Rep. Maria Salazar, R-FL, and other legislators have introduced an amnesty bill for millions of illegal immigrants. The United States Chamber of Commerce represents some of the largest multinational corporations in the United States.
Salazar, amidst record-breaking levels of illegal immigration, joined Reps. Veronica Escobar(D-TX), Jenniffer González-Colon(R-PR), Hillary Scholten(D-MI), Lori ChavezDeRemer (ROR), Kathy ManningDNC) and Mike Lawler (RNY) to present an updated version of her amnesty proposal that failed to gain traction last year.
The Chamber of Commerce (a Salazar donor) praised the amnesty for foreign visa workers and the expansion of the foreign worker program as a victory for big business that wants to expand the United States labor force to increase foreign competition, maintain low wages, and attract more consumers.
Jon Baselice, Chamber of Commerce Vice-President of Immigration Policy, said in a press release that “this proposal contains the bipartisan solutions necessary to secure our border, fix our asylum process, and help American businesses meet their workforce requirements.” “We are looking forward to working with bill sponsors to get these desperately-needed reforms to the nation’s broken migration system into law,” said Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Immigration Policy Jon Baselice in a statement.
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The plan combines nationwide mandatory E-Verify with a biometric system for entry and exit, and a crackdown against asylum fraud. It also includes an amnesty program for 11 to 22 million illegal aliens in the United States who pass a background investigation and pay their outstanding taxes.
The amnesty program would require illegal aliens to pay $5,000 in restitution. They would then be placed on a 12-year path that eventually leads to a green card and naturalized citizenship. This process includes studying English, making more restitution payments, and earning points for community service.
The plan also raises the per-country immigration cap from the current seven percent to fifteen percent, while also removing the legal immigration caps on H-1B, H-2A and H-2B visas.
The U.S. already gives green cards every year to over one million legal immigrants, in addition to the more than one million temporary work visas that are granted to foreign nationals. Legal immigration has pushed the number of foreign-born people to its highest level ever, along with illegal immigration.
House Republicans are unlikely to support the plan since House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has made it clear on numerous occasions that he would not even consider an amnesty plan.
McCarthy and other members of the House GOP leadership have been harshly critical of the Chamber of Commerce. McCarthy, in February for instance, shot down any chance that executives from the Chamber of Commerce would be able to influence House Republicans’ majority.
McCarthy’s spokesman stated that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has not been able to align its priorities with those of House Republicans, or their members. They should not expect to meet with McCarthy while this is the case.
Amnesty of illegal aliens would be a major benefit to many of Salazar’s biggest donors. These include Wall Street-linked finance firms and real estate developers who want to increase their housing stock and boost the number of foreign workers.