Rhymes With Dumb: Legalizing Illegals Before They Even Immigrate

By David North on December 18, 2009

The proposed House amnesty bill (HR 4321) not only grants legal status to virtually all 12 million illegal aliens in the country, it also provides (in Sec. 317) legalization 100,000 wannabe illegals each year for three years who have not yet even set foot in the country. For a summary of the 644-page bill see here, and for the complete text see here.

It is another visa lottery, this time for some of the people now living in nations that send us illegal aliens, such as Mexico. To be eligible you have to be ineligible for any of the multitudinous other ways that one can obtain an immigrant visa. You have to be out of the country and be willing to "submit to criminal background checks" and, presumably, pass those checks.

This is a case of Thinking Ahead, a program to legalize illegal immigrants before they even do the migrating; maybe before they even think about it.

It is called the "Prevent Unauthorized Migration (PUM) Visa." PUM rhymes with...

The program has a couple of interesting aspects. First, it enables the lottery winners to obtain a conditional visa which can be converted to a green card after three years. In contrast, the conditional visas granted to actual illegal aliens already in the country under the proposed amnesty cannot be converted to the green card until after the passage of six years.

Second, the benefits of the program are to be denied to two classes of people – those with serious criminal records, and those who have graduated from college ("has completed less than a 4-year college degree program"). It sounds like the old rules for voting for the British House of Commons; all citizens could do so, except lunatics and members of the House of Lords.

Most nations have immigrant-screening processes that tilt in favor of those with higher education – but this proposed visa bars such people.

There are other intriguing aspects of the House plan. One is the twisted use of the language. A $500 filing fee – and the immigration process is full of fees – suddenly becomes a fine in this program. This term is used to suggest that the illegals are paying a penalty for their prior status, which makes their legalization OK. One wonders if $500 a head would even pay for the costs of the program.

Another is the provision (Sec. 313) for giving the sons and daughters of Filipino World War II veterans permanent admission outside the annual numerical limitations which routinely keeps migration from the Philippines down to 20,000. (All nations have such a ceiling for what is defined as numerically-limited migration.)

Two thoughts here: 1) if this second-generation reward for service to the cause in WW II is important – and it is not extended to children of those killed in Battles for Britain or Stalingrad – why not give these second-generation members priority over other Filipinos within the numerical ceilings?

2) American governmental history is ignored here. The U.S. government spent millions trying to identify veterans of the Filipino Army right after World War II, in order to pay pensions. Even before WW II the paper records of that army were not the best, and what did exist in 1941 was pretty thoroughly destroyed during the Japanese occupation. Now DHS and State will be asked to match the fragmentary army records with that nation's shaky system of birth records – the opportunities for document fraud are enormous.

Neither the bill nor the summary mention that the U.S. Government, earlier this year, paid out an additional $105 million to the 11,000 surviving Filipino veterans of WW II, in lump sum payments of $15,000 (to citizens) and $9,000 (to noncitizens); these payments were in addition to all other benefits that these veterans had received over the years from the other veterans compensation programs of the two nations.

Some of the children of these veterans – the ones with the special immigration benefits – might be getting a little old for migrating anywhere. The war years were 1941-1945, so the children of those serving were probably mostly born between 1930 and 1970, and thus are now 39 to 79 years of age. Their spouses and minor children would also get such visas.

If you enjoyed this blog, please visit our HR 4321 overview page.