We've finally seen the Big Reveal on the Senate's immigration reform package. At first glance, it seems a mite bit tougher than the STRIVE Act, the proposal that's now floating around the House of Representatives. For example, the STRIVE Act has a $500 fine for people who have entered the country illegally; the Senate plan has a $5,000 fine.
While we're still sorting through the details, we note that both plans call for strengthening border security before enacting a new guest-worker program, which has the left complaining that it leans too heavily toward militarizing the border. Both also allow people who have entered the country illegally to remain here for at least a few years with a new Z visa (provided they pass a background check), which has the right complaining that the plan amounts to amnesty. One local blog, Sonoran Alliance, has a bulletin from Mothers Against Illegal Immigration calling for Sen. Jon Kyl to resign for being part of the negotiating team that has come up with the Senate plan. That seems a little extreme at this point in the process.
More on the Senate plan in next week's Skinny. In the meantime: Let's debate what amnesty means!