Congress Debates Four Amnesties, but No E-Verify Progress

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

October 5, 2017
gavel
Amnesties (four!) mean more population growth,
fewer American jobs.
Congressional amnesty discussions have Californians on edge. Once amnesty banter picks up on Capitol Hill, border crossings surge, and overpopulated California is a popular migrant destination.

In April, border patrol agents reported only 11,125 apprehensions, a 17-year low, but in August the total had doubled to 22,300 as foreign nationals that include unaccompanied minors and family units raced to cross the border before President Trump’s wall became a reality, and in enough time to qualify for amnesty. Noting that July apprehensions were 18,190, a U.S. immigration official said: “…the numbers are creeping up.”

With Congress considering four amnesties, little wonder that a crossing spike is underway. The amnesties are:
  1. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, that would give permanent residency and lifetime work authorization to about 800,000.
  2. The DREAM Act that would give an amnesty with lifetime work permits and a path to citizenship to 3.3 million. About 14 million new immigrants would arrive through chain migration that the DREAM Act allows. Between 1981 and 2016, 20 million of the total 33 million legal immigrants admitted to the United States arrived through chain migration categories.
  3. The SUCCEED Act, a Capitol Hill business as usual bill, much like the DREAM Act.
  4. The Agricultural Guest Worker Act that would create a new temporary guest worker visa, the H-2C visa which would replace the H-2B. The AG Act would also grant an amnesty to illegal aliens currently working in agriculture by allowing them to receive the H-2C visas, and then giving them an opportunity to adjust to legal permanent residency, green card status after four years.
None of the four amnesties provide for much needed mandatory E-Verify or other enforcement protections.
 
Few voters, especially those that support population stabilization and immigration enforcement, could have foreseen that eight months into President Trump’s administration, Congress would be debating four amnesties that would flood the labor market with more legally authorized foreign-born workers, and lure more people to the overcrowded United States.
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