Sunday, August 5, 2007

Controversy Over Private Bills and Republican Backlash

Carolyn Lochhead reports in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a San Jose Democrat, succeeded in soothing matters in her Judiciary Committee panel on immigration, reaching a truce with Republicans to proceed to the first step on a handful of "private bills" to help three children of illegal immigrants avoid deportation.

One, sponsored by Lofgren, would help a graduate of Homestead High School in Cupertino.

Mikael "Mackie" Alvarez was born in the Philippines in 1984, and brought to the United States when he was 6 on a tourist visa by his parents. His parents overstayed their visas and spent years trying to gain legal residence, but were denied and in 2001 were ordered removed from the country.

Alvarez's siblings managed to gain permanent residence after being separated from their parents' case, but Mackie was too young, and he was denied legal residence along with his parents. He went on to attend De Anza College, but was arrested by federal agents. Lofgren said he has been in federal custody since May 2.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said private immigration bills should be limited to orphans or abandoned children. Click here for the whole story.


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