The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
Green cards. Photo: Getty Images Green cards. Photo: Getty Images  

Source: Many loopholes hidden in immigration bill

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

The Senate’s pending immigration bill contains a number of loopholes that undermine or reverse relatively popular aspects of the controversial law.

The still-secret bill is “a comprehensive special interest bonanza,” Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations for NumbersUSA, an immigration reform group, told The Daily Caller.

“This is what happens when politicians bring in immigration lawyers to write immigration laws,” Jenks added.

She received a 30-page segment of the gargantuan bill from an unidentified source.

Jenks declined to share her text with The Daily Caller, saying the release might reveal the source.

The document was written by the Senate Office of Legal Counsel, which converts senators’ policy language into complex legalese.

The text Jenks received from her deep throat includes several of the loopholes.

For example, the bill says it is maintaining the current annual cap on the award of valuable green cards to employees of Americans and foreign companies that are based in the United States. (The cap is 140,000.) After several years, green cards can be traded in for American citizenship.

But the bill exempts green cards awarded to company managers, scientists and employees’ family members, effectively boosting the annual cap to roughly 350,000, Jenks explained.

The bill creates a points system for allocating up to 250,000 green cards to temporary workers and to overseas relatives of recent immigrants. The advertised purpose is to help U.S. and foreign companies import skilled managers and professionals, rather than the unskilled or old relatives of recent immigrants.

But the points system will help Democratic ethnic lobbies maintain the inflow of new citizens’s extended families, Jenks fears.

Also, the points system can be changed anytime by the secretary of Homeland Security, she added.

Additionally, the 250,000 annual cap will be irrelevant for at least a decade because an uncapped number of workers and relatives can get green cards via a transitional system created for the initial amnesty of 11 million illegal immigrants, Jenks said. This transitional system will also provide green cards to roughly 4.5 million temporary workers in the United States and to the backlogged relatives of new citizens.

That “transitional” loophole could allow annual immigration to double or even triple once the initial amnesty has been completed, because new citizens can use it to import many more people in their extended families, Jenks said.