MYTH vs. FACT: Immigration Bill Will Not Deport Any Illegal Immigrants, Will Give Them Immediate Status
Apr 24 2013
MYTH: The proposed immigration bill will end deportations by granting amnesty to the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States.
- “If President Obama signs an immigration-reform law this year, 11 million people living in the United States illegally will immediately be given a break. They will no longer be deportable unless they are felons.” (“How Republicans Can Win Over Their Party on Immigration,” National Journal, 4/23/13)
- “The bill offers a multi-staged amnesty to at least 11 million people…” (Neil Munro, “‘Gang of 8′ reveals immigration bill, start race to read contents,” Daily Caller, 4/17/13)
FACT: If the proposed immigration bill does pass, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who do not qualify for temporary legal status will be subject to deportation. The legislation also provides for enhanced punishment as well as increased funding for deportation of future illegal immigrants.
- Reuters: “Senate plan would deport illegal immigrants entering U.S. after 2011”(“Senate plan would deport illegal immigrants entering U.S. after 2011,” Reuters, 4/12/13)
- “The Senate immigration bill introduced last week calls for tripling the number of criminal prosecutions of migrants who illegally enter the U.S. along the busiest border area, but the court that handles cases there already has an overloaded docket and a chronic shortage of resources. Before 2005, migrants apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol were returned to their country or processed through civil immigration courts. As part of George W. Bush's strategy to get tough on border policy, he launched a program dubbed Operation Streamline mandating that those arrested for unlawful entry would be prosecuted in criminal court and, if convicted, face a prison sentence. … U.S. Border Patrol officials say the program has discouraged potential migrants from attempting illegal crossings. In seeking congressional support for Streamline in 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said, ‘the deterrent effect…has had pronounced results on the number of aliens attempting illegal entry/re-entry.’” (Miriam Jordan, “Bill Is Tougher On Crossings,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/23/13)
- “Deportations Continue As Congress Seeks Immigration Reform”(Elise Foley, “Deportations Continue As Congress Seeks Immigration Reform,” Huffington Post, 4/24/13)
- No one gets amnesty. This bill will eliminate today’s de facto amnesty, in which we have 11 million illegal immigrants here and do not know who they are, what activities they are engaged in or anything else about them. Once the first security triggers are achieved, undocumented immigrants will be able to come forward, must submit to and pass background checks, be fingerprinted, start paying $2,000 in fines, pay taxes, prove they’ve had a physical presence in the U.S. since before 2012 and go to the back of the line, among other criteria. Criminals and those illegal immigrants who do not meet these criteria will be deported.
- Legalization is not immediate, automatic or irrevocable. Even for illegal immigrants who attain temporary status, that temporary status can be revoked if they commit a serious crime or if they fail to comply with the employment requirement, the public charge requirement (which goes hand-in-hand with the employment requirement), their tax obligations and their physical presence obligations. They will then be subject to deportation.
- Criminals will not be eligible and this process will help better focus resources on deporting them. Today’s situation is a de facto amnesty that allows illegal immigrants to game our system and avoid capture, deportation and incarceration. These are exactly the kind of people we need to deport immediately, and it is why the process of identifying who is here and figuring out what they have been doing is so critical. Since we know these are the type of people who will be the last to avail themselves of the process being set up to deal with our undocumented population, the bill’s security measures will help better focus our resources on finding and deporting these individuals. By bringing undocumented immigrants without criminal records out of the shadows, this will also encourage those individuals to cooperate with law enforcement to identify criminals who commit fraud, steal, assault others, deal in drugs, work as human traffickers, or are violent gang members.