Saturday, April 08, 2006

Immigration: The "Other" Increases

The H1B portion of the immigration bill is not part of the MSM's agenda--it doesn't sell newspapers, and hey--it's arcane. But the proposal of the US Senate (dead for now, thank God) had some serious flaws on the H1B side, even if you agree with those who think that there is no talent in the US which is employable:

(Sen. Sessions:) One of the most significant things that we have given very little thought to is it triples the number of employment-based green cards available each year. It triples the number.
Currently, there are 140,000 available. Currently, spouses and children, if they come in, they count against the 140,000 cap. Under the Kennedy bill that we voted down this morning they jumped that number to 400,000, and spouses and children didn't count against the cap. This bill raises it to 450,000 annually, and spouses and children — we estimate about 540,000 more, family members — can come with them, and they do not count against the cap. That is pushing a million a year. That is a huge change.

I, personally, am of the view that if we can make our system lawful and have it work correctly, we can and will want to increase the number. But triple the number, and then increase that number again, by allowing spouses and children to come and not count against the cap? That is a sixfold increase.

Under the current law, before new legislation passes, the United States issues 1.1 million green cards a year. That is what we do today, and 140,000 of those green cards are available to aliens who are sponsored by employers. That is the working group. Under the Hagel-Martinez compromise bill, the United States would now issue between 2.2 million and 2.5 million green cards each year, 450,000 of which will be employment-based green cards during the years 2007 and 2016. That is triple the number of employment-based green cards we currently issue on an annual basis, triple the number we currently issue. Although the number would be curtailed after a few years, it is still 150,000 more than currently issued. After 2016, the number of green cards for employer-sponsored aliens would go back to double the current level, at 290,000.

They have also increased the employment-based green card cap — that is the total limit, over and above the 450,000 that would now be available each year under the compromise — by exempting spouses and children from counting against the cap. Spouses and children count against the cap today. So we triple the number, and we don't count spouses and children. Because an average of 1.2 family members accompany employment-based green card holders, we estimate that about 540,000 family members will also get employment-based green cards without counting against this cap. That is contrary to what we do today. It is contrary to our policy.

That's just the principled discussion. Now for the typical Congressional lying, cheating, and underhanded crap:

This is the way the bill explains it. It doesn't say that plainly. It says:

In determining the alien's admissibility as an H-2C nonimmigrant. ..... paragraphs (5), (6)(A), (7), (9)(B) and (9)(C) of section 212(a) may be waived for conduct that occurred before the effective date.

As I noted, under the new H-2C program, 400,000 per year can get green cards as workers, and these people will qualify for that because those code sections refer to aliens who came here illegally and those who have been ordered removed but have come illegally will go back into the United States.

The last bunch, the 1.2 million that have been here less than 2 years, they are not going to leave this country.

First of all, nobody is going to come and get them. They are going to apply under the new visa program, the H-2C worker program that has these huge numbers that we have triple the numbers for. And it specifically says in the statute that they will qualify, even if they came here illegally or have been apprehended here illegally or removed — and removed from the United States — and they have come back illegally, they still get to qualify and stay here.

Another minor item that the MSM forgot to report, eh?

Once again, HT to Levin at NRO

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