[JURIST] Thousands marched through Los Angeles Saturday protesting President Bush's latest proposal to grant citizenship to the more than 12 million illegal immigrants in the US. The proposal [PDF text] floated last month would allow illegal immigrants [JURIST news archive] to apply for work visas, but at the expiration of the visa, immigrants would be required to return to their home countries to actually apply for citizenship and to pay a $10,000 fine. The plan has been criticized as creating a temporary class of immigrants who will never have the opportunity to assimilate into American society. The proposal has also drawn fire for prohibiting workers from bringing their families into the United States during their temporary visa period, even if they renew their visas past the initial two year period.
Immigrant rights advocates have condemned the proposal [AP report] as unrealistic because the imposed fine is considerably more than most illegal human smugglers charge for entry into the United States. The plan would effectively tighten the requirements of the immigration bill passed by the Senate [JURIST report; S 2611 summary] last May. AP has more.