The so-called "temporary worker" scheme currently lurking in Congress could be a knockout punch for the American worker and one of the most prolific illegal alien amnesties of all time.
This lunacy is the brainchild of three Arizona Republicans – House members Jim Kolbe and Jeff Flake, and Senator John McCain. With the introduction of these bills in the House and Senate last month, this trio deserves all-time lows on the "most horriblest clowns" list maintained by the invaluable immigration reform radio talkshow host Terry Anderson.
The plan adds two new visa categories to the existing laundry list of non-immigrant visas in section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration Act.
The plan will allow an apparently unlimited number of brand-new foreign workers under a new H-4A category, and will grant new H-4B visas - also apparently unlimited – to illegal aliens and to visa over-stayers who are already working in the United States without authorization.
Here's a handy memory aid for the proposed new visas:
H-4A visa – "The Foreign Worker Importation Act of 2003."
H-4B visa – "The Illegal Alien and September 11th Hijacker Adjustment Act of 2003."
The H-4A aliens will be new arrivals who apply for their visas at U.S. consulates abroad in order to take pre-arranged jobs in the United States that Americans supposedly won't do – or won't do for what the employers are willing to pay, more accurately.
The H-4A applicants will miraculously apply and be hired for American jobs while they're still in their home countries, and while Americans are unemployed at home. Amazing, isn't it?
Successful H-4A applicants will be imported for three years, renewable for another three years. Corporations employing more than 500 workers can get in on the H-4A action for a one-time fee of $1,000. Smaller companies can buy the privilege of importing foreign workers for even fewer pieces of silver – $500. Each lucky H-4A alien will pay an additional application fee, to be determined later.
After getting a foot in the door with non-immigrant status, the next step for these newly-minted non-immigrants will be to file for permanent residence through the very same employer or perhaps through a new-found family member.
And after seven years with a "green card" – voila! – United States citizenship.
Non-immigrant visas are intended for foreign tourists, students, diplomats, journalists, crewmen, nurses, artists, entertainers, language students, cultural exchange visitors, and certain of their spouses and children. The visas allow foreign nationals into the country legally for limited purposes, without resorting to sneaking in through someone's ranch, or in the trunk of a car.
Whether any non-immigrants ever actually leave the United States is another story. But under this new "temporary worker" plan, non-immigrants who let their status expire (along with those who never had status in the first place) can apply for an H-4B visa and become legal again.
Amazingly, the H-4B visa program is reserved for illegal aliens only. It snubs the law-abiding student and tourist to reward scofflaws who take American jobs without authorization. Being illegal is a requirement for the H-4B visa!
Illegal aliens who claim to have been living and working illegally in the United States prior to August 1, 2003, can apply for a three-year H-4B visa for $1,500. And if they can't afford the $1,500 fee all at once, Secretary Tom Ridge's friendly Department of Homeland Security will extend them credit at market rates. [H.R. 2899, pages 27-28 – honest!]
The three-year H-4B visa allows aliens and their willing American employers an extension for as long as it takes to change status over to the H-4A category. And once the former illegal aliens cleansed by their H-4B visa make the jump over to the H-4A status, the clock starts all over again. As newly-minted H-4A aliens they'll get three more years of employment, renewable for yet another three years, increasing their chances of finding a way to petition for permanent resident status.
But who will get the H-4B visa amnesty?
If the jihad fanatics managed to find willing H-4B employers, they would have been eligible to change back to legal non-immigrant status under this insane plan. They also could have prolonged their stay even longer by adjusting again from H-4B to H-4A.
But the H-4B "Illegal Alien and September 11th Hijacker Adjustment Act" gets even worse. The H-4B visas throw a gigantic monkey-wrench into the already ludicrous and delay-ridden Immigration Court system of the Executive Office for Immigration Review –EOIR.
Thanks to the three stooges from Arizona, aliens will be able to stop their deportation proceedings, file for a three-year H-4B visa, and walk out of Immigration Court with lawful status all from the very same process that was supposed to be deporting them! [See H.R. 2899, page 30]
And if an alien's H-4B application gets denied – due to Immigration Act section 212(a)(2), (3), and (4) inadmissibility – who cares! They've just successfully tied up their own deportation for an eternity while waiting for their fellow 8.4 million illegal alien workers to have their H-4B adjustment applications decided too.
Unfortunately, non-deportation of aliens in the federal immigration bureaucracy is nothing new. The H-4B visa is just one more below-the-radar amnesty program, and yet another get-out-of-jail-free card in the ongoing permanent amnesty that is the Justice Department's EOIR Immigration Court.
The Grand Canyon state trio have only just introduced this bill. No word yet on where the Bush Administration stands. Let's be hopeful, but watchful.