The “Grand Bargain” has been attacked by the right who decry: (1) the proposal is amnesty, (2) the guest worker provision will drive down wages for low-skilled US workers, and (3) illegal aliens will jump ahead of those who applied to immigrate legally. It has also been attacked by the left who complain that: (1) the proposal will separate families, (2) requiring guest workers to return home after two years without an opportunity to stay is inhumane and unrealistic, (3) the fines and filing fees are excessive. Nobody’s happy, therefore all bases have been covered and the stage has been set for a healthy debate.

The Bill has just been introduced in the Senate and two weeks of debate and amendments are expected. This will lead to a final bill that is substantially different from what was the result of a back room deal by a group of bi-partisan Senators. The result will be a bill that passes the Senate. It will then pass the House as shrewd politicians know that this issue should be resolved before the 2008 elections as it is a divisive one and if they let it linger they will realize that it will not be to their advantage. Candidates who make this a campaign issue risk being viewed as xenophobes or amnesty proponents. There is no such thing as a perfect solution that will please everyone. Therefore, a bill that leaves no one smiling could be the path to a solution to this problem that so desperately needs fixing.

Leave a Reply