Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Legal Immigration Will Explode Under 'Budget Reconciliation' Bill

Relatively overlooked is that the bill will also substantially increase permanent, legal immigration using a combination of interpretation gimmicks and exemptions to current immigration law.

Under section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, if fewer than 226,000 family-based green cards are issued in a fiscal year, the difference is added to the employment-based immigrant total for the next fiscal year.

Section 60002 of the "Budget" bill purports to recapture all supposedly unused visas between fiscal years 1992 and 2021, and also nullifies the per-country cap restriction Congress implemented to encourage diversity and assimilation within the new immigrant population, as well as the preference allotment within each legal immigration category.

Step two of the legal immigration increase revives the green cards of aliens who won the visa lottery in fiscal years 2017-2021, but who failed to obtain the visa and be admitted to the United States before the end of the fiscal year as required by law.

Step three in the legal immigration bonanza is rather crass, as it offers an exemption from the green card annual numerical limits and the per country cap if they have the means to pay a supplemental fee.

Even if this one is a true outlier that lapses, its impact on increasing legal immigration will continue for many years because the bill only requires that an eligible alien file his or her adjustment of status application by the last day of FY 2031.

If these provisions become law, an already overwhelmed USCIS will be flooded with amnesty applications and special legal immigration carve-out petitions on top of standard immigration benefit requests.


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