WH Immigration Framework: Big Amnesty Now, Chain Migration Cuts Much Later

by Jessica Vaughan –
Center for Immigration Studies –

Washington, D.C. (January 31, 2018) – A Center for Immigration Studies analysis of the legal immigration provisions in the White House immigration reform framework reveals that it will take about 15 years for the proposed chain migration cuts to offset the new green cards awarded in the proposed amnesty for 1.8 million illegal alien “Dreamers.” Furthermore, if the parents of the “Dreamers” become eligible for some form of residency, the size of the amnesty could double, and the chain migration reductions would do little to offset the impact on Americans.

The White House has asked Congress to produce a bill that offers an amnesty for 1.8 million “DACA-eligible” illegal aliens with a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship. To mitigate the impact of the amnesty, the president proposes an end the largest chain migration category (parents of naturalized citizens) right away and further cuts to chain migration after those currently in line in the other categories have been admitted.

Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy studies and author of the analysis, said, “The chain migration reductions proposed by the White House are long overdue and will put a brake on the continuous growth in family-based immigration that has led to labor market distortions and burgeoning fiscal costs. Unfortunately, the plan is structured as instant deportation relief for 1.8 million illegal aliens, but a very long wait for immigration relief for Americans.”

View the entire analysis at: https://cis.org/Vaughan/White-House-Immigration-Framework-Big-Amnesty-Now-Chain-Migration-Cuts-Much-Later
View CIS analysis of the border security elements at: https://cis.org/Arthur/What-must-be-any-DACA-amnesty-bill

The report analyzes five key provisions:

• Immediate amnesty for 1.8 million “DACA-eligible” illegal aliens.

• 10-year path to citizenship.

• Reduce chain migration categories

• Admit the chain migration waiting list.

• End the visa lottery.

One key concern is that the leading proposals being considered by the Senate create a new non-immigrant residency visa for parents of citizens to replace the green card category. Unless this proposed visa program imposes restrictions in the form of numerical limits or new eligibility requirements, there likely will be an equal number of parents arriving despite the elimination of the green card category. If the parents of the “Dreamers” become eligible for residency under such a program, the size of the amnesty would effectively more than double. (It has been estimated that Dreamers have an average of 1.6 parents in the U.S.)

Vaughan writes, “In sum, the president’s proposal offers an extremely generous amnesty for the so-called Dreamers paired with substantial but gradual cuts to chain migration, resulting in a modest decrease in overall legal immigration after 10 years.”

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