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MYTH vs. FACT: Immigration Reform Will Introduce Over 30 Million New Foreign Workers To America

Apr 20, 2013 | Comunicados de Prensa

MYTH: Passing the immigration bill will result in over 30 million new foreign workers.

  • Senator Jeff Sessions: “We are talking about legislation that will impact virtually every aspect of our society, reshape our entire immigration system, introduce at least 30 million new foreign workers into the economy, and directly impact every single American worker and taxpayer.” (“Sessions Demands More Time on Immigration Bill,” NewsMax, 4/16/13)

FACT: Currently one million people legally immigrate to the United States every year – more than any other nation in the world and a key reason our nation, even with a retiring Baby Boomer generation, does not face severe aging demographic problems like Japan, Russia, and much of Europe. We also currently have about 11 million undocumented people living in the United States who are never leaving because they have families, jobs and roots in our communities. Under our proposal, those living here illegally will be allowed to apply for permanent residence in 10 years once we clear out the current backlog for about 5 million foreigners waiting to legally immigrate to the United States – a long-delayed process this legislation will finally correct. This legislation does not significantly increase long-term, annual migration to the United States, and will dramatically decrease illegal immigration thanks to new border security and immigration enforcement laws. Bottom-line: the size of the future population of the United States will not be significantly impacted by this legislation.

  • When our economy needs foreign workers to fill labor shortages, our modernized system will ensure that future flow of workers is manageable, traceable, fair to American workers, and in line with our economy’s needs.

  • “The latest immigration bill would beef up border security, create a path to citizenship for the country’s 11 million immigrants who entered the country illegally, establish a stronger electronic verification system, set a formula to determine future flows of imigrants [sic] and create low skill and agricultural worker programs. The bill would also increase the availability of high-skilled worker visas.” (Lauren Fox, “Rubio reaches out to GOP senators to build momentum for immigration,” US News, 4/17/13)

  • “The bill would also dramatically change the way the U.S. grants visas and green cards for future immigrants. Among the changes:
    • o   Eliminates the diversity visa lottery …
    • o   Ends the practice of allowing U.S. citizens to petition for green cards for their siblings.
    • o   Creates a “merit-based” visa, which awards up to 250,000 visas a year based on a point system that measures their education and employment, among other criteria.
    • o   Increases the cap on the number of H1B visas, which go primarily to college-educated foreigners in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, from 85,000 to 205,000.
    • o   Creates up to 200,000 visas a year, known as W visas, for people to work in retail, construction, hospitality and janitorial jobs.

Currently, most green cards are issued based on family ties to U.S. citizens – only about 16% of immigrants are granted green cards based on their skills or their possible contributions to the economy. But the changes would increase that number to nearly 50%, said one Senate aide.” (Alan Gomez, “Senate immigration bill offers status, boosts borders,” USA Today, 4/16/13)