House Passes Mass Amnesty Bill
By Heather Ham-Warren | June 5, 2019
On Tuesday, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed by a 237 to 187 margin H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, a mass amnesty bill expected to cost American taxpayers over $34 billion dollars. This legislation is actually a package of two bills—the Dream Act and the American Promise Act— that were voted through the Judiciary Committee late last month.
The “dream” portion of the bill would codify and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It would grant amnesty to young adults if they arrived in the United States before the age of 18, have continuously resided in the U.S. since entry, and have graduated from high school or obtained a GED. However, this bill goes way beyond the current DACA population (of less than 700,000 recipients) and would actually award citizenship to over 2.5 million illegal aliens.
While background checks would be required, this legislation will permit criminals, including gang members, individuals who committed potentially serious crimes as juveniles, and those with multiple DUI convictions or misdemeanor firearms offences to obtain green cards.
The “promise” portion of the bill grants green card status to all aliens with Temporary Protective Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). There are currently ten countries designated for TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Liberia is the only country with DED. Altogether there are roughly 418,000 TPS recipients and between 840 and 3,6000 aliens subject to DED in the United States. The exact number of green cards that could be awarded is unknown because this legislation would extend protection to eligible aliens but either did not apply for or did not receive protective status.
Although leadership did not permit any Republican amendments to be considered on the House floor, the minority did offer a motion to recommit that would have denied a green card to any individual that is believed to be in a gang or have participated in gang activities. The motion also included a section to ensure that any applicant whose application is denied based on criminal, national security, gang, or public safety concerns is immediately referred to the Secretary of Homeland Security to initiate removal proceedings. Unfortunately, the motion to recommit was rejected.
The White House released a Statement of Administration Policy threatening to veto H.R. 6, and chastising the House of Representatives for voting on amnesty legislation while continuing to ignore the humanitarian crisis at the border. The statement read, in part:
“H.R. 6 would only exacerbate illegal immigration and the exploitation of our immigration laws by incentivizing more illegal behavior while doing nothing to address the problems at our southern border or broader immigration enforcement efforts. H.R. 6 would also continue the cycle of our broken immigration system that encourages people to break the law at the expense of those who follow the rules. For example, it would explicitly ignore those who proactively committed immigration fraud, which would be a slap in the face to those who chose to enter our country legally and who are currently waiting to become American citizens. Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that this legislation will increase budget deficits by more than $30 billion, a cost primarily driven by increased spending on Obamacare subsidies, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Federal student aid for this population of newly legalized immigrants.”
Dan Stein, president of FAIR, also released a statement condemning the vote. Stein said, “While Americans are justifiably alarmed at the crisis at the border – the exploitation of our humanitarian policies, and the wholesale release of newly-arrived illegal aliens in communities all across the United States – House Democrats have sent an unmistakable signal that they will do nothing to protect the interests or the safety of the American people.”
To see if your Representative voted in favor of amnesty, please click here.