Throughout the past week, we’ve focused on many of the individual details in the Schumer/Rubio bill. However, it’s important to step back and look at the bill in totality. Between all of the amnesties, guest worker programs, and massive expansions in legal immigration, this bill will set off a seismic chain migration. The effects on the welfare system and our ability to absorb so many immigrants will be felt within 5-10 years. Yesterday, Senator Sessions broke down the comprehensive effects of the bill on chain migration as follows:
- Those who qualify for the broad DREAM fast-track amnesty under S. 744—estimated by the Center for Immigration Studies’ Steve Camarota to be between two and three million people—are able to become citizens after being in registered provisional immigrant (RPI) status (the general amnesty) for five years. Those five years are deemed as having been spent in legal permanent resident status (under current law LPRs must wait five years before becoming citizens).
- There is NO AGE CAP on eligibility
- The Secretary of Homeland Security can allow a deported DREAM beneficiary who is outside the U.S. or who has re-entered the U.S. illegally after the December 31, 2011 cut-off date to apply for this status.
- Illegal agriculture workers will also be placed on an expedited path: green cards in five years and citizenship in 10. This could apply to almost a million people or more.
- DREAM beneficiaries will also be able to get green cards for their parents, spouses, and children five years from enactment. Those family members will then be eligible for citizenship five years after that. Therefore, the DREAM provision of the bill alone could be responsible for potentially as many as 10 million new citizens over an approximate 10-plus year time frame.
- S. 744 would allow unlimited visas for the spouses and children of all green card holders—both those currently illegal and new legal immigrants, leading to exponential chain migration.
- In addition, under S. 744, any LPR can petition for visas for adult unmarried sons and daughters (but they must wait for a visa to become available). A citizen also will be able to petition for their married sons and daughters under the age of 31 if visas are available under the family-based visa cap.
- S. 744 appears to allow those who have been granted status under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA) to immediately adjust to LPR status under a “streamlined procedure” determined by the Secretary and consistent with the DACA requirements. These individuals may petition for visas for family members in the same manner as the LPRs described above. According to USCIS statistics, 472,004 DACA applications were accepted for review between August 2012 and March 2013; 268,361 were approved, 16,778 were deemed incomplete and required resubmission, and only 1,377 were denied.
- As with all illegal immigrants under S.744, eligibility is extended to those with two misdemeanor criminal convictions, those who have overstayed their visas, forged documents, absconded from removal proceedings, had felony arrests, etc.
- Taking into account the expedited legalization of illegal immigrants, the expansion of low-skill legal immigration, and the new avenues for chain migration, the bill would exponentially increase the number of people granted legal status.
Also, remember that the minute any of them have a baby, that kid is an American citizen, making the family eligible immediately for welfare. This is something that is lost on those who say they have to wait 5-10 years to collect benefits. Just yesterday, the Washington Examiner reported that the USDA is advertising in foreign consulates that you need not be a legal resident to collect food stamps:
The USDA said the program is designed to help American children. “[The USDA Food and Nutrition Service] understands that mixed status households may be particularly vulnerable,” FNS’ Yibo Wood wrote to Mexican embassy officials in a January 2012 email. “Many of these households contain a non-citizen parent and a citizen child.”
Therein lies the big lie about the welfare issue. You simply cannot have open borders, chain migration, unqualified birthright citizenship, and a welfare state at the same time. In the context of the time we live in, we need to have a targeted immigration process that identifies those who will benefit the country at large (not a few special interests), and make it easier and cheaper for them to go through the process. Random chain migration will spell the end of the Republic.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project