Gang of Eight Bill a Disaster

The US Senate’s “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration reform bill (SB744) would provide amnesty for almost all illegal immigrants in the US and double the legal immigration to over 2 million annually.  It was crafted to benefit corporations in search of cheap labor—it is bad for American workers and the environment and needs to be defeated.   

Most people, including many legislators, don’t know what is in the 1000-page bill—the devil’s in the details.  Opposition is growing across the political spectrum--most recently, the President of the AFL-CIO, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, a coalition of conservative leaders, and the Black American Leadership Alliance

We currently have 11-12 million [or more] illegal immigrants in the country; the vast majority came to the US illegally as adults or overstayed their visas to seek work.  By rewarding this behavior and describing limits on immigration as “part of the problem”, this bill encourages future immigration lawbreaking.

The US currently admits over 1 million legal immigrants each year (mostly due to chain migration)--by far the most of any country in the world and four times the traditional level of legal immigration of 250,000.  The US government currently grants 125,000 new work Visas every month despite high unemployment and stagnating wages.  We should be reducing immigration, not proposing to double it. 

Some of the problems with the legislation include:

1.      Amnesty first, enforcement later or never.  Illegal immigrants will get legal status and work permits before any enforcement is required and then gain citizenship within 2-11 years.  This will occur whether or not any of the proposed enforcement measures such as E-Verify and Visa control are implemented. 

2.      It doubles legal immigration to over 2 million per year while we have 20 million unemployed Americans (much higher if we include long term discouraged workers), stagnant wages, 50% of recent college grads either unemployed or in jobs not requiring a degree.  The result will be fewer jobs and lower wages for Americans.   This greatly increased immigration will also drive the US population to over 450 million by 2050. 

3.      The bill will result in 33 million green cards being issued in the next 10 years.  This dwarfs the numbers immigrating in every other decade in our history.

4.      Unlimited competition to highly educated Americans—the bill greatly increases high-skilled immigration despite the fact that there is no evidence of a shortage of high-skilled American workers.  In fact, high tech wages have not increased since the ‘90’s.  This bill allows any foreign student with a post-graduate STEM degree from a US university (science, technology, engineering, math) to immigrate—around 500,000 per year. High-skilled workers and college students will suffer greatly.

 5.    The Bill Accelerates Chain Migration—it curbs future adult siblings from immigrating; however, an immigrant could still bring parents and adult children, who then bring spouses, etc.  Since the bill doubles the current legal immigration, it will cause even more chain migration.  Most chain migration is of lower educated workers—negatively impacting our working poor. 

6.      The Heritage Foundation has estimated the cost to taxpayers of providing amnesty will be $6.3 trillion


This article was published in the Ft Collin Coloradan on June 7, 2013 as a letter to the editor: Soapbox: 'Gang of Eight' immigration bill a disaster.