Illegal Immigration Debate Hits Home

By: Meredith Stancik
By: Meredith Stancik

Immigration has been a hot issue on Capitol Hill. Wednesday, President Bush urged the United States Senate to work hard to find a comprehensive bill. As the Senate debates, the local interest in the immigration issue continues.

The protests continue as the illegal immigration debate heats up on Capitol Hill.

"I urge the senators to continue to work toward get[ing] a comprehensive bill," President Bush said Wednesday.

The President left a daunting task in the hands of senators Wednesday, with only a week to act before the senate goes on recess for another two weeks.

In December the house passed a bill that would make illegal presence in the United States a felony. The Senate, meanwhile, is debating a bill that would legalize the 12 million plus illegal aliens in the country, if they pay fines, back taxes and learn English. Plus it would set up President Bush's guest worker program to bring in even more workers.

One unlikely individual is hoping for the latter.

"The only thing that humans want is freedom," Bryan High Junior Oscar Chavez said.

Chavez came from a small Mexican town, bordering Eagle Pass. His Visa was good for six months, now expired, the great illegal immigration debate hits home.

"I know a lot of people who are illegal, but they have children that are legal," Vasquez said. "What is going to happen to those children? They can't grow up without parents they're going to cream us."

But, some members of the Senate disagree.

"The guest workers. We don't need them. What we need employers to do is to pay a decent wage. What we need congress to do is raise the minimum wage. We need to understand that American workers have worth. They want jobs," North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgon said.

Chavez is worried about this opposition, but you won't find him protesting.

"That is not peaceful, that is not peaceful," Vasquez said. "We need to make them hear, make the government hear our soft steps but with peaceful steps, not disturbing steps."

As the Senate continues debates this high school student will watch and listen to discussion that will affect his future.

One option supported by both democrats and republicans is to pass only a border security bill and leave the more contentious debate of what to do with illegal immigrants in the United States for after the elections.


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