Alejandro Mayorkas, President Joe Biden’s border chief, announced on June 14 that he is offering work permits, welfare, Social Security numbers (SSNs), and exemption from deportation to the illegal migrants who ask for a “U visa.”
The nation’s immigration laws were designed to prevent Americans from losing jobs and homes to millions of low-wage economic migrants. The U visa is a small, 10,000 person-a-year side door through the nation’s immigration laws. It was created in 2000, supposedly to protect illegal migrants who want to serve as witnesses in criminal trials.
Mayorkas and his deputies have “detonated a bomb, they’ve blown open the side door,” Rob Law, the director of regulatory affairs and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, said.
Their plan is to give work permits and SSNs to illegal migrants who merely apply for the U visas by creating a cursory “Bona Fide Determination (BFD) process,” he said. The BFD process essentially removes the annual cap on the number of migrants who can get work permits and SSNs.
“No one is going to be denied… As quickly as these applications can be approved [via the BFD process], these illegal aliens are going to take jobs” from Americans, he said, adding:
They’re creating a new immigration system unilaterally because Congress is not doing any of the things that they want. They’re essentially throwing the INA [Immigration and Naturalization Act] into the garbage, and they’re just starting from scratch with how they want the laws to be which is: ‘No illegal alien left behind, and everybody gets a free work permit.” Their goal is unlimited immigration and no alien ever get removed from the country.
The change was announced on June 14 by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency within the Department of Homeland Security:
“Today we are taking steps to help victims of crime and promote public safety,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “These are individuals who have come forward to help law enforcement keep us all safe, but who are in need of a measure of protection for themselves as well. The Bona Fide Determination process is consistent with the Department’s statutory authorities and will ensure these individuals receive the support they need.”
By inventing the BFD process, “they’re creating such a low threshold that every illegal alien in the country will file a petition, which is free and the work permit is also free,” even if the forms are incompletely filled out, Law, who was chief of staff at USCIS during former President Donald Trump’s term, said.
Mayorkas’ plan can be blocked if Congress bars any spending on the program, or if Americans can persuade a judge that they are economically harmed by Mayorkas’ migration expansion.
The DHS statement said:
Through this new process, USCIS will issue employment authorization and grant deferred action to petitioners in the United States with pending U visa petitions that it determines are bona fide (made in good faith and without intention of deceit or fraud) and who merit a favorable exercise of discretion. To be considered bona fide, the petition must include a certification from law enforcement that the petitioner was a victim of a crime and that the victim has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of that crime.
Under Trump, officials scrutinized the growing number of applications for fraud, he said. “We discovered an illegal alien gang member submitted a new petition because he was the victim of gang-related crime from the rival gang,” Law said, adding, “That’s not what the U visa was meant for.”
“They’re just making this process up and it’s going to be a, a very easy process in which everybody will pass the bonafide determination … I know that because when I was at USCIS is that’s exactly what the staff that is driving this said should happen,” Law said.
“That’s why we never rolled that out,” Law added.
Mayorkas’s offer of SSNs will also allow migrants to quickly access U.S. aid programs, including the child subsidies offered in the coronavirus recovery act, Law said. It will also allow illegals to get driver’s licenses and many other benefits formerly restricted to the nation’s citizens, he said.
Mayorkas’ offer of an exemption from deportation laws will also boost the number of people seeking apartments, driving up housing prices for Americans.
Mayorkas’ offer of work permits to economic migrants comes as Americans are enjoying wage gains amid a national shortage of workers in the restaurant and food sector.
President Donald Trump’s zig-zag policy of lower migration had reduced federal inflation of the labor supply. This reform is now helping blue-collar Americans extract wage increases from their employers — especially from restaurant owners. On June 10, the Washington Post reported comments from Patrick Whalen, a co-owner of five restaurants in Charleston and Charlotte, N.C.:
After one of his managers told him that a line cook needed to borrow money to get groceries, Whalen was moved to reconsider wages at the company.
“It was just one of those moments where you just kind of stop and you say, ‘Is there a real problem in our industry?’” he said. “We always kind of knew it was there, but we didn’t really know what to do with it.”
The company raised the starting wage for all of its staff to $15 an hour, up from $12 to $13. And it created a “tip the kitchen” program, adding a second line to table checks for gratuity for the back-of-the-house staff, which the restaurant matches up to $500 per night. That move has increased wages for non-tipped employees such as line cooks and dishwashers to an average of $23.80 an hour, Whalen said.
Many Americans are getting wage raises as the economy emerges from the coronavirus disaster. For example, the New York Times reported June 9: “In May, in an effort to hire 20,000 employees in a tight labor market, Chipotle said it was raising wages and would pay workers from $11 to $18 an hour … In May, McDonald’s said it was raising hourly wages for current employees by an average of 10 percent.”
In recent weeks, business groups have stepped up their demand that the federal government helps to extract more workers and consumers from foreign countries.
“We, right now, this year, need 430,000 workers [and] over the next couple years by 2023, we’re going to need probably another million,” Michael Bellaman, the president and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors trade group, told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on June 2. He continued:
We need a merit-based, market-based, rule-of-law worker visa system that provides the necessary opportunities for [foreign] people that want to work in the United States, as well as for our employers to take those trained [foreign] individuals that have spent three years [working] in their companies, with the opportunity to sponsor them to a pathway to citizenship, a legal form of status, something more permanent, that will be a value to our industry.
Each year, 4 million young Americans enter the workforce — and are forced by their government to compete against a growing population of illegal migrants, against 1 million new legal immigrants, and against the resident workforce of roughly 2 million temporary guest workers.
The voter opposition to elite-backed economic migration coexists with support for legal immigrants and some sympathy for illegal migrants. But only a minority of Americans — mostly leftists — embrace the many skewed polls and articles pushing the 1950’s corporate “Nation of Immigrants” claim.
The deep public opposition to labor migration is built on the widespread recognition that legal and illegal migration moves money away from most Americans’ pocketbooks and families.
Migration moves money from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to investors, from technology to stoop labor, from red states to blue states, and from the central states to the coastal states such as New York.