4. Helping Criminal Aliens

Current immigration laws are strict toward aliens who commit crimes in the United States. The bill changes that by making it easier for criminal aliens to get bond and permanently remain in the United States. For example, it gives immigration judges and DHS broad new powers to waive actions which result in automatic ejection from the United States, such as for drug crimes, firearms offenses, domestic violence, stalking, marriage fraud, false claims to citizenship, and crimes involving moral turpitude (page 328).

The bill also makes it easier for criminal aliens to be released back onto the streets and to disappear without a trace. For example, it requires aliens to receive immediate bond hearings within 7 days or be released, even if DHS is still collecting their criminal records (page 653). For any aliens who are detained, even aggravated felons, immigration judges must hold bond hearings every 90 days even if nothing has changed to warrant another bond hearing  (page 654).

The overriding theme of the bill is that what it takes with the one hand it gives with the other. The bill pretends to be tough on domestic violence and criminal gangs by allowing them to be deported for these crimes. Yet to be deported for domestic violence the alien must have served at least one year in jail (page 635).

5. Expanding Visas

Proponents falsely claim the bill would end chain immigration by stopping the grant of visas to extended family members. But like the phony border security we hear about, this is also all about the talking points.

The bill moves very slowly away from family entitlement visas and protects everyone in the queue now or who applies 18 months into the future so the current backlogs will multiply. It will be many, many years after enactment before family entitlement visas are reduced at all.

Businesses have also been hoodwinked by the politicians. The employment visas the bill creates will mostly be unworkable for average businesses because of the mandates and exceptions that were put in to satisfy leftists and unions. The agricultural visas will benefit connected agribusiness special interests, not small farms.

The bill is larded with special-interest provisions, such as one for cruise ship repairmen and another to give out free phones at the border.  The bill also creates a special speedy path to citizenship for agricultural workers. Remember that one of the 1993 World Trade Center terrorists was a taxi driver who legalized his status through the agricultural program in the 1986 amnesty.