The Truth Behind 245(i) Amnesty: How Illegal Immigrants Are Taking Over Our Legal Immigration System (2002)
The controversial Section 245(i) provision of immigration law is accounting for a far larger share of annual admissions than previously realized. This is because 245(i) encourages people to violate the law, overstay visas, and to obtain an advantage by gaining entry into the U.S.
Section 245(i) functions as a mini-amnesty, allowing hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens to pay a $1000 surcharge and remain in the country, subject only to a cursory U.S. and foreign police record check before receiving permanent legal status.
- Thanks to 245(i), the number of aliens adjusting to legal status (most of whom were illegally in the country) was eight times higher in 2000 than it was in 1994, before 245(i) was passed.
- These adjustments of illegal aliens through 245(i) account for much of the high admissions levels since 1995
- Not only are Section 245(i) adjustments accounting for a larger share of legal admissions, but they are also the primary cause of the increase in total legal admissions to the United States.
- So many illegal aliens have used Section 245(i) to gain legal status that, for the last three years for which records are available, more than a quarter of all legal admissions were actually adjustments of status by illegal aliens.
If the not-yet-released numbers of adjustments of status for 2001 and 2002 are similar to those of 2000, Section 245(i) will have given 1.4 million illegal aliens an amnesty and permanent residence in just eight years.
The full report is available in PDF.