In January 2004 George Bush outlined a new approach to immigration. He would grant special visas to foreign workers which would be valid for three years and renewable. Undocumented immigrants now employed in the U.S. would be included in the program.Workers would be allowed to travel freely between the U.S. and their own countries. Once a visa became unrenewable, for whatever reason, the worker would have to return permanently to his or her own country. Families would be allowed to join the worker in the U.S. if the worker demonstrates the ability to support them. Temporary workers who desire citizenship would apply through procedures already in place.
Rick Ufford-Chase was recently elected moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He is the founder and international director of BorderLinks, a faith-based binational education project on the U.S./Mexican border, and cofounder of No More Deaths (www.nomoredeaths.org).