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Rep. Gutierrez Introduces Mass Amnesty Bill | NumbersUSA - For Lower Immigration Levels

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Rep. Gutierrez Introduces Mass Amnesty Bill

Rep. Luis Gutierrez

Rep. Luis Gutierrez

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) introduced legislation today that offers amnesty to the nation's estimated 11-18 million illegal aliens. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act (H.R. 4321) would increase annual immigration numbers while putting an end to many of the enforcement mechanisms currently put into place by federal, state and local governments.

Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas) is the bill's official sponsor. The bill was introduced with 91 original cosponsors including Rep. Gutierrez.

H.R. 4321 would offer amnesty to all illegal aliens living in the United States at the time of the bill's passage as long as they meet a short list of requirements, including a criminal and security background check and a fine of $500 which will be waved for children and individuals who entered the country before the age of 16. Illegal aliens can then become citizenship by meeting requirements over a six-year period.

The bill would also discontinue E-Verify in lieu of a new employment authorization system. The initial outline of the bill provided by the American Immigration Lawyers Association does not offer details of the new system, but Rep. Gutierrez championed a biometrics verification system during a Senate Immigration Subcommittee hearing earlier this year. 

The bill would create an independent commission that would make recomendation towards the future flow of workers based on the needs of the market place. The bill would also establish a work match system that allows employers who have historically relied on illegal workers to find workers through an internet-based system.

The bill would attempt to close up some of the loopholes in current visa classes, more specifically the H-1B visas for high-skilled workers, but the bill would not reduce the number of these visas currently issued.

The bill also includes the AgJOBS amnesty, which grants amnesty to illegal farm workers who can prove they've worked consistently in the United States over a set period of time, and the DREAM Act, which grants amnesty to illegal aliens who graduated from U.S. high schools and wish to attend college.

The following summary is provided by the American Immigration Lawyers Association...

Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009

 

TITLE I - BORDER SECURITY, DETENTION, AND ENFORCEMENT

Subtitle A - Border Security:

Subtitle A of Title I assembles a vision of effective and accountable enforcement for the 21st century through maximizing border security by requiring the Secretary of Homeland Security to form a national strategy that is consistent with the progress already made. In order to achieve these goals, oversight and accountability for the Department of Homeland Security is emphasized, especially as they pertain to fiscal appropriations and cost-benefit analyses of operations and programs.

Protecting Our Borders: This subtitle protects United States border cities and communities from violence and crime along the U.S.-Mexico border by:

  • Creating a Southern Border Security Task Force that is composed of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers
  • Requiring a security plan for land ports of entry at the borders involved in international trade
  • Expanding the programs under the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism that is in accordance to the SAFE Port Act
  • Improving the exchange of information between federal agencies on North American Security by a conducting a targeted study of security clearance standards, document integrity, immigration and visa management and coordination, terrorist watch lists and smuggling operations

Effective Enforcement: Subtitle A achieves effective enforcement by improving personnel, assets and technology. This section:

  • Supports additional training, oversight and evaluation for agents who are the first face of America at the borders
  • Ensures that Customs and Border Protection have sufficient personal equipment like body armor, weapons, and uniforms, and that Customs and Border Protection have sufficient assets such as helicopters, power boats, motor vehicles and other electronic equipment
  • Promotes standards for searches of electronic devices and appropriate training for agents in conducting such searches
  • Minimizes wasteful spending by developing and studying comprehensive uses of advanced technologies, such as aerial and automated surveillance
  • Requires an inventory prior to any increase of personnel assets and technology

Securing Ports of Entry: Our nation's ports of entry are modernized for our economic benefit and security by conducting a study of the infrastructure and operations to identify necessary improvements and projects to enhance border security and the flow of legitimate commerce and travel. This section:

  • Improves infrastructure and recalibrates resources and training to allow for more effective screening of commercial goods and individuals so as to minimize threats to national security at ports of entry
  • Increases the number of full-time port of entry inspectors, agricultural specialists, and support staff to improve the timely and safe flow of commercial goods and individuals
  • Establishes a demonstration project to test and evaluate new port of entry technologies and also refines existing technologies and operational concepts

Combating Criminal Activity: This subtitle recognizes the role of state law enforcement at the border in combating criminal activity by creating border relief grant programs for Northern and Southern border state, local and tribal law enforcement entities. This section:

  • Enables better training and technical assistance for state and local partners that deals with narcotics-related kidnapping, drug trafficking and the interdiction of weapons and currency
  • Facilitates information-sharing and collaboration between federal and state partners
  • Suspends the Operation Streamline program pending review of the goals, impacts and costbenefit analyses
  • Reimburses Northern and Southern border state and local prosecutors for prosecuting federally initiated drug cases
  • Provides expanded resources for Operation Armas Cruzadas and Project Gunrunner to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals involved in the trafficking and smuggling of firearms between Mexico and the United States.

Improving Partnerships: The importance of border communities as partners and allies are recognized as key in achieving effective enforcement by prioritizing community consultation in developing enforcement policies, border protection strategies and training. This subtitle:

  • Establishes the U.S.-Mexico Border Enforcement Commission and a Border Communities Liaison Office to foster and institutionalize community consultation
  • Prohibits military involvement in non-emergency border enforcement
  • Prioritizes mitigating adverse impacts to federal, tribal, state, local and private lands, waters, wildlife and habitats by promoting cross-agency development of comprehensive monitoring and mitigation of ecological and environmental impacts of border security infrastructure and activity

Combating Human Trafficking: Subtitle A requires the development and implementation of a plan to improve coordination amongst federal and state partners to address human smuggling and migrant deaths. This section calls for additional ICE agents dedicated to combating human smuggling are stationed at ports of entry, requires reporting on migrant deaths, and establishes a study of strategies used at the Southern border to address this problem.

Subtitle B - Detention:

Improving Conditions of Detention: The bill requires DHS to meet minimum requirements to ensure the humane treatment of detainees. Minimum requirements include:

  • Adequate medical and mental health screenings, evaluations, medically necessary treatment, and continuing care
  • A review process for medical treatment requests and complete and confidential medical records
  • Reasonable access to telephones, affordable rates, and privacy protections for calls
  • Protections from sexual abuse, care for victims, and reports and investigations of abuse
  • Protection from transfers that fail to consider health and access to counsel

To ensure compliance with minimum detention conditions, the bill requires rulemaking and enforcement. An independent immigration detention commission is established to investigate and report on compliance. DHS must report the death of a detainee within 48 hours, and report annually to Congress on the circumstances of all deaths in detention.

Protecting U.S. Citizens, Lawfully Present Immigrants, Vulnerable Populations, and Communities: This section increases screening and protections during immigration-related enforcement activities for U.S. citizens, Legal Permanent Residents, others lawfully present in the U.S., and vulnerable populations. Social service agencies, translators, and legal services must be available during enforcement activities. DHS will be required to:

  • Issue regulations prohibiting apprehensions at enumerated community, educational, and religious locations
  • Provide access to legal orientation programs and access to counsel during enforcement activities and for disabled individuals unable to fully participate in removal proceedings
  • Give timely notice and service of immigration charges, as well as timely bond hearings if detained more than 48 hours

This section increases protections for individuals subject to immigration detainers, limits the use of detainers to confirmed removable aliens, and requires DHS to collect data and report on detainer use. The unnecessary detention of refugees is prohibited. DHS is required to report to Congress on the impact of immigration-related enforcement activities.

Improving Secure Alternative to Detention Programs: Criteria are established to guide detention and release decisions and require release for vulnerable populations. Detention decisions must be in writing, served upon detainees, and are subject to redetermination by an immigration judge.

Protecting Family Unity: Families with children may not be separated except in exceptional circumstances where alternatives to detention are not available. Residential, non-penal facilities are developed for any necessary family detention with appropriate protections for children and parental rights. The bill includes safeguards for families and children during immigration-related enforcement actions by:

  • Improving child welfare services for children separated from parents and guardians who are in immigration detention or have been removed
  • Requiring training for federal and state personnel who interact with separated children and for staff at immigration detention facilities on parental rights, humanitarian, and due process protections
  • Ensuring protections for detained parents, guardians, and caregivers in immigration detention to promote access to children, family courts, child welfare services, and consular officials

Protecting Unaccompanied Alien Children: Training is required for DHS employees who encounter unaccompanied alien children. Upon apprehension of an unaccompanied alien child, immediate notice is required by DHS or ORR and transfer to ORR custody within 24 hours.

Subtitle C - Enforcement:

Protecting workers: Provides temporary visas and work authorization for detained workers when they have been retaliated against by their employer for asserting their labor rights and they agree to pursue labor claims against their employer. Also expands U visas to provide for whistleblower protections with regard to worker exploitation, civil rights violations and retaliation for exercising labor rights.

Address Reporting: Clarifies address reporting requirements

Ending Discrimination: Preempts any state or local law that discriminates against an individual based on immigration status or imposes sanctions on any individual or entity based on the immigration status of its clients, employees or tenants

Repeals the 287(g) program: Repeals the 287(g) program and clarifies that the authority to enforce federal immigration law lies solely with the federal government

ICE Ombudsman: Establishes an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Ombudsman Asylum: Eliminates the arbitrary 1-year bar to applying for asylum

Restores federal jurisdiction: Restores the federal courts of their jurisdiction to review decisions and practices of DHS thereby also restoring the historic role that the courts play in reviewing agency actions

TITLE II - EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION

This section sets up an employment verification system for employers to verify each new hire’s authorization to work. The new system will eventually apply to all workers and all new hires, and will be rolled out in phases, beginning with critical infrastructure employers and large employers. The employment verification system:

  • Creates significant civil penalties for employers who do not comply with the requirements under the new system
  • Establishes serious criminal penalties for knowingly hiring unauthorized aliens
  • Debars employers who repeatedly violate these provisions from government contracts, grants, and agreements
  • Includes privacy safeguards by limiting the data that can be collected and stored in the database and requiring the agencies to develop the system with maximum security and privacy protections
  • Requires the agencies to evaluate impact of system from a privacy perspective and complete privacy impact statements
  • Prohibits creation of a national identification card
  • Includes anti-discrimination provisions. Forbids employers from using the new system to discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of nationality. Prohibits employers from terminating employment due to a tentative non-confirmation, using the system to screen employees prior to offering employment, or using the system selectively
  • Allows an individual to register with the Social Security Administration and acquire a PIN that would allow them electronic access to their file in the system, update their information, and lock their file for purposes of employment

TITLE III - VISA REFORMS

Backlog Reduction and Numerical Limit Reforms:

Reduction of existing backlogs: Permits the “recapture” of unused employment-based visas and family-sponsored visas from fiscal years 1992-2008 and allows future unused visa numbers to roll over to next fiscal year. Immediate relatives are exempted from the annual cap on the number of immigrant visas. This section increases the percentage limit of visas which may be issued yearly to a single country.

Promotion of Family Unity: To recognize family unity principles and facilitate backlog reduction, reclassifies spouses and children of lawful permanent residents as immediate relatives. The government is given greater discretionary authority to waive unlawful presence bars to reunite families upon a demonstration of hardship for applicant’s U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members.

Sons and daughters of Filipino World War II veterans: Exempts the sons and daughters of Filipino WWII veterans from the annual numerical limitations.

Immigrants with Advanced Skills Exempt from Visa Cap: Exempts several categories of highly skilled workers from the employment-based immigrant visa cap.

Retaining Workers Subject to the Green Card Backlog: Current nonimmigrant skilled workers whose employer has petitioned for an employment-based green card on their behalf and their dependents will be permitted to file an application for adjustment of status, regardless of whether a visa is immediately available. An applicant under this section must pay a supplemental $500 fee, to be used by DHS for backlog reduction and clearing security background check delays. The Secretary shall provide employment and travel authorization in 3- year increments while the application is pending.

Protection of Children and Families:

Relief for Orphans and Widows: Ensures that surviving spouses and children applying for adjustment of status or naturalization, including spouses and children of asylees and refugees, retain eligibility for waivers and other considerations that would have been available to them at the time of the petitioner’s death.

Reform of Cancellation of Removal: Permits immigration judges greater discretion in determining eligibility requirements for long-term lawful permanent residents seeking cancellation of removal. Eliminates prohibitions on including time spent in the United States after becoming inadmissible or being placed in removal proceedings as counting towards continuous presence requirements for cancellation of removal.

Protection for Refugees, Parolees or Asylees: Prohibits the removal of any individual who fled his or her homeland for fear of persecution before the age of twelve and was subsequently admitted into the United States as a parolee or refugee or was granted asylum in the U.S.

Enhanced Protections for Children: Revises current law to ensure that the children of fiancés of United States citizens will be protected from aging out of eligibility to adjust to conditional resident status by requiring that eligibility determinations are based on the child's age at the time the U.S. citizen files a petition for classifying the child's parent as a fiancé or spouse. Eliminates he requirement that stepchildren must have been under the age of 18 at the time the qualifying marriage took place in order to be classified as a child for purposes of immigration eligibility.

Limits on Removal for Parents of U.S. Citizen Children: Permits an immigration judge to decline to order the removal of the parent of U.S. citizen child if the judge determines that removal would not be in the child's best interests and the parent is not subject to removal based on national security, terrorism or trafficking grounds.

Determinations under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998: This section amends the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998 (HRIFA) to preserve eligibility for children of applicants based on their age on the date of enactment of HRIFA and permits new applications and motions to reopen on that basis.

Affidavit of Support: Revises the eligibility requirements for sponsorship of immigrants by reducing the level of support required from 125% of poverty level to 100% of poverty level.

Return of Talent Program: Permits lawful permanent residents to temporarily return to their home country to assist in post-conflict or natural disaster reconstruction activities, for up to two years without losing credit towards time as a continuous resident of the U.S. for purposes of applying for naturalization.

Humanitarian Visa Program to Prevent Unauthorized Migration (PUM Visa): Prevent Unauthorized Migration Visa (PUM Visa) Creates a stop-gap new visa program that will provide for safe, humanitarian migration during the three-year transition period before the implementation of recommendations made by the new Labor Commission.

  • One hundred thousand PUM visas will be made available annually, for three years, to persons from sending countries of unauthorized migration to the United States to be distributed on a percentage basis through a lottery system.
  • Individuals may apply to the lottery if they are not present in the United States at the time of filing, do not have other family or employment-based means to immigration, submit to criminal background checks, and have completed less than a 4-year college degree program.
  • Individuals awarded visas will be admitted to the United States as conditional residents and may petition to remove the condition after three years upon showing they have good moral character, pass all required background and security checks, comply with all tax requirements and other factors, including payment of a $500 fee that will be used to fund security and employment programs.

TITLE IV – EARNED LEGALIZATION PROGRAM FOR THE UNDOCUMENTED

Visa Program for Qualified Undocumented Workers: Creates a program providing conditional nonimmigrant status for undocumented immigrants (and their spouses and children) in the U.S., which is valid for six years.

Features of the Conditional Nonimmigrant Program:

  • Provides conditional nonimmigrant visa applicants with work and travel authorization and protection from removal
  • Bars related to undocumented status will be waived (security and criminal bars cannot be waived)
  • Contains provisions for administrative and judicial review of denied applications

Requirements for Conditional Nonimmigrant Status: The alien must:

  • Establish presence in the U.S. on the day of introduction, and continuously thereafter
  • At time of registration, attests to contributions to the U.S. through employment, education, military service, or other volunteer/community service (with exemptions for minors, persons with disabilities, the elderly, or other unusual circumstances)
  • Complete criminal and security background checks
  • Pay a $500 fine plus necessary application fees (fine exemption for children and certain immigrants who initially entered the U.S. before the age of 16)
  • The individual shall be ineligible to receive a visa as a result of a serious criminal conviction, persecution of another person or reasonable grounds for believing that the alien committed a particularly serious crime abroad
  • There is a penalty of up to five years' imprisonment for anyone who willfully falsifies information in an application for conditional nonimmigrant status

Adjustment of Status to LPR: Provides qualified conditional nonimmigrants and their spouses and children with an opportunity to apply for lawful permanent resident status (green card) and eventual citizenship.

Features of the Earned Adjustment of Status Program:

  • No green cards may be issued under this program earlier than six years after the date of enactment unless existing immigrant backlogs have been cleared before that time
  • The Department of State and DHS are required to provide any requesting law enforcement entity with information furnished on an application in connection with a criminal or national security investigation or prosecution
  • New penalties for making false statements in an application for earned citizenship are created
  • Immigrants who adjust from a conditional nonimmigrant visa (including dependents) to lawful permanent resident status shall not be counted against the worldwide numerical visa caps
  • Those appealing decisions associated with the application for adjustment to permanent status have access to a defined administrative and judicial process

Special Rule for Persons Brought to the United States Before the Age of 16: In order to simplify processing of applicants under CIR ASAP, those persons ordinarily covered under the DREAM Act will apply for status through the same program outlined above, with the following special features:

  • No fines for persons who were brought to the United States before the age of 16, have resided in the U.S. for at least five years, and were 35 years of age or less
  • Such persons will be eligible for accelerated LPR status upon graduation from high school, and completion of two years of college, military service, or employment. Persons granted LPR status under this provision will be eligible for naturalization three years after the date LPR status is granted
  • Graduation from a U.S. high school or receipt of an equivalency degree will meet the English proficiency requirement
  • Individual states permitted to determine residency requirements for in-state tuition purposes

Requirements for Earned Adjustment: The applicant must:

  • Demonstrate contribution to the United States through employment, education, military service, or voluntary or community service, where applicable
  • Complete criminal and security background checks
  • Establish registration under the Selective Service (if applicable)
  • Meet English and civics requirements
  • Undergo a medical examination
  • Pay all taxes
  • Show admissibility to the U.S

Other Provisions in Title IV:

AgJOBS Act of 2009

TITLE V - STRENGTHENING AMERICA'S WORKFORCE

Title V of CIR ASAP strengthens America's workforce by reforming the badly-flawed H-1B, H- 2B and L-1 visa programs and establishes a Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets to provide researched, unbiased, accurate recommendations for future flows of workers. It also permanently reauthorizes the EB-5 visa program and establishes stricter requirements for employers and recruiters of foreign workers. Title V additionally establishes the American Worker Recruit and Match System which will match qualified individuals with job opportunities in fields that traditionally have relied on unauthorized labor. Furthermore, this title establishes the Security and Prosperity Account which directs funds raised from fines in the earned legalization program to fortify America's workforce, integrate new Americans and safeguard our borders.

Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets: Title V establishes a new independent federal agency known as the Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets. The Commission will:

  • Establish employment based-immigration policies that promote economic growth and competitiveness while minimizing job displacement, wage depression and unauthorized employment
  • Create and implement a policy-focused research agenda on the economic impact of immigration on multiple levels
  • Collect and analyze information on employment-based immigration and publish the data and analysis
  • Recommend to Congress and the President appropriate methods for determining the levels of employment-based immigration and assessing the effects of such immigration as well as the numerical levels and characteristics of procedures for future flows of workers to be admitted into the United States

Security and Prosperity Account: The Security and Prosperity Account is established in Title V to fund efforts to strengthen our workforce, including:

  • Grants to states for adult and dislocated worker employment and training activities
  • Funding for the Electronic Employment Verification System to ensure that all individuals working in the U.S. are authorized to do so
  • Funding for the Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets to provide sound, researched and objective employment based immigration policy
  • Dislocated workers assistance national reserve funding
  • Establishment of AWRMS programs and funds educational purposes
  • Funding to reduce the USCIS visa backlog to ensure a timely and reliable process for all individuals applying for visas and further the integration of new Americas with programs that, for example, facilitate citizenship for legal permanent resident students and create citizenship promotion services
  • Funding for border security, detention and enforcement activities

American Worker Recruit and Match System: Title V establishes the American Worker Recruit and Match System (AWRMS), which is an internet-based program that is set up by each State Workforce Agency (SWA) to be incorporated into current Web-based job search engines. AWRMS is a searchable database that allows employers to post job opportunities in fields that have traditionally relied on unauthorized labor. In addition, individuals can post their employment profiles and AWRMS will match employers with qualified individuals.

Protecting Workers: Title V protects foreign workers from exploitation and abuse by ensuring that each prospective employee is provided a written description of the terms of their employment which may not knowingly include any misleading or false information. In addition, each employer must provide to the Secretary of Labor the identity of all recruiters working on their behalf and any possible violations committed by a recruiter. An employer will be held responsible for the actions of a recruiter and may be subject to civil penalties.

H-1B visa program: The current H-1B visa program does not adequately protect American or H-1B workers. Title V reforms the H-1B visa program to:

  • Ensure that before an employer can hire an H-1B worker, the employer must meet strict requirements for the recruitment of American workers
  • Authorize the Department of Labor (DOL) to initiate investigations into possible fraud and abuse in the absence of a formal complaint and/or the Secretary's approval.
  • Increase penalties for violations
  • Authorize the DOL to conduct annual audits of employers that rely heavily on the H-1B program

L-1 visa program: The L-1 visa program is currently vulnerable to fraud and abuse. CIR ASAP authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to audit L-1 visa participants. Penalties will be assessed for violations of the provisions of the L-1 visa program.

H-2B visa program: The H-2B visa program is reformed to prevent the exploitation of H-2B non-immigrants and the depression of wages and other workplace abuses by exploitative employers. Reforms to the program:

  • Include stricter requirements for recruitment of American workers
  • Prevent employers from participating in the program if they have conducted a mass lay-off in the past year and includes strengthened worker protections

EB-5 Visa program: The EB-5 Visa program is permanently reauthorized within Title V with an increase in available visas to 10,000. It also allows for an expedited processing of petitions for a fee of $2,500. The definition of Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is expanded to include:

  • Rural areas,
  • High-unemployment areas
  • Counties with a 20 percent or more population decrease since 1970
  • Areas within the boundaries of state or federal economic development incentive programs
  • Areas designated as TEAs by a state agency authorized by the Governor
  • Areas designated as TEAs during the two year period before visa application

In addition, Title V requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to study and report on the current job creation counting methodology and how to promote the employment creation program to overseas investors. Lastly it creates a new category of job-producing foreigners eligible for visas: venture capitalist seeking a Founder's visa.

TITLE VI - INTEGRATION OF NEW AMERICANS

Immigration Fees: Immigration fees have risen steeply in the past decade. Title VI will ensure that future fee increase requests receive closer scrutiny than provided by the largely perfunctory regulatory public comment process. Title VI incorporates and expands on provisions of the Citizenship Promotion Act of 2007 to make citizenship more accessible and affordable. This title:

  • Provides for greater transparency for immigration application fees and encourages a uniform process to submit fee waiver applications
  • Provides for uniform administration of the naturalization exam
  • Promotes citizenship of the elderly by adjusting the age requirements for English language exemption

Improving the Naturalization Process: The process for naturalization is lengthy and difficult to navigate. Title VI creates reforms that encourage citizenship among immigrant communities. This section requires timely response on background checks and evaluates their efficiency. In addition, this title includes a grant program for community based organizations to promote and help immigrants prepare for citizenship. These grants in support of naturalization efforts will assist legal permanent residents with:

  • English language and citizenship classes
  • Legal assistance
  • Community outreach activities
  • Assisting aliens with applications for citizenship

Integration Grant Programs:

Title VI includes a grant program for education, training and support efforts relating to the provisions of the CIR ASAP Act, including protections from immigration fraud and the availability of benefits provided by the act. Provisions ensure that to the extent possible, the nonprofit community organizations receiving grants serve geographically diverse and ethnically diverse locations.

USCIS Grant Program: Title VI establishes a grant program within USCIS that provides funding to community-based organizations, including community-based legal service organizations, as appropriate, to develop and implement programs to assist eligible applicants for naturalization. Grants provided for in Title VI will be funded through fees and fines deposited in the Security and Prosperity Account.

Initial Entry, Adjustment, and Citizenship Assistant Grant Program: Title VI establishes the Initial Entry, Adjustment and Citizenship Assistance Grant Program. IEACA grants will be awarded to community-based organizations for the design and implementation of programs to provide the following services:

  • Assistance and instruction, including legal assistance, to aliens making initial application for conditional nonimmigrant or conditional nonimmigrant dependent classification
  • Assistance and instruction, including legal assistance, to aliens seeking to adjust their status
  • Assistance and instruction to applicants on the rights and responsibilities of US citizenship and English language proficiency

Improving Naturalization for Legal Permanent Residents: Facilitates citizenship among Legal Permanent Resident students that want to naturalize. Legal Permanent Resident students will be deemed to have satisfied the language and civics requirements for naturalization if they are able to demonstrate they graduated high school after completing grades 6 through 12 in the United States and the curriculum reflects knowledge of U.S. history, Government, and civics.

Strengthening Communities: Title VI strengthens and unites communities by creating incentives for English language acquisition programs. Creates tax credits for teachers in limited English proficient schools. Provides employers with a tax credit for qualified English language education programs. Authorizes states to form State New American Councils comprised of 15- 19 individuals from state and local government, business and community organizations.

Celebrating Citizenship: Title VI celebrates the citizenship of new Americans and encourages these individuals to integrate into their communities. It provides for the availability of funds to the Director of USCIS or to approved public or private nonprofit entities to support public ceremonies for administering oaths of allegiance to naturalizing legal immigrants. Independence Day naturalization ceremonies include appropriate outreach, ceremonial, and celebratory activities. This program shall be funded through fees and fines deposited in the Security and Prosperity Account.

Related Searches:

Reports

Border Patrol Immigration Reform Plan

Reports - Friday, March 4, 2011

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) is a national, non-profit, public interest organization of concerned citizens. Our ranks include officers who spent their careers on the Canadian and Mexican borders, in Florida, on the Gulf Coast, in Puerto Rico, and in foreign lands enduring discomfort and danger as they worked to protect and serve our nation. Many of us went on to high positions in the Border Patrol or its parent organization, the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Now, though we are retired we recall our oath of office and we share a common bond and heritage with our brothers and sisters who still serve our country as members of the Department of Homeland Security. With that oath and bond in mind, we submit to you A Proposal for Comprehensive Immigration Enforcement and Reform.

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Quotes

Sen. LeMeiux (R-Fla.) - Secure the Borders

Quotes - Wednesday, September 9, 2009

LeMieux appears likely to steer clear of Martinez's controversial attempts to overhaul immigration law, which would include a path to citizenship for the undocumented. "We need to secure our borders," LeMieux said. "After we do that, we can figure what happens to people already here."

By William E. Gibson -- Sun (Ft. Lauderdale) Sentinel

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/orl-lemieux-senate-090909,0,4035843.story

Sen. Bennet (D-Colo.) -- Favors Amnesty

Quotes - Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sen. Michael Bennet, potentially wading into a heated political debate a year before he runs for his first election, said Saturday he supports a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally.

Speaking at a news conference of four Colorado congressional Democrats touting efforts during Barack Obama's first 100 days in office and the new Congress, Bennet said a path to citizenship along with increased border enforcement should be part of comprehensive immigration reform.

'The current status quo is clearly unacceptable on so many levels,' Bennet said.

He said the path to citizenship should come with requirements, including completing education, learning English and holding a job….

…'Not withstanding all the demagoguery on the issue, this country needs to have comprehensive immigration reform,' Bennet said. 'The question is the timing, and that I can't answer today.' …

By P. Solomon Banda -- The Associated Press

http://www.gazette.com/articles/path_52456___article.html/bennet_supports.html

Sen. McCaskill (D-Mo.) -- Supports Dream

Quotes - Tuesday, April 7, 2009

…McCaskill, in turn, reaffirmed her longstanding argument that the best way to battle illegal immigration is to enforce stiff penalties on employers who knowingly hired illegals and, for example, "put 14 in a hotel room ...and pay them $200 in cash on Fridays" to work as roofing or lawn crews.

Such jobs are the real enticement for illegal immigrants and their disappearance is the best was to discourage it, the senator said.

However, McCaskill emphasized that she also had sympathy for some teenagers who had been brought to the United States as infants or toddlers by their illegal-immigrant parents. The teens (some who were unaware of their illegal status) now face deportation, because their status became known when they applied for college or the military.

By Jo Mannies -- St. Louis Beacon

…McCaskill, in turn, reaffirmed her longstanding argument that the best way to battle illegal immigration is to enforce stiff penalties on employers who knowingly hired illegals and, for example, "put 14 in a hotel room ...and pay them $200 in cash on Fridays" to work as roofing or lawn crews.

Such jobs are the real enticement for illegal immigrants and their disappearance is the best was to discourage it, the senator said.

However, McCaskill emphasized that she also had sympathy for some teenagers who had been brought to the United States as infants or toddlers by their illegal-immigrant parents. The teens (some who were unaware of their illegal status) now face deportation, because their status became known when they applied for college or the military.

"We have a heart-breaking example of young woman in mid-Missouri. Who's valedictorian of her class,'' McCaskill said. "Huge community leader in her church. Now having trouble staying the country because her parents didn't follow the rules.'' …

…"The DREAM Act is hard,'' McCaskill said. But she then added, "I will probably vote for the DREAM act. I didn't vote for it last time."

The difference with the new version is that it's tightly tailored to address only a limited number cases of illegal-immigrant teens who have been longtime U.S. residents and could be productive adult citizens, McCaskill said…

By Jo Mannies -- St. Louis Beacon

Show More http://www.stlbeacon.org/beacon_backroom/mccaskill_buffeted_by_immigration_woes_supports_trimmed-down_dream_bill

Sen. Kyl (R-Ariz.) -- Secure the Borders, Limit Chain Migration

Quotes - Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kyl isn't saying no to immigration reform out of hand, but he supports a position first articulated by McCain during the campaign: that Congress must convince the American people that the borders are secure before pursuing other reforms that critics view as benefiting illegal immigrants…

He also credited Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Kennedy for their willingness to make concessions, particularly on restricting family "chain migration," upon which Kyl says few other countries base their immigration systems. With chain migration, immigrants can facilitate visas for relatives.

Kennedy's conciliatory attitude prompted Kyl to make concessions, too. He agreed to a proposed pathway to citizenship for many who are now in the country illegally. Kyl prefers a system based on the U.S. marketplace's need for temporary workers and had opposed such a pathway in 2006.

By Dan Nowicki -- Arizona Republic

Kyl isn't saying no to immigration reform out of hand, but he supports a position first articulated by McCain during the campaign: that Congress must convince the American people that the borders are secure before pursuing other reforms that critics view as benefiting illegal immigrants…

He also credited Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Kennedy for their willingness to make concessions, particularly on restricting family "chain migration," upon which Kyl says few other countries base their immigration systems. With chain migration, immigrants can facilitate visas for relatives.

Kennedy's conciliatory attitude prompted Kyl to make concessions, too. He agreed to a proposed pathway to citizenship for many who are now in the country illegally. Kyl prefers a system based on the U.S. marketplace's need for temporary workers and had opposed such a pathway in 2006.

"I doubt that the public thinks we're there yet, and I'm not sure that the same basic trade-offs will be agreed to again," Kyl said. "I don't know whether the Obama administration would be willing to consider the same changes, but they were critical to my support for the ultimate bill. And if they alter the agreement significantly, and I suspect they will do so, then the equation for trade-offs becomes totally different."

By Dan Nowicki -- Arizona Republic

Show More http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2008/12/20/20081220kyl-immig1220.html

Sen. Wicker (R-Miss.) -- Increase Border Control, Expand E-Verify

Quotes - Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wicker said he has supported legislation to increase military presence on the country's border with Mexico and a more stringent employment verification system.

"We need to make sure the E-Verify system is as accurate and instantaneous as it can be," he said. "I know there are people who think it's inaccurate, (but) it seemed to be a system on the right track to me."

In a wide-ranging interview, Wicker said he disagrees that babies born in the United States to parents who are in the country illegally should automatically become American citizens.

"I personally don't think that, and that alone, should confer citizenship on someone," Wicker said. "It would take a statute to be passed to say that interpretation of the 14th Amendment is incorrect. I would vote for such a statute to say something more has to take place than for the child to be physically born of illegal immigrant parents for that child to be a citizen."…

By Terry L. Jones -- Hattiesburg American

http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080827/NEWS01/808270381

Sen. Hutchison (R-Texas) -- Favors Guest-Worker Program

Quotes - Monday, September 17, 2007

Hutchison made clear the GOP plan, shaping up as the rival to Feinstein's AgJobs bill, would not offer citizenship to the temporary workers.

"The problem we had in the last bill was the controversy over amnesty," Hutchison said when asked how her legislation could avoid the fate of the proposed comprehensive immigration fix.

Sessions, who called AgJobs a "massive amnesty," is pressing for a program that would allow foreign workers to stay in the U.S. for as long as 10 months and then return home before applying to re-enter for another temporary work cycle...

…Hutchison is making no promises. "I don't know if we are going to be successful," she said. But, she added, "Let's try taking it in smaller pieces and do what, really, Congresses in the past should have done."

Houston Chronicle

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5139911.html

Sen. Dorgan (D-N.D.) -- Secure Boders

Quotes - Friday, June 29, 2007

this issue will come back. I think the first thing’s first: to provide demonstrated border security and border enforcement. At that point the American people will feel that we’re doing the first thing we need to do.

The Hill

http://blog.thehill.com/2007/06/29/the-immigration-debate-is-not-over-sen-byron-dorgan/

Publications

National All-Voters Immigration Poll - February 2014

Fact Sheets - Friday, February 21, 2014

National All-Voters Immigration Poll - Feb. 2014

Fact Sheets - Friday, February 21, 2014

Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration September 2013 Letter to Congress

Letters & Endorsements - Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rep. Stockman "No Conference" Dear Colleague Letter

Letters & Endorsements - Wednesday, September 18, 2013

National Poll - August 8, 2013

Fact Sheets - Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BALA Open Letter to Rep. Paul Ryan

Letters & Endorsements - Thursday, August 8, 2013

USCIS Letter to Congress on GOP DREAM Act

Letters & Endorsements - Thursday, August 1, 2013

Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration Letter to Congress

Letters & Endorsements - Monday, July 22, 2013

USCIS Union opposes Corker-Hoeven amendment to S.744

Fact Sheets - Monday, June 24, 2013

Fact Sheet: Corker-Hoeven amendment to S.744

Fact Sheets - Monday, June 24, 2013

Polls

Evangelical Christians Believe Immigration Laws Should Protect America's Vulnerable

Polls - Monday, February 24, 2014

78% of evangelical Christians believe that the Old Testament verses in which "God commands the ancient Israelites to love the stranger as themselves" means the U.S. government should offer humane treatment while fairly applying the law.

Evangelical VotersNational Poll of evangelical voters' biblical views on immigration policy by dmarshNumbersusa

78% of evangelical Christians believe that the Old Testament verses in which "God commands the ancient Israelites to love the stranger as themselves" means the U.S. government should offer humane treatment while fairly applying the law.

Evangelical VotersNational Poll of evangelical voters' biblical views on immigration policy by dmarshNumbersusa

Show More Download Publication

Strong Support Among GOP Evangelicals for 'Controlled Immigration'

Polls - Wednesday, September 25, 2013

63% of GOP Evangelical likely voters strongly oppose a bill that would grant work permits and legalization to illegal aliens. 65% of GOP Evangelicals feel little to no moral responsibility to help illegal aliens who are living in the United States. See the poll's full results here.

63% of GOP Evangelical likely voters strongly oppose a bill that would grant work permits and legalization to illegal aliens. 65% of GOP Evangelicals feel little to no moral responsibility to help illegal aliens who are living in the United States. See the poll's full results here.

Strong Support Among GOP Evangelicals for Controlled Immigration by NumbersUSA

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Language Matters: GOP Strongly Supports 'Controlled Immigration'

Polls - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A survey of 1,000 likely Republican voters found concern for the direction of immigration policy with 74% favoring an approach that favors Immigration Security and Enforcement ahead of other concerns. 57% also support reducing current legal immigration levels by at least 25%. View the full poll results here.

Download Publication Web Friendly Version

Catholic opinions on the Morality of Immigration Reform

Polls - Friday, September 13, 2013

Catholic voters were three times more likely to say the government has "a lot" of moral responsibility to protect American workers from competition with immigrant workers than to say it has "a lot" of moral responsibility to protect illegal immigrants from being separated from their families by deportation. View the full poll details here.

Catholic voters were three times more likely to say the government has "a lot" of moral responsibility to protect American workers from competition with immigrant workers than to say it has "a lot" of moral responsibility to protect illegal immigrants from being separated from their families by deportation. View the full poll details here.

Catholic Opinions on the Morality of Immigration Reform by NumbersUSA

Show More Download Publication Web Friendly Version

Texas Poll August 2013

Polls - Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Americans Prefer Fewer Guest Workers

Prefer Lower Numbers Protect Jobs and Wages - Monday, July 22, 2013

According to a poll conducted by the National Journal, the majority of Americans prefer fewer high-tech and construction guest workers. The poll found that 65% of Republicans, 53% of Democrats, and 53% of Independents want fewer high-tech guest workers. It also found that 71% of Republicans, 60% of Democrats, and 58% of Independents want fewer construction guest workers.

National Journal

http://www.nationaljournal.com/congressional-connection/infographics/unwanted-guest-workers-20130620

64% of Likely Voters support Border Control Before Amnesty

Oppose Amnesty - Friday, March 22, 2013

64% of Likely U.S. voters say they support securing the border before dealing with the 11-19 million illegal aliens currently living in the United States. Only 26% support an amnesty with a promise to secure the border later.

Rasmussen Reports

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/questions/pt_survey_questions/march_2013/questions_securing_the_border_march_20_21_2013

69% of Registered Voters Support Border Security Before Amnesty

Oppose Amnesty - Monday, March 4, 2013

69% of registered voters support securing the border before dealing with other issues within our immigration system, inlcuding 81 percent of Republicans, 62% of Democrats, and 60% of independents. Only 25 percent support securing the border while dealing with the 11-19 million illegal aliens at the same time.

Fox News Poll

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/04/fox-news-poll-most-support-strengthening-borders-before-other-immigration/print#ixzz2Mccd3UDK

53% of Americans favor enforcement over legalization

Oppose Amnesty - Thursday, February 21, 2013

30% of respondents think that most illegal aliens should be deported with some exceptions. Another 23% think that all illegal aliens should be deported. Only 36% think most or all illegal aliens should be allowed to stay in the United States.

Reuters/Ipsos

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/21/us-usa-immigration-idUSBRE91K01A20130221

Americans Prefer Illegal Immigrants Head Home

Oppose Amnesty - Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Of likely voters, 52 percent responded that they preferred to see illegal immigrants in the United States go back to their home countries, compared to just 33 percent who would like them to be given legal status.

Pulse Opinion Research

http://cis.org/americans-prefer-illegal-immigrants-head-home-results-of-national-survey

In the News

NumbersUSA's Beck: Public Pressure Can Stop Immigration Amnesty

Quoted - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Americans must keep pressure on Congress to stop lawmakers from ramming through an immigration reform bill that includes amnesty, says Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA.

http://www.newsmax.com/NewsmaxTv/amnesty-immigration-paul-ryan-roy-beck/2014/02/04/id/550919#ixzz2sStjy8IX

US immigration reform nears tipping point

Quoted - Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Separately, groups like Numbers USA, which calls for lower levels of immigration, are preparing to step up their campaign urging lawmakers to vote against reform....

Meanwhile, Numbers USA plans to start a new radio campaign as soon as the debate over control has been concluded. This would increase the pressure it is already applying to lawmakers, having sent 2m faxes objecting to legalisation, said Roy Beck, chief executive.

“The difference between now and 2007 is that there weren’t 20m Americans looking for jobs who couldn’t find work then,” Mr Beck said.

By Anna Fifield in the Financial Times

Download Publication http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/0fce9c66-a1f3-11e2-ad0c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2QBUnrgNA

Outside Group Targets Begich on Immigration

Quoted - Friday, April 5, 2013

The group Numbers USA aims to "educate voters" in states with senators who could play a pivotal role in the coming immigration debate.

The group started airing an ad throughout Alaska this week that asks actors who "thinks Senator Mark Begich's plan to bring in foreign workers to take American jobs is a good idea?"

Roy Beck, executive director of Numbers USA, said Senator Begich has been tight-lipped on immigration since arriving in the Senate four years ago, except on J-1 visas.

By Peter Granitz -- Alaska Public Radio

http://www.alaskapublic.org/2013/04/04/outside-group-targets-begich-on-immigration/

Conservative groups back immigration reform

Quoted - Friday, April 5, 2013

The push comes as conservative critics have also begun to ramp up their campaign to scuttle the immigration overhaul, which makes efforts like these key if Congress is going to succeed in passing immigration legislation. Numbers USA is already up with ads in Alaska and South Carolina targeting Sens. Mark Begich and Lindsey Graham and they expect to go up with more ads in the near future.

By ANNA PALMER and JAKE SHERMAN -- Politico

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/conservatives-immigration-reform-89649.html

Anti-amnesty group targets Sen. Mark Begich in immigration debate

Quoted - Thursday, April 4, 2013

Looking to derail comprehensive immigration talks on Capitol Hill, the advocacy group NumbersUSA launched a new ad campaign Wednesday targeting Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, who is seen as one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in 2014.

The ad is part of the group's "Say No to Amnesty" campaign (https://www.saynotoamnesty.com/), which also has targeted Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who is a member of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" that is hammering out a comprehensive immigration bill that could provide legal status as well as a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrantsliving here.

By Seth McLaughlin - The Washington Times

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/apr/3/anti-amnesty-group-targets-democratic-sen-mark-beg/

Veteran opponents of reform ready for immigration fight

Quoted - Tuesday, April 2, 2013

“Everything other than the politics is worse now than it was in 2007,” says Rosemary Jenks, a lobbyist for NumbersUSA, an immigration limitation group heavily involved in fighting the Bush-backed measure.

And according to Jenks, that includes, most importantly, the unemployment rate. It’s improved in recent months to 7.7 percent, but is currently higher than the 4.5 percent recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the summer of 2007.

NumbersUSA – which works to strictly limit legal immigration in addition to opposing efforts to legalize undocumented immigrants – and other groups aim to again mobilize opponents of reform by arguing that the proposed legalization and guest-worker programs would hurt Americans already struggling to find work.

By Carrie Dann -- NBC News

http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/01/17555907-veteran-opponents-of-reform-ready-for-immigration-fight?lite

'The Uninvited' -- Rosemary Jenks: Amnesty would give terrorists 'Brand New' identities

Quoted - Thursday, March 28, 2013

At Breitbart News' "The Uninvited" Panel during CPAC last weekend, Rosemary Jenks, the director of government relations for Numbers USA, told the packed audience that Republicans have not thoroughly considered and discussed how giving amnesty to 11-12 million illegal immigrants would allow terrorists to receive brand new identities, cost the government $2.5 trillion dollars over their lifetime, and create more Democrats.  

By Tony Lee -- Breibart News

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/03/19/Rosemary-Jenks-at-The-Uninvited-Amnesty-Would-Cost-U-S-2-5-Trillion-Give-Terrorists-Brand-New-Identities

Obama’s immigration exemptions poison needed reforms, say critics

Quoted - Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Advocates of a compromise reform of immigration law say their efforts are being hampered by President Barack Obama’s policy of ignoring unwanted portions of previous immigration-law compromises.

“It would be ridiculous for Republicans to actually believe that the Obama administration is going to uphold its end of any compromise,” said Rosemary Jenks, the director of government relations at NumbersUSA, which wants a reform that would invite fewer, but higher skilled, immigrants

“If Obama does not believe the existing laws apply to him, why would he believe a new compromise applies to him?” she said.

By Neil Munro -- The Daily Caller

http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/04/obamas-immigration-exemptions-poison-needed-reforms-say-critics/

For Undocumented Youth, New Policy Carries Risks

Quoted - Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Unemployed Americans are now going to have abouyt 1.8 million more people added into the legal workforce to compete with them for a limited number of jobs. There is a cost to this, and the cost is to the most vulnerable young Americans," Roy Beck said.

By Joel Rose, NPR

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/15/158872445/for-undocumented-youth-new-policy-carries-risks

Irish immigration bill draws ire from advocates

Quoted - Thursday, March 22, 2012

Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, which wants to reduce immigration, said Brown's bill will end up hurting American workers of all races and ethnic backgrounds.
 
"Why would you want to bring in 10,500 more foreign workers at a time when we've got 20 million Americans who either can't find jobs or are forced to take part-time jobs when they want to work full-time," Beck said. "Brown's bill is about pandering."

By Erin Kelly, USA Today

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-03-22/irish-immigration-congress/53706766/1

L.A. County officials worried about costs of immigration overhaul

In the News - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Few regions will absorb the impact of future immigration reforms more than Los Angeles County, home to an estimated 1.1 million people in the country illegally, one-tenth of the nation's total.

As the Senate Judiciary Committee began debating the bipartisan immigration bill last week, county officials voiced concerns that local taxpayers will be "left holding the bag" to pay for the brunt of healthcare and other services for multitudes of immigrants who apply for citizenship.

By Richard Simon -- Los Angeles Times

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/11/local/la-me-county-immigration-20130512

Immigration Reform Issue: The Effect on the Budget

In the News - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It’s hard to say with precision what impact offering citizenship would have on the budget, but the chances are good that it would cost the government money. Half to three-quarters of illegal immigrants pay taxes, according to studies reviewed in a 2007 report by the Congressional Budget Office. And they are relatively inexpensive, compared with Americans of similar incomes. Their children can attend public schools at government expense — putting a burden on state and local budgets. But they are barred from receiving federal benefits like the earned-income tax credit, food stamps and Medicaid. Only their American-born children can get those.

By Eduardo Porter - New York Times

It’s hard to say with precision what impact offering citizenship would have on the budget, but the chances are good that it would cost the government money. Half to three-quarters of illegal immigrants pay taxes, according to studies reviewed in a 2007 report by the Congressional Budget Office. And they are relatively inexpensive, compared with Americans of similar incomes. Their children can attend public schools at government expense — putting a burden on state and local budgets. But they are barred from receiving federal benefits like the earned-income tax credit, food stamps and Medicaid. Only their American-born children can get those. Government revenue might not change much with legalization. Most illegal immigrants who don’t pay taxes probably work in the cash economy — as nannies or gardeners — where tax compliance among citizens is low. Costs, of course, would increase. Once they became citizens, immigrants would be entitled to the same array of government benefits as other Americans. For Social Security and Medicare alone, offering citizenship to illegal immigrants would mean losing a subsidy worth several billion dollars a year in payroll taxes from immigrants who can’t collect benefits in old age.

By Eduardo Porter - New York Times

Show More http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/business/immigration-reform-issue-the-effect-on-the-budget.html?ref=immigrationandemigration&_r=0

Chamber's Donohue Pushes for Immigration and Entitlement Reform

In the News - Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Immigration reform also took a prominent place in Donohue's remarks, with the Chamber president emphasizing the need for skilled workers to help stave off outsourcing. He advocated guest visas for lower-skilled workers and expanding the caps on high-skilled visas, as well as helping foreigners who earn advanced degrees in the U.S. to stay.

"Even with high unemployment, we have millions of job openings that go unfilled," he said. "Either the workers come here to fill those jobs or the companies take all of their jobs somewhere else."

President Obama has spoken of immigration reform as one of his priorities for his second term. Donohue said that he has spoken with senators, as well as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, about the potential for overhauling the nation's immigration laws.

By DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN -- US News

Immigration reform also took a prominent place in Donohue's remarks, with the Chamber president emphasizing the need for skilled workers to help stave off outsourcing. He advocated guest visas for lower-skilled workers and expanding the caps on high-skilled visas, as well as helping foreigners who earn advanced degrees in the U.S. to stay.

"Even with high unemployment, we have millions of job openings that go unfilled," he said. "Either the workers come here to fill those jobs or the companies take all of their jobs somewhere else."

President Obama has spoken of immigration reform as one of his priorities for his second term. Donohue said that he has spoken with senators, as well as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, about the potential for overhauling the nation's immigration laws.

"I have an optimistic feeling about this," said Donohue, pointing to bipartisan support for reform. But he acknowledged that support for immigration reform is not unanimous.

By DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN -- US News

Show More http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/01/10/chambers-donohue-pushes-for-immigration-and-entitlement-reform

Deferred action applications continue at slower pace

In the News - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What some initially perceived as an election-related drop in applications for deferred action - a federal program offering temporary legal status to young undocumented immigrants - has continued into December. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is reporting that the daily pace of incoming applications for the program continues to slow.

The agency's latest numbers show that while applications peaked at 5,715 a day in September, they averaged 3,988 a day through the entire month of November. Through Dec. 13, incoming applications have been averaging 2,720 a day.

By Leslie Berestein Rojas - Southern California Public Radio

http://www.scpr.org/blogs/multiamerican/2012/12/14/11564/deferred-action-applications-continue-slower-pace/

Lee rules out ‘amnesty’ as he works on immigration-reform team

In the News - Friday, December 14, 2012

Sen. Mike Lee opposed amnesty for illegal immigrants in his 2010 campaign and he continues to fight it now, which makes his inclusion in a bipartisan group working on comprehensive reform all the more surprising.

The Utahn is one of four Republicans holding private talks with four Democrats in hopes of overhauling the nation’s immigration laws by the end of 2013.

By Matt Canham -- The Salt Lake Tribune

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55453081-90/lee-immigration-immigrants-illegal.html.csp?page=1

New 'Gang of Eight' on immigration

In the News - Friday, December 14, 2012

Make way for a new Gang of Eight. An octet of senators has begun to meet to discuss immigration reform, multiple sources told POLITICO. It’s a possible sign of progress on what’s expected to be a top legislative priority on Capitol Hill next year.

By Seung Min Kim -- Politico

http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/new-gang-of-eight-on-immigration-84772.html

Syrians in the U.S. Are Given Protected Immigration Status

In the News - Monday, March 26, 2012

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Friday granted temporary immigration status to Syrians in the United States, sparing them from having to return home, in a new sign that Washington believes security conditions in Syria are going from bad to worse.

By Julia Preston- The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/24/us/syrians-in-the-us-are-given-protected-immigration-status.html?_r=2&ref=immigrationandemigration

Admin. extends Salvadoran deportation freeze

In the News - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Obama administration has extended temporary protected status to El Salvadoran nationals through late 2013, shielding them from deportation and forcible return to their home country.

By Byron Tau and Joshua Gerstein, Politico, January 10, 2012

http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/01/admin-extends-salvadoran-deportation-freeze-110304.html

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet introduces bill to give skilled immigrant students a pathway to legal status

In the News - Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Undocumented students who graduate high school and enroll in college in a science, technology or math program would be eligible for temporary student visas in an immigration overhaul bill introduced today by Sen. Michael Bennet.

Bennet, a Democrat and former Denver schools chief, said his proposed bill would also make it easier for students who graduate with advanced degrees in science or math to stay and work in the United States — particularly if there is a need for them.

By Allison Sherry -- The Denver Post

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_19537105

No, Obama can’t grant ‘amnesty’ by pardoning illegal immigrants

In the News - Tuesday, December 6, 2011

In reality, the president does not possess this authority, as unauthorized presence in the U.S. is a civil violation, not a criminal one. Presidential pardon power only applies to federal crimes, described as “offenses against the United States” in the Constitution. As such, “a pardon can’t make someone a citizen or lawful resident,” explains John Harrison, a law professor at the University of Virginia. “Deportation is not a criminal proceeding, it’s a civil process that removes from the country someone who is not entitled to be here.”

By Suzy Khimm -- Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/no-obama-cant-grant-amnesty-by-pardoning-illegal-immigrants/2011/12/06/gIQA5S53ZO_blog.html

Congressional Testimony

Jordan Commission's Full Report to Congress

Congressional Testimony - Monday, September 1, 1997

U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, September 1997

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Jordan Commission -- Executive Summary on Legal Immigration

Congressional Testimony - Friday, September 1, 1995

U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, 1995

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Jordan Commission -- Executive Summary on Illegal Immigration

Congressional Testimony - Thursday, September 1, 1994

U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, 1994

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