chain migration

'Dreamer' amnesty now but an end to chain migration in 15 years? No, thanks.

Why Cutting Chain Migration Must Be Part of an Immigration Deal

Immediate relief for ‘Dreamers’ but an end to chain migration in 15 years? No, thanks.

By Jessica Vaughan, Center for Immigration Studies, February 1, 2018

Excerpt:

...  Trump's proposal is to offer immediate legalization to 1.8 million Dreamers, some 700,000 of whom currently have work permits issued, unconstitutionally, under President Obama, and more than a million others who also arrived as children but did not qualify for DACA because of age or failure to complete high school, or some other reason.

To offset these numbers, the Trump plan would cut off sponsorship of adult relatives outside the nuclear family, including parents, and end the visa lottery. Those changes would reduce legal immigration by about 33 percent from today's levels.

Unfortunately, in an effort to mollify high-immigration fans from both parties in Congress, the chain-migration cuts under the Trump plan would not go into effect until the entire waiting list of family chain-migration applicants is cleared. This would take at least 10 years. Then it would take another five years or so before the future chain-migration cuts could offset the 1.8 million new green cards for the Dreamers.

So, if the proposal becomes law, the Dreamers will obtain relief from deportation immediately upon passage of the bill, but Americans will have to wait 15 years for relief from chain migration.

Even more concerning, a proposal now being hammered out by Senate Republicans reportedly would create a new form of residency visa for parents of naturalized citizens, including the parents of the Dreamers. In this scenario, there would be very little decrease in immigration to offset the amnesty, which could then cover about six million people.

No one thought that reaching a deal for the Dreamers would be easy, but it's not urgent, either. Now that a federal judge in California has ordered the government to resume renewing DACA work permits for the foreseeable future, there is no deadline on DACA. Given that Trump's initial offer of a deal has gone over like a lead balloon with Democrats, and that squishy Senate Republicans are likely to take his proposal and dilute it beyond recognition or value, Trump should step back from the table. Making a deal for the sake of a deal will be a bad deal for Americans. Take a break and let the Democrats (and GOP amnesty-pushers) ponder their choice: permanent status for the Dreamers, or preserving future chain migration? Americans won't tolerate both.

Is Oregon's Congressional Delegation a shameful representation of America's values?

Illegal Aliens at SOTU Reveal Amnesty, Not American Interests, is Priority for Many on One Side of the Aisle

by Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Executive Director Bob Dane

(January 30, 2018, Washington, D.C.) — Dozens of illegal aliens will attend the State of the Union address, invited as distinguished guests by Democrat lawmakers.

“This annual stunt is deeply offensive to Americans who know that the rule of law is the bedrock of our democracy. The United States Capitol is the revered building where those laws are made by the world’s greatest deliberative body; it is not an unruly theatre for flouting lawlessness. By granting VIP access to dozens of illegal aliens who consciously and proudly violate our laws, the Democrat members of Congress who invited them have clearly revealed their contempt for the rule of law as well.

“Those members have also revealed their real agenda; massive amnesty, unlimited immigration and disregard for any reforms that serve the American public’s interest. The message that will be sent by tonight’s presence of so-called ‘Dreamers’ is crystal clear and one-sided: violating our immigration laws is an inconsequential act and the public just needs to get used to it. We’re here, we’re unapologetic, we’re not going anywhere, we’re going to sit and stand anywhere we want – including the United States Capitol – and we demand to be rewarded with citizenship.  

“These tactics only serve to alienate many Americans and set back the debate. Americans have long needed – and have been promised – secure borders, robust interior enforcement, and a reduction in legal immigration levels while moving to a modern, merit-based system. None of it has happened, and tonight’s antics are an infuriating reminder of that, while also confirming who is responsible for the immigration reform stalemate.

“’Dreamers’ should consider whether they are just being used as political props by some Democrats who continue to oppose any and all reasonable immigration proposals. ‘Dreamers’ are certainly not advancing their cause with these defiant tactics that offend many Americans who might otherwise be interested in an earnest bipartisan solution, but only if it offers them what they want too.”
 

In extraordinary public negotiation with Congress, Trump promises to sign DACA bill

WASHINGTON — President Trump promised Tuesday to sign what he called a "bill of love" to extend protections to 800,000 immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children — if Congress can work out the details.

"You folks are going to have to come up with a solution," Trump told 25 lawmakers in a remarkable televised negotiation at the White House. "And if you do, I'm going to sign that solution." 

But funding for a wall along the border with Mexico remains a sticking point, as Trump insisted that border security remain a part of any deal. 

Lawmakers are under a March 5 deadline — imposed by Trump — to come up with a legal fix to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA, as it's known, is now the main stumbling block holding up a wide range of other Trump administration immigration priorities. 

Conservative Republicans in the House want to link DACA to Trump's request for $18 billion for a border wall. That would give immigration talks even more urgency, as the spending bill must pass by Jan. 19 to prevent a government shutdown. 

So Trump and his top advisers sat down Tuesday with 25 members of Congress — 16 senators and nine representatives, 15 Republicans and 10 Democrats. And in an unusual move, the White House opened nearly an hour of the meeting to the press.

More: Trump demands Democrats cave on border wall before DACA fix

More: Trump: DACA will be 'terrific' if Democrats back his own immigration plans

More: Each day, 120 'dreamers' lose protection from deportation

The Republicans came with a common talking point: Congress needs a permanent fix to immigration enforcement, or else have to deal with the issue again. Democrats said the urgency of saving DREAMers from deportation meant that extending DACA must take priority.

The so-called DREAMers are the children of immigrants who remained in the country illegally — growing up as Americans but without the legal status. Obama's solution was to use his enforcement discretion to give up to 800,000 DREAMers a quasi-legal status, but the Trump administration has said Obama exceeded his authority and that any fix must come from Congress.

Trump said repeatedly on Tuesday that he would sign any bill Congress sends him to make that deferred action program legal. But then he later clarified that such a bill must also include border security measures, including funding for a border wall.

"A clean DACA bill, to me, is a DACA bill where we take care of the 800,000 people," he said. "We take care of them and we also take care of security. That's very important."

Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., the number two Democrat in the Senate, expressed optimism that such a deal could get done.  

As of March 5, one thousand people a day will lose their temporary status, Durbin said. “Lives are hanging in the balance. We’ve got the time to do it,” Durbin told Trump.

"We feel that we can put together a combination for the future of DACA as well as border security," said Durbin, sitting to Trump's right. "We want a safe border in America, period, both when it comes to the issues of illegal migration, but also when it comes to drugs and all these other areas."

But Republicans also want two other issues on the table: elimination of the diversity visa lottery program and family-based "chain migration." 

"Yes, we’ve got to do DACA, and I agree with you 100%," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. "But if we do not do something with the security, if we do not do something with the chain migration, we are fooling each other that we solved the problem."

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who was not in the meeting, said he was encouraged by Trump's more productive tone. "The fact that he limited things to just the four areas that were talked about — something we have been seeking for a while to see what the limits are—was a very good sign," he said.

More: How Trump's wall pledge is complicating a DACA bill for 'Dreamers'

After the reporters left, Trump showed even more flexibility, said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. — especially on the issue of how much money he wants for the border wall.

“I went in very skeptical that anything would be accomplished, but the biggest part of the meeting — the best part — is what the president did actually a little more explanation of what the wall actually means to him,” said Flake, who has been a frequent critic of the president in the past. “The wall is really a fence.”

Tuesday's meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House was scheduled to be closed to reporters, but opened up on short notice. It quickly became perhaps the most extended open discussion between the president and congressional leaders since President Barack Obama's Blair House summit on health care eight years ago. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., called it "the most fascinating meeting I’ve been involved with in 20-plus years in politics."

"I like opening it up to the media," Trump said. "Because I think they're seeing, more than anything else, that we're all very much on a similar page. We're on the same page."

The open negotiation also came amid growing questions about Trump's command of the issues following the release of a tell-all book last week. Often sitting with his arms crossed and directing the conversation, Trump delved into immigration policy with occasional tangents into earmarks, military spending and whether Oprah Winfrey will run for president. ("I don’t think she’s going to run," Trump said.)

After 55 minutes, Trump finally gave the signal for aides to usher reporters out of the room. "Thank you all very much. I hope we gave you enough material. This should cover you for about two weeks," he said.


 

20 Million Immigrants Admitted Over 35 Years Through Chain Migration

 
Twenty million of the total 33 million legal immigrants admitted to the United States between 1981 and 2016 were admitted through the chain migration categories, according to analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies. According to CIS, a legal immigrant admitted to the United States over the 35 years sponsored an average of 3.45 family members for green cards.
 
Current immigration law allows for new immigrants with green cards to sponsor their spouses and minor children. Then, once they become naturalized citizens, they can also sponsor their parents, adult siblings, and unmarried adult children for green cards, which creates endless chains of family-based immigration. There are no numerical limits to spouses, minor children, and parents that can be sponsored by U.S. citizens, while other categories are capped at approximately 250,000 per year.
 
The Immigration Act of 1990 dramatically increased the chain migration categories causing annual legal immigration numbers to skyrocket from a traditional average of 250,000 per year to more than 1 million per year since the 1990s. The last bipartisan U.S. commission on immigration reform, chaired by the late Barbara Jordan, recommended ending chain migration. Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue's RAISE Act and Rep. Lamar Smith's Immigration in the National Interest Act would end chain migration by restricting permanent, family-based immigration to spouses and minor children and creating a renewable visa for parents.
 
In a Tweet earlier this month, Pres. Trump called for ending chain migration shortly after terminating the unconstitutional DACA executive amnesty for young illegal aliens. Granting a permanent amnesty to the approximately 700,000 DACA recipients would multiply the size of the amnesty because of chain migration.
 
[Some key findings of the report]:
 
• Over the last 35 years, chain migration has greatly exceeded new immigration. Out of 33 million immigrants admitted to the United States from 1981 to 2016, about 20 million were chain migration immigrants (61 percent).
 
• Judging from preliminary administrative data, approximately 1,125,000 legal immigrants were approved for admission in 2016, which is about 7 percent higher than 2015, and one of the highest numbers in the last decade.
 
• The largest categories of chain migration are spouses and parents of naturalized U.S. citizens because admissions in these categories are unlimited by law. 
 
• According to the most complete contemporary academic studies on chain migration, in recent years each new immigrant sponsored an average of 3.45 additional immigrants. …
 
• Of the top immigrant-sending countries, Mexico has the highest rate of chain migration. In the most recent five-year cohort of immigrants studied (1996-2000), each new Mexican immigrant sponsored 6.38 additional legal immigrants.
 
• Enacting an amnesty for roughly 700,000 DACA beneficiaries is likely to add double that number in additional immigrants because of chain migration, as the amnesty beneficiaries sponsor their parents and other family members. 
 
Read the entire report at CIS.
 
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