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News & Current Events Discuss Dems raise stakes on immigration at the General Forum; Dems raise stakes on immigration Going into Novemberís elections, House and Senate Democrats are outbidding the White House on spending ...

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Old 06-17-2008, 04:48 PM
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Default Dems raise stakes on immigration

Dems raise stakes on immigration

Going into Novemberís elections, House and Senate Democrats are outbidding the White House on spending for immigration enforcement, with a special emphasis on deporting people convicted of major drug offenses and violent crimes.

Immigration remains a highly divisive political issue ó especially in the House Democratic Caucus. But targeting convicted criminals is seen as safe ground for the party and a pressure point to highlight shortcomings in the current enforcement system.

A Homeland Security budget bill now moving through the House Appropriations Committee specifies that at least $800 million be spent after Oct. 1 to identify and remove the most violent and dangerous criminals from the U.S. And Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) is expected to take an even more aggressive approach Wednesday in his own plan, adding more money for Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations within Homeland Security.

The maneuvering comes as Congress and the White House remained at odds Monday over a wartime spending bill in which Democrats have also sought to position themselves on the popular side of two other domestic issues: aid to the unemployed and a new GI Bill for veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Compromises seem possible in each case, but in this election year atmosphere, both sides are skittish of giving up too much, and tactical decisions by Democrats indicate it will be at least another week before a resolution will be possible.

In the case of immigration enforcement, an April report to lawmakers from ICE estimates that between 300,000 to 450,000 illegal immigrants convicted of a crime are detained each year in federal, state, county and local facilities ó all subject to deportation. But it was only last winter that ICE finally reached a point where it had 100 percent screening of state prisons, according to data submitted by the agency. And huge information gaps remain regarding prisoners in an estimated 3,100 county and local jails around the country.

Dems raise stakes on immigration - David Rogers - Politico.com

The "Dems" taking a strong position on immigration enforcement? Oh yeah,it's an "election" year,it's time to posture.The Dems are at it with immigration enforcement and a GOP candidate backs away from amnesty.

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