Wikileaks reveals immigration provisions in trade bill. Didn't Paul Ryan say these provisions were an "urban legend"? http://t.co/HNFa7lKdzO— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) June 10, 2015
Yes, he did. And the White House confirmed it, as you can see from these NewsMax links:
Then there this, from Politico, quoting Senator Jeff Sessions, and illustrated with the picture above:
Opponents of giving the Obama administration broad authority to negotiate a trans-Pacific trade deal, including Republican senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, are pushing a new argument: It could trigger a flood of immigrants into the country.
Sessions’ argument – essentially, that the administration could use the authority to expand immigration – was dismissed as an “urban legend” by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, whose panel oversees trade.
Trade pact foes: Deal could cause flood of immigrantsGOP leaders and White House officials are working to douse the latest threat to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
By Seung Min Kim, Politico, May 5, 2015
So what's the substance of this urban legend? From FAIR's immigrationReform.com website
On June 3, WikiLeaks released parts of the TISA (Trade in Services Agreement), which is related to the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. However, it is still a separate agreement and would be ratified separately. One of the TISA annexes/sub-sections they posted covers “Movement of Natural Persons”, linked here: https://wikileaks.org/tisa/
The focus of the Movement of Natural Persons annex appears to be business visitors and intra-company transfers. Most of the proposed agreement deals with standards for visa applications (30-day deadlines for processing, fee schedules, etc.).
There are red flags throughout the document including:
- A prohibition on “Economic Needs” testing, aka, labor market certification on B-1/L-1 visitors;
- Creating a presumption that all spouses of L-1/B-1 visitors who stay for 12 months should also get visas;
- The proposal appears to forbid mandatory face to face visa interviews as burdensome;
- The language about “independent professionals” is very non-specific and it could be an attempt to allow self-petitioning;
- Finally, the total impact is uncertain because even after the agreement is signed every signatory needs to publish a schedule of industry sectors that they will allow business visitors, contractual service professionals and independent professionals to enter.
Secret Immigration Provisions of Trade Deal Revealed by Wikileaks, By Karl Filippini, June 4, 2015