Idaho Sen. Larry Craig has lobbied for over five years to create legislation allowing undocumented seasonal farm workers to be granted U.S. citizenship. Then, recently, he discovered a better way to force his pet legislation through Congress: using his political clout to tack it onto a must-pass $80.7 billion Iraq war supplemental spending bill.
Craig's "AgJobs" bill would allow illegal immigrants who have worked in farm labor jobs for 100 or more days and can provide documentation thereof to apply for permanent U.S. citizenship. Despite bipartisan support for Craig's controversial bill, which was poised for a vote at press time, it has many powerful opponents-some of whom are actually willing to create their own legislation about the issue, rather than smear it on another bill like so much sat-in bubblegum. The main opponents, Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, are proposing alternate legislation to expand the temporary visa program, without creating a fast-track method to citizenship.