Wednesday, 24 July 2024 22:59

US Immigration Reform News 2015: 5.46 Million Work Permits Issued To Non-Citizens From 2009 To 2014 – Report

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The U.S. government issued 5.46 million work permits to non-immigrant foreigners from 2009 to 2014, according to a conservative think-tank.

The Center for Immigration Studies, which describes itself as "low-immigration, pro-immigrant," said the numbers were "above and beyond the number of new green card and temporary worker admissions in those years."

According to a statement issued by the Center's director, Jessica Vaughan, the data was obtained from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services through a Freedom of Information Act request.

She claimed that the issuance of the work permits "is a huge parallel immigrant work authorization system outside the limits set by Congress that inevitably impacts opportunities for U.S. workers, damages the integrity of the immigration system, and encourages illegal immigration."

The list created by the Center consists of work permits granted to permanent or pre-permanent categories including approved asylum seekers, refugees, fiancées and permanent residents; those under temporary categories including foreign journalists, temporary workers and tourists; illegal aliens such as parolees and stowaways; and special categories including those in Northern Marianas and Palau.

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, who opposes President Obama's immigration policies, said the matter should be investigated.

"This request has unearthed the operation of a shadow immigration system previously unknown to the American public," he said, according to Fox News.

The Center said 1.8 million new work permits were issued to aliens holding temporary visas or those under the Visa Waiver Program.

"Of these, about 1.2 million (67 percent) had a visa status for which employment is not authorized by law," said Vaughan. "For example, more than 470,000 work permits were issued to aliens on tourist visas and 532,000 were issued to foreign students. More than 156,000 were issued to dependents of students and guestworkers, all in categories not authorized for employment by law."

She said 963,000 new work permits were issued to non-citizens under permanent status or have status that will lead to a green card primarily consisting of refugees (418,000), fiancés of U.S. citizens (164,000), and approved asylum applicants (174,000).

In addition, she said, 982,000 work permits were released to undocumented immigrants. She claimed that 957,000 were issued to people "who crossed the border illegally (Entered Without Inspection)."

About 1.7 million work permits "were issued to aliens whose status was unknown, not recorded by the adjudicator, or not disclosed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that processes the applications."

Vaughan said, "This should be a concern. Work permits are gateway documents to driver's licenses and other benefits, and if the government agency issuing them does not know or will not disclose how the bearer arrived in the country, how can others rely on the authenticity of an individual's identity? It is equally disconcerting if the government does know and chooses not to disclose it."

She claimed that "these statistics indicate that the executive branch is operating a huge parallel immigrant work authorization system outside the bounds of the laws and limits written by Congress."

Because of this, she said, "it inevitably reduces job opportunities for Americans."

 Vaughan claimed that "allowing work permits to be issued to illegal aliens and temporary visitors damages the integrity of the legal immigration system and encourages illegal immigration."

She said Congress should "prevent the issuance of the next five million work permits" by voting to withhold funds for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The Christian Times

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