In the AJC today former Congressman Bob Barr says:
If, however, those who so discourteously booed a sitting senator of their own party on Saturday took the time to actually read and understand the legislation to which not only Chambliss, but also his colleague, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), have tentatively lent their support, they might discover the bill contains a number of other measures that used to enjoy GOP support.
For example, those currently in the country unlawfully would not be eligible to apply for a green card —- itself a prerequisite for any eventual citizenship application —- until the huge, current backlog of lawful immigrants with pending applications are taken care of. In other words, rather than “going to the head of the line” as some previous immigration plans proposed, under this latest version, candidates currently here without authorization would have to “go to the back of the line.” This process alone might take up to eight years (followed by five additional years to complete the track).
Another important —- and for Republicans, one would have thought, positive —- aspect of the bill Chambliss and Isakson have tentatively agreed to support, is that applicants would be required to submit to a federal government background check, and any raising security concerns or possessing criminal records here or in their home country would not be eligible to proceed with the process. Moreover, all applicants would have to return to their home country —- for the vast majority, Mexico —- from where they would file their application. And, in a move that has upset many Democrat supporters, preference would be afforded those with higher education and job skills. Even sweetening the pot by providing a special category of temporary workers to assist employers with significant labor needs, including many Georgia farmers, was not enough to shield Chambliss from the wrath of his fellow Republicans.