Since our founding, NumbersUSA has promoted the immigration recommendations of the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. It recommended that annual legal immigration numbers be cut to around a half-million (compared to current totals of more than one million a year) and called for policy changes that would eliminate most illegal immigration.
In line with the commission's pro-immigration stances, NumbersUSA backs continued permanent immigration in three categories: nuclear family of spouse and minor children including overseas adoptions and marriages by U.S. citizens, our fair share of internationally recognized special needs refugees, and foreign workers with truly extraordinary skills that serve in the national interest. Therefore, sensible solutions would include eliminating the visa lottery, ending chain migration, reforming the outdated practice of birthright citizenship, eliminating visas for unnecessary foreign workers, and reducing fraud in the asylum and refugee programs.
On illegal immigration, NumbersUSA favors removing jobs, public benefits and other incentives that encourage people to become illegal aliens and remain in the U.S. This includes requiring employers to verify the eligibility of all employees through the E-Verify system, completing the Congressionally-approved biometric entry/exit system, enforcing existing immigration laws in the interior, and making improvements to border security.
End Most Illegal Immigration
While much of the discussion of illegal immigration has been over border security, visa overstay is just as much part of the problem. Overstayers fall in three different categories: those who were issued visas, those who came from countries that have been granted participation in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), and those who entered from Mexico or Canada with Border Crossing Cards (BCCs).
Under federal law, illegal presence in the United States is punishable by removal and a 3-year bar from re-entry for aliens illegally present for longer than 180 days and less than 1 year, or a 10-year bar from re-entry for aliens illegally present for longer than 1 year. Illegal aliens who had been previously removed, but are found illegally present again are permanently inadmissible.
The Department of Homeland Security reported in December that they reached their target of 18,000 border patrol agents protecting the land and sea borders of the United States, most of who are stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border. The border patrol uses a variety of tools to deter and apprehend smugglers and potential illegal immigrants, including using dune buggies to combat drug smuggling on the California-Baja California border, mounted patrols to combat human smugglers, and helicopters equipped with thermal imaging devices to find illegal alien convoys at night.
Although sanctuary policies are illegal under Federal law, two states (Maine and New Mexico) and a multitude of cities and counties maintain policies that forbid officials from asking about a person's immigration status or informing Federal immigration authorities about the presence of illegal aliens.
Reform Immigration Numbers
Chain Migration refers to the endless chains of foreign nationals who are allowed to immigrate to the United States because citizens and lawful permanent residents are allowed to sponsor their non-nuclear family members.
The Diversity Visa Program, often referred to as the “Visa Lottery” was established in 1990. Under this program, 55,000 visas are allocated annually via a random process to natives of countries that have relatively low rates of immigration to the United States. In 1997, 5,000 of these visas were reserved for individuals who qualified for legal permanent resident status under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act. Those 5,000 visas are not granted under a lottery process.
Birthright Citizenship is the practice of offering automatic citizenship to children born in the United States. Under current federal law, all children born in the U.S. receive automatic citizenship, but this practice had created a magnet for foreign nationals who want their children to have citizenship in the United States.
A pragmatic look at foreign worker policy
The effect of legal immigration on the United States is in proportion to its volume and composition.
Ideally, who and how many immigrants we admit would be a reflection of informed public will, legislated with deliberation and consistently enforced. The reality, however, is quite different. Our immigration system is a hodge-podge of laws, executive orders and administrative regulations that lack intention, oversight and a clear purpose as to the stated outcome.
NumbersUSA has always supported the United Stated taking "our fair share of the world's internationally recognized special needs refugees, but we are concerned about fraud that occurs in two major ways in our refugee programs.