Bill Permits 193 Million More Aliens by 2026
Byline: Charles Hurt, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Senate immigration reform bill would allow for up to 193 million new legal immigrants - a number greater than 60 percent of the current U.S. population - in the next 20 years, according to a study released yesterday.
"The magnitude of changes that are entailed in this bill - and are largely unknown - rival the impact of the creation of Social Security or the creation of the Medicare program," said Robert Rector, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation who conducted the study.
Although the legislation would permit 193 million new immigrants in the next two decades, Mr. Rector estimated that it is more likely that about 103 million new immigrants actually would arrive in the next 20 years.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican who conducted a separate analysis that reached similar results, said Congress is "blissfully ignorant of the scope and impact" of the bill, which has bipartisan support in the Senate and has been praised by President Bush.
"This Senate is not ready to pass legislation that so significantly changes our future immigration policy," he said yesterday. "The impact this bill will have over the next 20 years is monumental and has not been thought through."
The 614-page "compromise" bill - hastily cobbled together last month by Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Mel Martinez of Florida - would give illegal aliens who have been in the U.S. two years or longer a right to citizenship. Illegals who have been here less than two years would have to return to their home countries to apply for citizenship.
Although that "amnesty" would be granted to about 10 million illegals, the real growth in the immigrant population would come later.
As part of the bill, the annual flow of legal immigrants allowed into the U.S. would more than double to more than 2 million annually. In addition, the guest-worker program in the bill would bring in 325,000 new workers annually who could later apply for citizenship.
That population would grow exponentially from there because the millions of new citizens would be permitted to bring along their extended families. Also, Mr. Sessions said, the bill includes "escalating caps," which would raise the number of immigrants allowed in as more people seek to enter the U.S.
"The impact of this increase in legal immigration dwarfs the magnitude of the amnesty provisions," said Mr. …