Posts Tagged ‘Immigration’

Washington

The nation’s top business and labor groups have reached an agreement on a guest worker program for low-skilled immigrants, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Saturday. The deal clears the path for broad immigration legislation to be introduced when Congress returns from its two-week recess in mid-April.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., one of eight senators from both parties who have been negotiating an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, convened a conference call Friday night with Thomas J. Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Richard L. Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s main federation of labor unions, in which they agreed in principle on a guest worker program for low-skilled, year-round temporary workers.

Pay for guest workers was one of the final sticking points on a broad immigration deal, and one that had stalled the Senate negotiations just before the break.

The eight Senate negotiators still need to formally sign off on the deal between the business and labor groups, but they are expected to do so by the end of the weekend, the person with knowledge of the talks said.

SHEFFIELD MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has explained why his party has toughened its stance on immigration – with plans announced for migrants to pay a £1,000 cash bond on entry to the UK which they will only get back when they leave.

 

Speaking to The Star, Mr Clegg said changes were needed to maintain ‘public confidence’ – and not due to the rise in the polls of right wing UKIP, which came second in the Rotherham by elections amid concerns in South Yorkshire about immigration.

The Sheffield Hallam MP and Lib Dem leader has also abandoned one of his party’s previous policies to offer an amnesty to illegal immigrants who had been in Britain for 10 years.

Instead, he spoke of ‘zero tolerance towards abuse’ of the asylum system.

Exit checks will be reintroduced to keep track of migrants leaving the UK once their visa has run out.

In a separate announcement, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to limit which benefits migrants can claim after six months of being in the UK.

But Mr Clegg said: “The changes are not because of the UKIP effect.

“I have picked up from a lot of people across Sheffield that the city is a welcoming and wonderfully diverse community – but to maintain that we need to have confidence in how the immigration system is run.

“The problem is exit checks were abolished and there was no record kept of who was coming in or out.

“We will also be increasing fines for companies employing someone who is here illegally.”

Mr Clegg said migrants from ‘high risk’ countries – those with a history of immigrants coming to the UK and overstaying their visas – would be subject to the deposit scheme ‘to ensure they have the incentive to leave’.

He added: “In order to be a tolerant Britain, we need to have zero tolerance towards abuse of the system.”

Mr Clegg said he also wants to ensure people using public services ‘take up English’.

U.S. President Barack Obama is trying to provide fresh momentum to efforts on immigration reform.

Obama called Monday for lawmakers to introduce legislation next month, saying the time has come to fix the immigration system once and for all.

obama

“We are making progress but we’ve got to finish the job. This problem is not new. Everyone pretty much knows what’s broken. Everybody knows how to fix it.”

The president spoke at a White House naturalization ceremony for 28 new U.S. citizens, including 13 active-duty military service members.

A group of eight Democratic and Republican senators outlined a plan for sweeping immigration reform in January, but some details of the plan have yet to be worked out.

Obama was joined by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

There are more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Obama has made immigration reform a priority for his second term. He has been advocating for a comprehensive approach that combines improved border security with a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country.

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