Immigration rally targets Bush plan

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “People are really upset,” said Juan Jose Gutierrez, president of Los Angeles-based Latino Movement USA, one of several organizers of today’s rally. “For years, the president spoke in no uncertain terms about supporting immigration reform … then this kind of plan comes out and people are so frustrated.” The proposal has been sharply criticized by Hispanic advocacy groups, Democrats, the Roman Catholic Church and unions that have many immigrants in their ranks. They argue the cost of work permits and the green card application – which could total more than $20,000 – are prohibitive for low-wage earners. When 500,000 people marched the streets downtown a little over a year ago in support of illegal immigrants, many were angry over a proposal to build hundreds of miles of new fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and criminalize anyone who lent a hand to undocumented immigrants. Immigrant advocates say similar discontent could push several thousand to come out for a rally today. This time the proposed reform is coming from someone immigrant communities had long considered an ally: President George W. Bush. The White House’s draft plan, leaked last week, calls for a new “Z” visa that would allow undocumented workers to apply for three-year work permits. They would be renewable indefinitely, but would cost $3,500 each time. To get a so-called green card, making them legal permanent residents, illegal immigrants would have to return to their home country, apply at a U.S. Embassy or consulate to re-enter legally and pay a $10,000 fine. last_img

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