April 24, 2006 12:17:35 PM EDT (CA)
As you know, currently the question of what changes should
be made to our immigration laws is the hottest topic both in
the U.S. Congress, as well as in the U.S. society in
Today, Monday April 24, 2006, marks the end of the two week
recess; Senators are expected to return to their work on
this important piece of American law. The discussion on
immigration reform is scheduled to start in early May 2006.
During this incoming week, all Polish Americans and friends
of Polonia have again a chance to express their support and
apply pressure on the legislators. It is crucial that the
action takes place during this week.
Please call your Senators urging a vote *FOR* Senate Bill
S.2454, and to leave in and support Amendment 3214, which
designates Poland to be part of the visa waiver program.
To contact your Senator:
Look up your Senator by name or state. Call his or her
Washington Office number and leave the above message with
the aide who answers. If you get "too busy to answer"
recording, then send a fax to the number which you will find
in the same place as the voice number.
Casimir I. Lenard,
Washington, D.C. Office
Polish American Congress
1612 K Street, N.W. Suite 410
Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202 296 6955
Fax: 202 835 1565
Please make sure to see this story in NYT:
Senators to Reignite Debate on Immigration
convenience the full text of the article is pasted below)
Senators to Reignite Debate on
By CARL HULSE and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
Published: April 24, 2006
New York Times
WASHINGTON, April 23 — Prodded by large demonstrations and
the prospect of another on the horizon, Senate leaders will
try to revive stalled immigration legislation this week,
with some urging President Bush to mediate personally the
sharp differences among Republicans on the volatile issue.
Two weeks after the Senate walked away from its immigration
debate, leaders of both parties are expressing a new sense
of urgency to act before the November midterm elections. Mr.
Bush, who has made an immigration bill a
centerpiece of his legislative agenda and who could use a
victory on Capitol Hill to revive his flagging second term,
is expected to address the issue again on Monday in an
appearance in Irvine, Calif.
"This is a top priority, and the president wants to see the
Congress press ahead and get something done, in a
comprehensive way," the White House press secretary, Scott
McClellan, told reporters on Sunday.
After an Easter recess punctuated by large immigrant rights
protests, both Democrats and Republicans say their
colleagues recognize that if they do not press ahead it
could stir a reaction from those who want stricter border
enforcement, business operators who rely on foreign workers
and advocates of immigrant rights.
"We're not going to be stampeded, but at the same time we
understand that there is a giant problem out there," said
Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and
chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who set a
hearing for Tuesday on the economic impact.
Mr. Specter said he intended to use a White House meeting
the same day to encourage Mr. Bush to "get into the fray
now" by getting House and Senate Republicans to reconcile
differences before the Senate passes a bill. "The time has
come for specifics," Mr. Specter said.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader blamed
by Republicans for tying up the legislation, and Senator
Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, a chief
architect of the Senate measure that fell apart two weeks
ago, also called on Mr. Bush to get involved. In interviews,
each said the president must push back against conservatives
who want to limit the legislation to stronger border
"The president is going to have to weigh in on this," Mr.
Reid said. "Somebody has to stand up to the right wing that
is not allowing us to go forward."
Mr. Bush has said he favors legislation that includes a
guest worker program for illegal immigrants, and he used his
radio address on Saturday to reiterate that goal. A
spokesman said the president was eager to work with
Congressional leaders to advance a bill. "The president's
position is that it is important to keep that legislation
moving," said Ken Lisaius, deputy White House press
Mr. Bush has shown little appetite for the give and take of
negotiations, preferring to outline his goals and leave
details to his Congressional allies. But those allies are
now feuding bitterly among themselves.
Some Senate Republicans, led by John McCain of Arizona,
champion an approach mixing stiffer border controls with
potential citizenship for some illegal immigrants. But
conservatives in the House and the Senate balk at talk of
legal residency for those in the country illegally.
"The differences between the two approaches are so great, I
do not know how you connect those dots," said Representative
Tom Tancredo, Republican of Colorado, who favors more border
enforcement. "The idea of providing amnesty, which is
inherent in every one of the Senate plans, is abhorrent to
most members of the House Republican Conference."
Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, said
Saturday in an article for National Review Online that he
wanted to finish immigration legislation by the end of May.
But he will face resistance from some in his own party.
Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, said he was
leery. "We need to think very seriously about how we want
immigration to be conducted in the future," Mr. Sessions
said, citing estimates of 30 million new arrivals in
the next decade. "Just passing 'something' is not respectful
of the American people."
Immigration will not be the first order of business for the
Senate. Lawmakers will consider a $106.5 billion emergency
spending measure for the war in Iraq and hurricane recovery,
which will expose another Republican
split over spending.
That fight will push any immigration bill into the first
week of May at the earliest. But trying to assuage
conservatives and ease the way for a broader bill,
Republicans want to add $2 billion to the emergency spending
bill for additional border agents and enforcement tools like
fences for high-traffic areas and new surveillance aircraft.
"Under any circumstances, security has to come first," Mr.
Frist wrote in his article.
Mr. Reid, who two weeks ago resisted a Republican push for a
series of conservative amendments to a bipartisan compromise
on immigration, said in an interview that he was willing to
agree to what he described as a reasonable number of them.
But he said Mr. Frist, Mr. McCain and other Republican
backers of a broad measure would eventually have to join
Democrats in forcing a final vote if they wanted to produce
Mr. Reid and Mr. Specter called for guarantees on how the
Senate would conduct immigration talks with the House,
including a commitment that senators would not give in to
The Senate returns to its debate on the issue as immigrant
advocacy groups plan an economic boycott on May 1, the
latest in a series of large-scale demonstrations that have
sharpened Congressional focus on the issue. Some lawmakers
and members of the public have been upset at foreign flags
at the rallies. Some predict that the proposed national
school and job walkout could stir a stronger negative
"There is some real concern about the marches," said
Representative Steve Chabot, an Ohio Republican who played
host to Mr. McCain for a campaign event during the recess
but does not share his position on immigration. "For the
most part, people think we ought to control our borders."