Ortiz Response to Bush’s Immigration Policy

January 9, 2004
Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (D-51st) had strong feelings towards President Bush’s recent announcement on immigration policy, which makes available a large pool of workers for American businesses without much benefit to workers themselves. The policy would provide temporary worker status to illegal immigrant workers already working within our boarders as well as those seeking employment in the United States.

"The plan offers very little to immigrant workers, there is no path towards permanent legal status. It mainly provides temporary labor for U.S. business without access to a visa or citizenship opportunities for those employed. These individuals are safe from deportation for only a three year period, enough time to get settled, start earning an income and build a family and future, to then have the possibility of being uprooted and sent back to their home countries leaving the life they worked so hard to build behind." stated Ortiz.

"These workers are asked to inform the same government which has tried to remove them, of their illegal status in return for the right to work and pay taxes for three years to only be sent back when they are of no more use to their employer. I do not believe that this would be enough of an incentive for these individuals to come out from the shadows and enroll in this program. In essence they are signing up to become a second class disposable workforce, which would obviously reflect on their pay and treatment by their employer. We must work towards providing a path for permanent legal status for hard working immigrant families who are looking to not only work but build a life here."