Sunday, November 21, 2010

DREAM Act Would Allow Illegals With Criminal Records to Gain Residency, GOP Says

As President Obama and his Democratic allies push to pass legislation this year that would allow certain illegal immigrants to become legal U.S. residents, Republicans are pushing back with details about the DREAM Act that have gone largely unnoticed.

The legislation would permit young people to become U.S. residents after spending two years in college or the military. It would apply to immigrants who were under 16 when they arrived in the U.S., have been in the country at least five years and have a diploma from a U.S. high school or the equivalent.

But Republican Sen. Jeff Session of Alabama released a "DREAM Alert" revealing that at least one version of the legislation would allow qualified illegal immigrants up to the age of 35 to gain resident status, prevent the Department of Homeland Security from removing any illegal who has a pending application – regardless of age or criminal record – and offers amnesty to qualified illegals with misdemeanor convictions, even DUIs.

The alert says that not only would the legislation put an estimated 2.1 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship, it would also give them access to in-state tuition rates at public universities, federal student loans, and federal work-study programs.

Illegals who gain citizenship under this legislation will have the legal right to petition for the entry of their family members, including their adult brothers and sisters and the parents who illegally brought or sent them to the U.S.

"In less than a decade, this reality could easily double or triple the more than 2.1 million green cards that will be immediately distributed as a result of the DREAM Act," the alert reads.

A spokesman for Sessions noted that two other versions of the legislation lower the age limit to 30 and won't grant illegals access to in-state tuition deals. It's unclear which version Democrats will choose.

Yet any of the versions should give Americans pause, Session's spokesman said. "The scope of this proposal is enormous, extending amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants including a number who have committed serious crimes, incentivizing further illegality and making it more difficult to develop a just and responsible immigration policy," said Session's spokesman Stephen Miller.

The bill failed to pass the Senate in September. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote during the lame duck session.


Salary bar to be £40,000 for highly skilled migrant workers

Highly skilled workers from outside the European Union will have to be coming to a job in Britain paying them at least £40,000 a year under new government plans.

The proposals are to be unveiled this week as ministers reveal the first annual "cap" on immigration into Britain which will apply from next April.

Last week Professor David Metcalf, chairman of the independent Migration Advisory Committee, recommended a total limit of between 37,400 and 43,700 workers a year from outside the EU. Mr Metcalf also recommended a 13 to 25 per cent cut in the number of "Tier 1" highly-skilled workers and "Tier 2" skilled migrants coming to the UK, despite worries from employers that they will be unable to fill key posts.

The Sunday Telegraph understands that under current plans Tier 1 migrants will in future have to come into a job paying at least £40,000 a year – putting the large majority of them into the 40 per cent tax bracket – with a contract for at least 12 months. New categories of Tier 1 immigrant will be unveiled including "investor", "major businessman" and "special talent."

In June, the Home Office introduced a temporary limit of 24,100 workers to enter the country before April 2011, when this cap will be replaced by permanent measures.

Any increase in overall numbers allowed in will be seen as a victory for Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, who has protested on behalf of employers that they must be allowed to attract the best talent from overseas.

Mr Cable said two months ago he was being warned by business leaders that companies were relocating overseas because of what they saw as harsh restrictions in Britain from employing people from outside the EU.

The issue is one of the biggest fault lines between Conservative ministers and their Liberal Democrat coalition partners.

In the last year of the Labour government, net migration – the number of people coming to live in Britain compared with those emigrating – stood at almost 200,000. The coalition has pledged to at least halve this by 2015 – largely by cutting down the number of skilled workers.


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