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H.R. 4760 DACA compromise greatly reduces overall immigration
NumbersUSA has been at the forefront of grassroots mobilization against every amnesty since 1996. BUT OUR TOP GOAL IS TO REDUCE IMMIGRATION NUMBERS.
That's why we have endorsed H.R. 4760, the Securing America's Future Act, introduced yesterday by U.S. House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committee and Sub-Committee chairs Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.)
Below, I will provide you with the details of the bill so you can make your own judgment.
Our endorsement is a highly unusual move by us since H.R. 4760 includes three-year work permits which around 700,000 DACA recipients would be able to renew indefinitely for the rest of their lives. In other words, it includes an amnesty.
As I noted in my Action Alerts to you this morning, I know many of you may wonder why we aren't just insisting on the good stuff in the bill without accepting the DACA and other negative items.
The problem is that Pres. Trump -- the most committed immigration "hardliner" ever elected to the White House -- really, really wants a DACA amnesty. And so do the congressional Republican leaders and virtually every Democrat in Congress.
Our main hope to avoid Congress passing an 8th amnesty without beneficial tradeoffs is to push for as many positive things as possible to be added to a DACA solution.
H.R. 4760 has met the test of offering something that would be far more positive than harmful to American wage-earners and communities. We believe this is in part a result of the sustained grassroots lobbying that you all have done with Members of the U.S. House for years, and especially the last few months.
THE MAJOR GOOD POINTS of H.R. 4760
These are improvements that we believe we can count on to happen almost automatically after passage of the bill:
Immediately ceases applications for all Chain Migration categories. (Stopping categories for brothers, sisters, adult children and parents would be a reduction of more than 3 million lifetime immigrant work permits over the first 10 years alone.)
Erases the 4 million Chain backlog, except for approx. 120,000 scheduled to get green cards in the first year after passage.
Phases in mandatory E-Verify over a two-year period until all employers would have to be using it. (The reduced number of future and current illegal aliens working U.S. jobs would likely be several million after a few years in comparison to what would happen if we just continue the status quo.)
Codifies sanctuary cities restrictions so the Justice Department can withhold grants from sanctuary cities and victims can sue cities that have released their illegal-alien attackers.
Enhances ability of localities to voluntarily enforce immigration laws.
Includes "Kate's Law" which toughens criminal penalties for deported criminals who illegally return.
Makes it easier -- through several changes in law -- to remove gang members and other dangerous persons.
Combats asylum fraud and "frivolous claims."
Ensures safe and quick return of unaccompanied minors to discourage border surges.
The bill "authorizes" several things, but Congress would have to later "appropriate" the funds for any of them to happen. Because you can't count on any of this happening (although it certainly could) I don't consider these as part of the equation in deciding whether the helpfulness of the good points significantly outweighs the harm of the compromises.
The bill "authorizes" border wall construction, 5,000 extra Border Patrol Agents, 5,000 extra CBP Officers, full implementation of the biometric entry-exit system at all air, land and sea ports of entry.
H.R. 4760 contains all those provisions above that NumbersUSA admires, but it also contains these next provisions that we wish weren't included. But that's the nature of a compromise that gives you victories you could not otherwise obtain.
Approx. 700,000 young-adult illegal aliens who were given an executive temporary DACA amnesty by Pres. Obama can go through new screening for fraud before being given 3-year, indefinitely renewable temporary worker permits. The numerical ceiling is already set, so we don't have worry that the amnesty would be far bigger than estimated at the beginning.
But the bill's authors expect many of them to eventually obtain a green card through an employer or by marrying a U.S. citizen. I think we should expect that all or most of the recipients of any DACA amnesty will eventually have a path to citizenship. Thus, the positive ingredients of any compromise have to be large enough to justify a "citizenship amnesty" even if citizenship isn't offered at the beginning.
The Visa Lottery would be abolished. BUT the 55,000 Lottery green cards would be reshuffled into employment categories. A wash on the numbers.
The agriculture bill that recently passed the House Judiciary Committee is included. It makes it easier for agri-business to recruit guest workers, and to convert their current illegal workers into rotating legal guest workers. That's not bad, especially since ag would finally have to use E-Verify to keep illegal workers off the farms. And the numbers would not be increased since the current ag guest worker program is unlimited. But several thousand of the ag visas could for the first time be used by meatpackers and poultry plants.
On balance, we believe the Securing America's Future Act (H.R. 4760) would deliver a significant net improvement to the lives of American wage-earners and communities because it would reduce by millions the number of illegal and legal foreign workers added to compete for jobs and wages in the first 10 years, and far more in later decades.