Bush's Immigration Policy Draws Mixed Local Reactions


President Bush's plan for granting undocumented immigrants three-year work visas and opening the gates for foreign workers to the U.S. job market brought an array of reactions in Payson Thursday.

The plan, if passed, will grant foreign residents the opportunity to qualify for a three-year work visa with proof they have a job or job offer from a U.S. employer.

It also grants the visa to undocumented immigrants but includes a registration fee.

After the three-year visa expires, it may be renewed, but after the additional three years, the renewed visa expires and those who had it would have to return to their home countries.

It does not grant permanent legal status.

Bush announced the plan Thursday, days before he travels to Mexico next week.

Payson-area politicians and residents had mixed feelings about Bush's proposal.

"We do depend on foreign workers in many cases for the goods and services we produce here, and I believe there needs to be something that needs to be done to make the immigration policies fair and respectful for both Canada, Mexico and any other country that sends workers here," Mayor Ken Murphy said. "The current system does not work."

But Mogollon Republican Women treasurer and Payson resident Connie Bullock believes the proposal isn't clear enough.

"I don't think it's a bad policy, but I think there are a lot of loose ends," she said.

Bullock said the United States' pockets might not be deep enough for Bush's proposal.

According to the policy, employers who hired undocumented workers would face penalties.

"Where are we going to get the manpower to go to all these employers?" Bullock asked. "That's going to cost a lot of money. I see their plight and I think they're very brave to come here and work. I'm not blaming (illegal immigrants) at all. I blame the people who hire them and exploit them."

Democrats of Northern Gila County member Gene Hinds believes Bush's proposal reflects his plans for re-election and that the policy will benefit business more than immigrants.

"Large contractors can now hire unskilled immigrants at wages below the prevailing hourly rate, taking away jobs from Americans," he said. "The four million unemployed citizens number will, again, increase."

Bush said he believes U.S. laws should allow "willing workers" to enter the country and fill jobs Americans are not filling.

Payson resident Alma Peek, 64, said she disagrees.

"I think we have so many people here who need jobs," she said. "Help them first."

Payson-area resident Anacaleta Del Refujio, an 18-year-old Arizona native, said she thinks the three-year visa plan is a good idea.

"It gives them a chance to build income," she said. "They can work for three years and go back to have money for their families."

Yolanda Perez, 17, a Chihuahua, Mexico native and legal U.S. resident, argues that the new plan works in favor of the nation economically.

"I think it's a good idea because Mexican people help with the economy and they make money for the U.S.," she said.

Plan para inmigrantes causa reacionnes diferentes

El plan de Presidente Bush para dar visas de tres años a los indocumentados y abrir las puertas para trabajadores de otro paises a trabajos en los Estados Unidos hizo reacciones diferentes en Payson el jueves.

El plan, si pasa, dará extranjeros la oportunidad para calificar por una visa de trabajar de tres años si pueden mostrar que tienen un trabajo o un oferta de un trabajo de un jefe en los Estados Unidos.

También, el plan da las visas a los indocumentados, pero incluye un precio.

Después de la visa de tres años expira, se puede ser renovar, pero después de tres más años, la visa nueva expira y se tener-a que regresar a sus paises.

El plan no da permanente residenc-a legal.

Bush anunció el plan el jueves, d-as antes de viajará a México el proximo semana.

La gente de Payson tiene reacciones diferentes sobre el plan de Bush.

<> dijo el alcalde de Payson Ken Murphy. <>

Pero Mogollon Republican Women tesorero y residente de Payson Connie Bullock cree el plan de Bush no está claro.

<> ella dijo.

Bullock dijo que es posible que los Estados Unidos no tengan el dinero por el plan.

En el plan, los jefes quienes emplean los indocumentados ser-an penalizado por el gobierno.

<> Bullock preguntó. <>

<> Bullock dijo. <>

Democrats de Northern Gila County miembro Gene Hinds cree que el plan es un plan para la elección de 2004 y va a ayudar los compañ-as más que los inmigrantes.

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Bush dijo que cree que los leyes de EE.UU deben permitir trabajadores quienes quieren trabajar, entrar el pa-s y trabajar los trabajos que americanos no trabajan.

Payson residente Alma Peek, 64 años, no acuerda.

<> ella dijo. <>

Payson residente Anacaleta Del Refujio, 18 años, de Arizona, dijo que piensa que el plan es una buena idea.

<> ella dijo. <>

Yolanda Perez, 17 anos, de Chihuahua, México y residente legal, dijo que el plan nuevo es una buena idea para la econom-a.

<> ella dijo.

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