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 Therefore, sensible solutions would include eliminating the visa lottery, ending chain migration, reforming the outdated practice of birthright citizenship, eliminating visas for unnecessary foreign workers, and reducing fraud in the asylum and refugee programs.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
E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify is currently free to employers and is available in all 50 states. It provides an automated link to existing federal databases to help employers determine employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security numbers. While its usage remains voluntary throughout the country, some states have passed legislation making its use mandatory for certain businesses.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1996 added the 287(g) provision that allows the Department of Homeland Security to enter into contracts with state and local law enforcement agencies. The provision provides training for local officers who will help enforce immigration law under the supervision of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As of August 2008, there were 63 local municipalities that were part of the 287(g) program.
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).
On August 1, 2014, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 5272 introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) that would defund future executive amnesties issued by Pres. Obama and from granting work permits to illegal aliens. A large majority of House Republicans and a few Democrats voted to secure our border and end the executive amnesty known as DACA.
In September, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) motioned to bring the Blackburn bill to the Senate floor for a vote, but the motion was defeated 50-to-50. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia sided with all 45 GOP Senators in supporting the Sessions motion. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid allowed 4 other Democratic Senators who face tough re-election bids to also vote in favor of the motion.
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 because citizens and lawful permanent residents are allowed to bring in their non-nuclear family members.
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.
The visa lottery program was established in 1990 and awards approximately 50,000 permanent resident visas to foreign nationals by conducting a random lottery. According to testimony of the State Department’s Inspector General during the 109th Congress, “the Diversity Visa program contains significant risks to national security from hostile intelligence officers, criminals, and terrorists attempting to use the program for entry into the United States as permanent residents.”
The Department of Labor released disturbing numbers, stating that more than 2 million Americans lost their job in 2008. To help the American worker, NumbersUSA proposes an immigration freeze on most legal forms of immigration. All immigration, with the exception of refugees and nuclear families, should be halted while the job market continues to struggle.
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.