Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), along with a group of House Republicans led by Rep. Maria Salazar (R-FL), is promoting an amnesty plan for illegal aliens living in the United States as border crossings skyrocket at the U.S.-Mexico border.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Salazar unveiled an amnesty plan that would provide green cards to illegal aliens enrolled and eligible for former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and gives work visas to the roughly 11 to 22 million illegal aliens in the U.S.
The full list of GOP lawmakers backing the plan include:
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
- Rep. David Valado (R-CA)
- Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
- Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
- Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT)
- Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT)
- Rep. John Curtis (R-UT)
- Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL)
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
- Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY)
Specifically, the amnesty — dubbed the “Dignity Proposal” — would give legal resident status to anywhere from 1.5 to 3.5 million illegal aliens who are enrolled and eligible for DACA. Eventually, these illegal aliens can apply for green cards and obtain American citizenship.
All other illegal aliens would be eligible under the amnesty to get 10-year work visas so long as they pass a criminal background check, pay taxes, and continue taking an American job. The amnesty states that these illegal aliens will not be eligible for “means-tested benefits or entitlements” and must pay a fine.
After holding work visas for 10 years, illegal aliens would be eligible to go through a five-year program, which includes learning English and taking civics courses, to eventually secure a green card. Once a green card is secured, illegal aliens are able to apply to become naturalized American citizens.
“They came here as kids,” Graham said of many illegal aliens. “If you told them to go back to their country, they don’t know where you’re talking about. You’ve had people who have lived here for decades that have worked, hard assimilated into the country, and there’s a place for them under our terms.”
Salazar’s amnesty also includes mandatory E-Verify, funding for a “full border infrastructure system,” asylum reform, and increased interior immigration enforcement.
Also slipped into the amnesty are provisions that would bring more foreign visa workers to the U.S. to work on farms and take jobs in seasonal occupations.
RJ Hauman with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) told Breitbart News that the amnesty is a “poorly-timed proposal with even worse marketing” considering there were almost 100,000 border crossers apprehended by federal immigration officials last month — an increase of 170 percent compared to the same time last year — and nearly 17 million Americans unemployed but all wanting full-time work. Hauman said:
Now is the time for Republicans in both chambers to unify against amnesty bills rather than introducing their own proposals. A large-scale amnesty for illegal aliens would be bad policy even under the best of circumstances. Amnesty under the guise of ‘dignity’ in the midst of a full-blown border crisis is an affront to commonsense and not just Republican voters, but the American people as a whole.
In the Senate, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has proposed a similar amnesty where potentially 1.5 million illegal aliens would be able to obtain American citizenship.
Already, the U.S. gives out more than 1.2 million green cards to foreign nationals every year — 70 percent of which are awarded to the relatives of naturalized American citizens. In addition, about 1.4 million foreign nationals are able to secure work visas annually to take jobs in the U.S.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.