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Some House Democrats are having behind-the-scenes discussions about creating a special visa for illegal aliens they believe will enjoy considerable Republican support. Under the plan, illegal aliens who can prove they have jobs and pass a criminal background check will receive the gift of legal status for 5 years. The plan is designed to attract pro-business Republicans and those who backed the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill by also increasing the number of visas issued for technical, temporary and agricultural workers. Their plan appears to be to create a bi-partisan alternative to the bi-partisan SAVE Act (Secure America with Verification Enforcement), which focuses on reducing illegal immigration instead of rewarding it. Rep. Heath Shuler’s (D-N.C.) SAVE Act now has 147 bipartisan signers in the House and Senate. The SAVE Act will require all employers to use the electronic verification system to keep illegal aliens out of U.S. jobs. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the number of jobless Americans with no more than a high school degree increased by 2 million between 2000 and 2005. During that same time, Congress imported 1.5 million immigrants without high school degrees. Not surprisingly, wages for these immigrants and native-born workers without a high school degree have plummeted. The cheap labor lobbies may want to do away with immigration law, but they can never rescind the law of supply and demand. NumbersUSA believes that this legislation is just the vehicle to give us a chance to actually pass immigration legislation through a Democratic-controlled Congress that could significantly improve the lives of most Americans. "It's the one [immigration] bill that will pass this Congress," said Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus Chairman Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) in an interview with The Hill. "We have to make this about illegal employment and crack down on employers." ELECTION 2008: View ratings in 16 immigration categories at NumbersUSA President Roy Beck's Presidential Grid.
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Updated: Thu, Apr 17th 2008 @ 2:48pm EDT