Source: Many loopholes hidden in immigration bill

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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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.

The pending bill would eliminate the “diversity visa,” which awards roughly 50,000 visas per year to people from countries with little history of immigration to the United States, said Jenks. The diversity visas are granted by lottery, without regard for skill, wealth or character of the would-be immigrants.

But the bill would also adjust the points system to give an advantage to people from the list of countries on the diversity visa. The 30-point advantage is almost as much as the 35 points awarded to immigrants who have earned a master’s degree, she said.

Several traditionally Democratic lobbies, including the NAACP, have urged continued immigration from the “diversity visa” countries.

The 30-page segment also suggests the complete bill doesn’t have a so-called border-security “trigger,” said Jenks.

Illegal immigrants would become eligible for green cards after 10 years. No conditions are mentioned, she said.

Other parts of the still-secret bill might contain limits and curbs, she added.

In seven appearances on the Sunday talk shows, Sen. Marco Rubio, the leading GOP spokesman for the bill, declined to mention any conditions that would delay or reduce the award of green cards to illegal immigrants.

Also, there’s only a cosmetic enforcement mechanism in the initial amnesty for the 11 million illegals, Jenks said.

Under the bill, the 11 million illegal immigrants would get work-permits and residency cards shortly after the bill is signed, as soon as the DHS secretary submits a plan for future border security, said Jenks.

The initial “enforcement mechanism is writing a plan,” said Jenks.

Napolitano “writes the plan and tomorrow there’s an amnesty,” she asserted.

However, Rubio has said the plan must call for 100 percent surveillance over the border, and a 90 percent reduction of border-crosses in some area of the 2,000 mile-long border.

The 30-page segment does not limit the award of green cards if the surveillance plan is not successfully implemented, Jenks said.

Rubio has repeatedly said that if the DHS fails to meet the border-security goals required by the bill, then a committee of border state politicians would given some authority over border security.

But he has not said that a border-security failure would actually slow or stop or limit the issuance of green cards to former illegals.

The 30-page segment does not include rules for various guest-worker visas, such as the new W Visa, the new agriculture-worker visa and the expanded H-1B graduate visa. These visas are expected to push the annual inflow of seasonal and long-term guest workers above 1 million. The visas will include at least 350,000 university-trained professionals that will compete with young American college graduates.

The inflow is equivalent to 75 percent of the 2 million new jobs created by the economy in 2012.

Throughout the debate, Senators in the so-called Gang of Eight, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, have said the bill will include protections for American workers.

The 30-page segment does not include any information about worker protections.

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