Gallegly open to worker program
Ira Mehlman, Los Angeles spokesman for the Federation on Immigration Reform, an immigration-control advocacy group, said plans like Gallegly’s work “in theory.” But, he said, “It’s unlikely to happen. Even assuming we could get all these people to leave and apply and come back, the idea that they would voluntarily go home again is also highly questionable.” In addition to requiring illegal immigrants to apply from their native countries to work for industries with proven unmet needs such as agriculture, Gallegly said he would require extensive background checks. Family members would not be allowed to accompany workers, and a worker would be required to return to their native country for at least 60 days each year. Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea, said he thinks it’s too soon to consider any kind of guest worker plan, even one for a specific industry with severe limitations. “American people need to see that current laws against illegal immigrants are being enforced,” he said. “It’s not the appropriate time yet.” Lisa Friedman, (202) 662-8731 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Thousand Oaks Republican Elton Gallegly, a top House hard-liner against illegal immigration, is indicating he might support a guest-worker program that would make illegal immigrants leave the country before applying for a temporary visa. Gallegly did not offer a formal proposal. But in outlining the type of plan he would consider, he joins the ranks of Republicans who – while making enforcement against illegal immigrants a cornerstone of their agenda – are beginning to articulate a need for compromise. “At the end of the day, there’s going to have to be movement on both sides,” Gallegly said. Ideas like Gallegly’s, similar to major Senate legislation sponsored by Texan Jon Cornyn, are at the crux of a division within the GOP over whether illegal immigrants should be made to leave the U.S. before applying for temporary work. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Democrats and others have called the idea unworkable, saying millions of illegal immigrants would never voluntarily leave the United States without a guarantee of being able to return. “They won’t apply. That’s why they’re here illegally,” said Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys. Michelle Waslin, spokeswoman for the National Council of La Raza, said the plan would be disruptive to businesses and families who have been in the country for decades. She also said she doubted anti-immigration groups would support it. “Those people who are going to call anything ‘amnesty’ are going to call this `amnesty’ anyway,” she said.