May 18, 2007
Three daughters of illegal immigrants stepped out of the shadows on Capitol Hill on Friday to testify in support of the plan before the House Judiciary Committee.
"God knows I've gone to the depths of human frailty trying to deal with
immigration," said one of the daughters.
All three fear deportation, but would benefit from the the plan's
Dream Act which allows immigrants who came illegally as children the
fastest path to citizenship.
"It's going to bring people out of the shadows and avoid the kind of exploitations that have taken place," said Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts.
Calling it a way to fix America's broken borders, key bipartisan leaders on Capitol Hill are backing what some say is a chance at citizenship for the country's 12 million illegal immigrants.
This bill is facing tough odds. The Senate will begin debate Monday; the House later this year.
The compromise hammered out by lawmakers and members of President Bush's cabinet includes spending billions securing borders. More than 12 million illegal immigrants could stay, but they'd have to
learn English and pay a $5,000 fine for entering the country illegally.
Anyone who wants to become a U.S. citizen would have to wait 13 years behind those who've already applied, but they would be allowed to live and work here while they wait. Future immigrants would get green cards and citizenship under a merit system where they get points for work skills and language.
Conservatives contend talks of amnesty simply offer a free pass to
millions, but supporters say immigration reform is long overdue.