Flake-Graham-Durbin (Gang of Six) Amnesty Proposal
Bill Summary by RJ Hauman | January 25, 2018 | Read the 'Gang of Six' Fact Sheet
Led by Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a group of six pro-amnesty senators recently unveiled a so-called "bipartisan immigration proposal."
The deal offered by the "Gang of Six" -- Republican Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado; and Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and Michael Bennet of Colorado – would grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, while offering no tradeoffs to mitigate the negative consequences of amnesty, secure the border, and eliminate existing incentives to violate U.S. immigration laws. It is also worth noting that virtually every member of the "Gang of Six" was part of the 2013 "Gang of Eight," so it is not surprising the framework mirrors the goals of pro-amnesty and open borders activists.
The Flake-Graham-Durbin proposal fails to meet the baseline standards for immigration reform outlined by the Trump administration, a majority of congressional Republicans, and national security experts.
FAIR's key concerns about Flake-Graham-Durbin are:
- Failure to Secure the Border
- Grants Amnesty to Potentially 8-10 Million Illegal Immigrants
- Ensures Future Amnesties by Failing to Reform Flaws in Immigration Law
- Leaves Chain Migration Intact
- Keeps The Visa Lottery Alive
Failure to Secure the Border
- Includes less than 10 percent of the funding for existing border security infrastructure improvements, including building a physical and virtual border wall
- No funding for new infrastructure improvements
- Leaves in place regulations and bureaucratic constraints that lead to cost overruns, delays, and inefficient budgeting
- Does not give law enforcement necessary legal authorities to prevent illegal border crossings and apprehend, detain, and deport potential terrorists and other criminal aliens.
Grants Amnesty to Potentially 8-10 Million Illegal Immigrants
In total, Flake-Graham-Durbin would explode current immigration levels by giving legal status to:
- An estimated 3.5 million so-called Dreamers – an illegal alien population that is nearly give times larger than the population of DACA recipients.
- Provides 3-year renewable work permits to the parents of 3.5 million illegal Dreamers, thereby rewarding those who knowingly violated U.S. immigration law
Ensures Future Amnesties by Failing to Reform Flaws in Immigration Law
- Does not eliminate existing laws that incentivize unlawful entry into the United States, such as the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA) or the Flores settlement agreement
- Does not close loopholes in the current immigration system which permit visa overstays, exploitation of foreign worker laws, and fraudulent asylum claims
- Does not allow for prompt removal of unaccompanied minors and other unlawful entrants
Leaves Chain Migration Intact
- Leaves chain migration in place while permitting an increase in the scope of individuals eligible to bring in relatives from overseas
- Does not cut the current legal immigration levels, which allow more than one million legal immigrants to enter the U.S. every year
Keeps The Visa Lottery Alive
Rather than ending the visa lottery. Flake-Graham-Durbin:
- Shifts elements into a new amnesty program by reallocating half of the annual Visa Lottery visas to recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
- Would continue to issue lottery visas to individuals from "underrepresented" countries
Most importantly, Flake-Graham-Durbin fails to meet the priorities of the American people.
According to a newly-released Harvard-Harris poll:
- Secure Borders: 79 percent back "secure borders" over “basically open borders,” including 93 percent of Republicans, and 80 percent of independents, and 68 percent of Democrats;
- Give Amnesty To Dreamer Parents: The poll found 60 percent of voters oppose giving preference to parents who illegally brought their children to the U.S., which is what Graham-Durbin proposes;
- Merit-Based Immigration: Nearly 8 out of 10 Americans overall believe immigration should be prioritized on a person’s “ability to contribute to America,” including 87 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats;
- End Immigration Lottery: A total of 68 percent overall oppose a system that "randomly picks 50,000 people to enter the U.S. each year for greater diversity." That figure includes 81 percent of Hispanics and 62 percent of blacks;
- End Chain Migration: Nearly 80 percent said immigration "should be based on a person’s ability to contribute to America as measured by their education and skills," including 87 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of Independents.
- Curb Immigration Levels: Just over 80 percent would like to reduce current legal immigration levels and 63 percent want to cut levels by at least half.