Monday, June 10, 2013

Senate Bill Doubles Annual Flow of Guest Workers

Increase even larger than one proposed and rejected in 2007

The Schumer-Rubio bill, which will be debated by the full Senate starting next week, would allow unprecedented increases in the number of temporary workers. A new Center for Immigration Studies analysis of the bill finds that, in the first year, the bill (S.744) would admit nearly 1.6 million more temporary workers than currently allowed. After that initial spike, the bill would increase annual temporary worker admissions by more than 600,000 each year over the current level – an increase four times larger than the one called for in the 2007 Bush-Kennedy proposal (about 125,000).

As a result, this bill would roughly double the number of temporary workers admitted each year (nearly 700,000 in 2012). These workers are classified as "non-immigrants" and would be in addition to S.744's large proposed increase in annual permanent legal immigrants competing for jobs (more than 30 million in the next decade).

The estimates are also available online at:

The 2007 bill was defeated in part due to widespread concerns over the increase in the number of guest workers. While the sponsors of S.744 have suggested that this bill more responsibly manages the number of guest workers than the rejected 2007 proposal, it allows for dramatically more guest workers than the 2007 plan did. Such a large number by definition will displace American workers and the chronically unemployed. It will also reduce job opportunities for legal immigrants. By any measure, S.744 is worse for workers, at a worse time, than previous attempts at comprehensive reform. As Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recently put it in an interview, "This is a massive effort to attract cheap labor, a great disservice to American workers."

In addition to expanding the controversial H-1B program, known for its association with overseas-based body shops and also a 20 percent fraud and non-compliance rate, the Schumer-Rubio bill adds several new guest worker programs. For instance, it creates a new H-1B-style visa for workers from countries that have a free trade agreement with the United States, offering 5,000 visas to each of more than 30 countries. This provision could add 155,000 new guest workers each year, which is greater than the current H-1B program. Farm worker visas would more than double under the plan, and a new visa for unskilled workers would bring in at least 20,000 per year.

Changes in two existing programs would result in a short-term surge of more than one million new workers. First, the bill would offer work permits to spouses of certain H-1B workers already in the United States, plus spouses of new entrants. Second, the new V-1 visas would allow more than 900,000 family members who are on the family visa waiting list to enter and receive work permits before their green card applications are approved.

While the bill establishes limits in most of the new categories, paradoxically it also gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the discretion to waive these limits if demand is high.

It is important to note that, contrary to what is often erroneously reported in the news media, these programs do not require employers to show that they tried and failed to find U.S. workers, or that there is a shortage of workers.

"If it passes, the Schumer-Rubio bill could wreak havoc in U.S. labor markets, and shut out even more Americans from job opportunities, especially minorities, whether in STEM fields, agriculture, construction or health care," said Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the Center. "Most of these temporary worker increases are just gratuitous and have no economic justification whatsoever," said Vaughan.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820,  Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076.  Email: Contact: Marguerite Telford, 202-466-8185,  The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States.  The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Immigration bill pardons deportees, wasting taxpayer billions

Members of the Senate’s Gang of Eight have assured Americans their bill will not incur any costs.

“Our watchword here is to have this bill pay for itself,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., one of the bill’s main advocates, told colleagues during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s markup.

But what about the taxpayer money already spent on persons no longer in this country?

Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports that for each illegal immigrant arrested, detained and deported, American taxpayers sustained a $12,500 tab. In just the 2012 fiscal year, that meant 324,299 people, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Studies.

American taxpayers will have spent roughly $11.3 billion in the last five years on the deportation of illegal immigrants only to have some of them allowed to return to this country.

In the proposed legislation, previously deported persons would be eligible to apply for “registered provisional immigrant” status as long as their deportation was not the result of a crime for which they were convicted and they are the spouse, child or parent of a U.S. citizen or green card holder. An estimated 900,000 deportees would meet the above criteria, according to an analysis performed by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nonprofit activist group that opposes liberalization of immigration law.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank dedicated to studying the fiscal consequences of immigration, believes that by allowing deportees to re-enter the country, legislators are effectively apologizing for enforcing the law.

“Essentially the bank robber gets out of jail and also gets to keep whatever money he stole,” Krikorian said. “It seems to be one of the most absurd elements of this legislation.”

Randy Capps, a senior policy analyst for the Migration Policy Institute, which believes the Gang of Eight bill adequately serves the national interest, sees allowing deportees to return as beneficial.

“I think that allowing deported parents to come back and work to support their families actually is going to save government money in the long run,” Capps said.

A recent report by the Heritage Foundation shows Capps might be onto something.

“During the interim phase immediately after amnesty, tax payments would increase more than government benefits,” the report indicates.

However, the Heritage Foundation does not see this lasting.

“Restricting access to benefits for the first 13 years after amnesty therefore has only marginal impact on the long-term costs,” the report says.


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