What Does Amnesty for Undocumented Farm Workers Have to Do with the Funding of our Action in Iraq?
Add Senator Larry Craig to Donald’s list of Republicans who have gotten off track, in this case, by participating in the attempt to pass amnesty piecemeal.
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday added to an Iraq spending bill a controversial provision to help pave the way for undocumented agriculture workers to win legal status, a move that may reopen the divisive immigration debate on the Senate floor.
The so-called Ag-Jobs amendment, sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Larry Craig (R-Idaho), would create a process that allows undocumented workers to continue to work on farms. Without the amendment, Feinstein warned that the U.S. would lose $5-9 billion to foreign competition, tens of thousands of farms would shut down and 80,000 workers would be transferred to Mexico. The bill would sunset in five years.
Agriculture needs a consistent workforce,” Feinstein said. “Without it, they can’t plant, they can’t prune, they can’t pick and they can’t pack.
“This is an emergency situation,” she added.
The prior failure of your branch of government to act responsibly in this matter does not constitute an emergency, Senator. Put me down as agreeing for once with Senator Robert Byrd (D) on both substance and procedure.
“No matter how one characterizes it, this enormous amendment still amounts to amnesty,” said Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.). “I oppose amnesty. All these immigration issues should be addressed through the regular order.”
The one encouraging note is that the 17-12 vote that brought this amendment out of committee was not along party lines. Perhaps there will be a sufficient number of responsible, long-sighted lawmakers in both parties to decry and/or derail this sneakiness.