Biden Amnesty bill rewards illegal immigration while doing nothing to deter future illegal immigration

Numbers USA



Biden Amnesty bill rewards illegal immigration while doing nothing to deter future illegal immigration

Fri, Feb. 19th

Pres. Biden's highly-anticipated immigration legislation -- the U.S. Citizenship Act -- was finally introduced on Thursday by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) in the House. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is expected to introduce it next week in the Senate.

It'll take a few days for our Capitol Hill team to go through the legislation and understand all of its potential impacts, but here are a few things that we know for sure. In short: Major increases in legal immigration, amnesty and no enforcement.


The Biden Amnesty bill would result in significant increases in legal immigration.

The bill would expand chain migration by raising the caps on the adult family member categories and by eliminating the cap on spouses and minor children of green card holders. Further, it allows the more than 4 million people currently on the visa backlog to live and work in the United States until a green card becomes available.

The bill increases the number of employment-based green cards issued each year from 140,000 to 170,000, with the extra 30,000 visas going to unskilled workers. It also creates a new pilot program that creates an additional 10,000 green cards to be used for economic development in specific regions of the country.

Lastly, the bill increases the Visa Lottery from 55,000 to 80,000 per year. This is a complete reversal from the Gang of 8 bill that actually eliminated the Visa Lottery.


Pres. Biden's bill fully realizes his call for amnesty for the more than 11 million illegal aliens living in the United States.

The first section of the U.S. Citizenship Act describes how most illegal aliens can obtain legal status and a work permit. In order to receive the amnesty, illegal aliens have to claim that they entered the country before Jan. 1, 2021 and pass a background check. It also allows illegal aliens who were deported or who left voluntarily during the Trump Administration to apply for the amnesty.

Once illegal aliens are approved for the initial 6-year status, they can receive a work permit, apply for taxpayer-funded benefits, and get a Social Security number.

The reach of the Biden Amnesty is much broader than what we saw during the Obama years. The Gang of 8 bill, introduced in 2013, blocked illegal aliens who entered the country after Dec. 31, 2011. The extra year may not sound like much, but it shows how far the Democratic Party has shifted over the last 7 years. No longer is there any real acknowledgment that illegal presence is an unlawful act. Even the illegal aliens who arrived in November and December in hopes they could cash in after Biden's election would get the amnesty.

Most illegal aliens can get a green card and begin the citizenship process after 6 years. For some -- Dreamers, DACA recipients, TPS recipients, and illegal farm workers -- they can get a green card immediately.


Supporters of the 2013 Gang of 8 bill called it the strongest enforcement bill ever. It wasn't, but it did include a surge of funding to beef up border security and mandatory E-Verify (or an equivalent system) within 5 years of enactment.

There is nothing in the Biden Amnesty bill that could be defined by most Americans as "enforcement".

There is no E-Verify requirement; instead, the bill would create a new commission made up of partisan lawmakers and business and union leaders to make recommendations to "improve" worksite enforcement. And there is no mention of the Congressionally-mandated biometric entry/exit system.

As for the border, the legislation authorizes -- but doesn't require -- the DHS secretary to develop and implement a plan for the Southern border.

The legislation's only effort to deter future illegal immigration comes in the form of investments for Central America and a criminal gang task force.

It also revises the process for asylum seekers and unaccompanied alien minors who cross the border illegally. Our Capitol Hill team will have all the details over the next several days.

Again, with the bill text not being made public until yesterday afternoon, we haven't had an opportunity to create a detailed analysis. Continue to look for updates over the next week.

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Chris Chmielenski
NumbersUSA Deputy Director