U.S. Senator Grassle 15 Points on Immigration Bill

From Sen. Grassley Press Release May 22nd, 2007:

Top 15 Amnesty Flaws Revealed

WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Grassley today revealed his Top 15 flaws with the amnesty program in the immigration reform bill being debated in the United States Senate. He pointed out that the amnesty section in the Senate immigration bill is ripe for abuse and rotten for national security.

“I voted for amnesty more than 20 years ago. I believed at the time that by giving illegal aliens blanket citizenship, we would solve the problem. I was wrong. We’ve now got at least 12 million people illegal aliens thumbing their nose at our laws,” Grassley said. “We found out that by rewarding illegality, we only get more illegality.”

Grassley said that if the bill passes, the amnesty provisions would allow for illegal aliens to immediately apply for probationary status. If they are approved, the illegal alien would automatically receive a Social Security number and work authorization. In 1-2 years, once certain requirements are met by the federal government, the illegal alien can apply for a “Z” visa for himself, spouse, children and parents over the age of 65. At this point the illegal alien may legally remain in the United States while waiting for the current backlog of visa applications to be cleared. After the backlog is cleared, the illegal can apply for a greencard or renew his/her “Z” visa. Click here for a chart outlining the amnesty process.

Here are Grassley’s Top 15 amnesty flaws.

1. Probationary benefits not subject to the trigger — Probationary benefits, including work authorization, protection from removal, and a social security number are granted to illegal aliens immediately, even if the alien’s background check is not complete.

2. Many criminal provisions may be waived — Numerous criminal provisions are waived for eligibility purposes. For example, an alien who falsely claims U.S. citizenship would be considered eligible for amnesty even though it’s a crime.

3. Background checks taken too lightly — An illegal alien can apply for probationary status and a Z visa without thorough background checks. Immediately after the bill passes, the alien can apply for probationary legal status and receive a card even if the alien’s background check is not complete.

4. Illegal aliens protected from removal — If an alien is in removal proceedings, or being detained, at the time of enactment, the alien can still apply for amnesty. Aliens who apply for amnesty cannot be detained or deported while their application is being processed, essentially giving them immunity from justice.

5. Terrorists and criminals can apply for amnesty — The Secretary of Homeland Security is allowed to waive the grounds of ineligibility for those who have an outstanding administrative final order of removal, deportation or exclusion. Currently there are more than 637,000 alien absconders in the United States that have defied orders to leave.

6. Taxes — Illegal aliens are required to provide the IRS information about tax payments only when applying for legal permanent residence, if that avenue is pursued. Illegal aliens can skirt the federal, state and local tax laws because its not a requirement to prove one has paid outstanding tax liabilities to get probationary or Z status.

7. Limits eligibility to illegal aliens — Creates a Z nonimmigrant visa program for illegal aliens and illegal aliens only. No one else is eligible for this program, particularly those waiting their turn in line. Also, there’s no cap on the number of eligible participants.

8. Indefinite renewal for Z nonimmigrant visas — Z nonimmigrant visas are valid for four years and may be renewed indefinitely. This is a disincentive for illegal aliens to pay the $4,000 penalty, touch-back to their home country, prove they’ve paid their taxes, or receive a medical exam.

9. Health standards ignored — No medical exam or immunizations are needed to get a Z visa.

10. No incentive to learn English — There is no English requirement to get a Z visa. Each Z nonimmigrant must only demonstrate “an attempt to gain an understanding of the English language” upon the first renewal of a Z visa. There are waivers for this requirement.

11. Green card applicants not required to return to home country — Green card applications (only for heads of household, not dependents) must be filed in person outside the but not necessarily in the alien’s country of origin. The alien can then reenter (same day) under a Z nonimmigrant visa because it serves as a valid travel document. There are exceptions for this requirement.

12. Fines are False and Misleading — Not everyone is required to pay the $5,000 penalty. To get a Z visa, a principal alien (Z-1 or head of household) must pay a $1,000 penalty, a $500 penalty for each dependent, a processing fee, and a $500 state impact fee. Dependents must also pay a processing fee. To renew a Z nonimmigrant visa, each Z visa holder must pay a processing fee no greater than $1,500. To get a greencard, if the alien intends to pursue this route, a Z-1 nonimmigrant must pay a $4,000 penalty. Z-2 (parents and spouse) and Z-3 (children) aliens are only required to pay application fees.

13. Fines won’t adequately pay for cost of amnesty — The bulk of the monetary fines are required at the end of the program. All fines may be paid in installments and waivers are available in extraordinary circumstances.

14. Impact on state and local government — State impact money will be granted to states to provide services for non-citizens only, instead of providing services to all citizens impacted by the large number of illegal immigrants (school systems, health care services).

15. Revocation of terrorist visas — Visas revoked on terrorism grounds would allow Z visa holders to remain in the United States and use the U.S. court system to appeal terrorism charges. The bill, including the amnesty program, does not address visa revocation for any visa holder.