it felt completely different than usual, more like a casual group of adults just discussing the topic. did not feel like a classroom. at all.
    The conversation did meander a bit here and there, but, the side paths were every bit as interesting and informative as the main topic.
    The "afterglow" as it's called, was very fun. GREAT PEOPLE showed up for this one.

    2 · March 18, 2014

    • Brent

      Ah, but we should help the most needy first, right? And by your own admission, that's you! So what's your topic going to be?

      March 21, 2014

    • Jean M.

      It's not a "need" for my life. I'm against causing mass suffering among TBT members when there is no need. But I do like the idea of rotating moderators-- maybe ask Karen, Mary, Trude, Colin, Bob H, Wayne, or any of the others!

      March 21, 2014

  • Juan L

    I enjoyed the non constricted discussion.

    2 · March 19, 2014

  • bob h.

    Michael Teitelbaum,
    His interest in promoting the next generation of scientific minds gets fleshed out in his ninth book, Falling Behind? Boom, Bust, and the Global Race for Scientific Talent. The book, which he wrote while a Jacob Wertheim fellow at Harvard Law School, will be published this month by Princeton University Press.

    1 · March 17, 2014

    • Brent

      It was Trude...

      1 · March 18, 2014

    • Jean M.

      Well she is hilarious.

      March 18, 2014

  • Wayne S.

    as usual we had trouble staying on topic, but people treated each other respectfully except for Brent & Jean :-)

    1 · March 17, 2014

    • Jean M.

      LOL!! Wayne, you are a brat! ha ha!!

      1 · March 17, 2014

    • Brent

      Wayne, it was your job to control the wimmenfolk on your side, lol! Don't blame your failures on me!

      March 18, 2014

  • dawn n.

    All these great meetups and I can't attend because it's all the way up there, and it's during the week. I'd have to wade through afternoon rush hour traffic on 275 to get there. I'm not complaining. Just a statement. I'm glad this meetup group exists. I'm waiting for one to open up in St. Pete or somewhere closer. :-)

    March 11, 2014

    • Jean M.

      It's so worth it, though. It's only once a month, and I love it. We go out afterwards, too. Such great people show up to this meetup.

      March 17, 2014

  • Brent

    Interestingly, some who signed up didn't show, some who weren't signed up did, and we had a good discussion!

    1 · March 17, 2014

  • A. Colin F.

    Do we have a secure border? Must we have a secure border? Should we offer dual or U.S. citizenship? When and why? Should we have an amnesty program? Should illegal immigrants receive healthcare benefits? If the parents are illegal, should the children be allowed to stay? If the illegal alien is a genius, should they be allowed to stay? If illegal aliens are NOT critical to the economy, then how can they “reduce wages and benefits for lawful U.S. residents?”

    January 21, 2014

    • Jean M.

      No. No. (Great question!) Sure. Whenever. Upon request. Yes. They Already do. Yes. Yes. ...but they Are.

      March 9, 2014

    • Karen A.

      It's sooooooooo complicated! It seems building a wall/fence should be a separate issue from what to do with illegal immigrants. What would happen employers had to offer wages that would attract American workers? If we really need the low wage workers, then we should develop programs that allow them to work here legally and become citizens easily.

      2 · March 9, 2014

  • A. Colin F.

    There is a potential for a "Hispanic vote.” They could control the Presidential electoral process with majorities in California and Texas. Should we control Hispanic citizenship to keep U.S. elections fair? Do aliens vote American? Is NAFTA a failure? If so, therefore should U.S. borders should be closed? If Mexico is closed to labor, should Canada be closed to materials and goods? If real U.S. under-employment is actually 14% (U6) and under-employment may be over 30%, is it critical to shut off illegal immigration now to shore up employment at home? Does illegal Hispanic immigration unfairly punish low class blacks by taking away jobs?

    January 21, 2014

    • Jean M.

      True.true.No. What! Probably. No.why? No cuz it doesn't work like that anyway. No. You do not need to stipulate race, the question would be equally valid if you also added on low class taiwanese, low class whites, low class hispanics, low class whatEvers. Low class is low class....poverty is have to work to find it, but, apparently IT IS DEBATABLE if anyone but illegal aliens would do the work that they do.

      March 9, 2014

  • Jean M.

    I'll be there IF I can get the night off....if.

    March 9, 2014

  • Scooter Dave K.

    I hate to miss this, but got pulled into another mtg. See you in April.

    March 5, 2014

  • A. Colin F.

    Don't we need lots of cheap labor? Should Americans be forced to work the low paying dirty jobs? Should we let the low paying, dirty jobs (and their income) go overseas? How can US manufactoring and farming compete without competetive labor rates?

    January 21, 2014

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