Friday, May 4, 2007
"When George W. Bush was running for president in 2000 as a new kind of Republican — the caring kind — he had a ready answer for those skeptical of his moderate views on immigration. “Family values do not stop at the Rio Grande,” he said, again and again. He was standing up for immigrants who come here seeking better lives for their children, and he repeated the message so often that it stuck.
Now, like so much else in Mr. Bush’s tattered slogan file, it’s in danger of coming unstuck. Negotiators struggling to draft an immigration bill in Washington are being pressured by the White House and Republican leaders to gut the provisions of the law that promote the unity of immigrant families in favor of strictly employment-based programs.
Details are still being sweated out in private, but a draft proposal circulated by the White House and the G.O.P. would eliminate or severely restrict whole categories of family-based immigration in favor of a system that would assign potential immigrants points based on age, skills, education, income and other factors. Citizens would no longer be able to sponsor siblings and children over 21, and their ability to bring in parents would be severely limited."
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