United States. Congress. House. Committee on the J.

Legal immigration reform proposals : hearing before the Subcommitee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, May 17, 1995 online

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\i^ LEGAL IMMIGRATION REFORM



PROPOSALS



Y 4. J 89/1:104/46

Legal Innigration Reforn Proposals*... nT"vrp«



BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE OX
IMMIGRATION AND CLAIMS

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION



MAY 17, 1995

Serial No. 46



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May 9



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'^'^^^IJCpAOri



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Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
21-911 WASHINGTON : 1996



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-052500-4



\



LEGAL IMMIGRATION REFORM
PROPOSALS



4. J 89/1:104/46

jal Innigration Reforn Proposals*... oyM"/^



BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE OX
IMMIGRATION AND CLAIMS

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS
FIRST SESSION



MAY 17, 1995



Serial No. 46







Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
21-911 WASHINGTON : 1996

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-052500-4



COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY



HENRY J. HYDE, lUinois, Chairman



CARLOS J. MOORHEAD, California
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr.,

Wisconsin
BILL McCOLLUM, Florida
GEORGE W. GEKAS, Pennsylvania
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
CHARLES T. CANADY, Florida
BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEPHEN E. BUYER, Indiana
MARTIN R. HOKE, Ohio
SONNY BONO, CaUfornia
FRED HEINEMAN, North CaroUna
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
MICHAEL PATRICK FLANAGAN, lUinois
BOB BARR, Georgia

Alan F. Coffey, Jr., General Counsel / Staff Director
Julian Epstein, Minority Staff Director



JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
PATRICIA SCHROEDER, Colorado
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JOHN BRYANT, Texas
JACK REED, Rhode Island
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North CaroUna
XAVIER BECERRA, California
JOSE E. SERRANO, New York
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas



Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims

LAMAR SMITH, Texas, Chairman
ELTON GALLEGLY, California JOHN BRYANT, Texas

CARLOS J. MOORHEAD, California BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts

BILL McCOLLUM, Florida CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York

SONNY BONO, California HOWARD L. BERMAN, California

FRED HEINEMAN, North Carolina XAVIER BECERRA, California

ED BRYANT, Tennessee

CoRDlA A. Strom, Chief Counsel

Edward R. Grant, Counsel

George Fishman, Assistant Counsel

Paul Drolet, Minority Counsel

(II)



CONTENTS



HEARING DATE



Page

May 17, 1995 1

OPENING STATEMENT

Smith, Hon. Lamar, a Representative in Congress from the State of Texas,
and chairman. Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims 1

WITNESSES

Brimelow, Peter, author, "Alien Nation" 28

Guendelsberger, John, professor of law, Ohio Northern University College

of Law, Ada, OH 152

Krikorian, Mark, executive director. Center for Immigration Studies 132

Lempres, Michael T., Esq., Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld 162

Martin, Philip, professor of agricultural economics. University of California

at Davis 91

Martin, Susan, Ph.D., Executive Director, U.S. Commission on Immigration

Reform 5

Miller, Harris N., president. Information Technology Association of America ... 109
Papademetriou, Demetrios G., senior associate and director, immigration mi-
gration policy program, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace .... 129
Roberts, Markley, assistant director. Economic Research Department, AFL-

cio ::::- lu

Skerry, Peter, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 42

LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING

Brimelow, Peter, author, "Alien Nation":

Article by George Borjas 63

Prepared statement 30

Responses to issues raised by Congressman Becerra 59

Guendelsberger, John, professor of law, Ohio Northern University College

of Law, Ada, OH: Prepared statement 154

Krikorian, Mark, executive director. Center for Immigration Studies: Pre-
pared statement 134

Lempres, Michael T., Esq., Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld: Prepared

statement 164

Martin, Philip, professor of agricultural economics. University of California

at Davis: Prepared statement 94

Martin, Susan, Ph.D., Executive Director, U.S. Commission on Immigration
Reform:
Letter dated November 29, 1995, to Congressman John Bryant of Texas .. 20

Prepared statement 7

Miller, Harris N., president, Information Technology Association of America:

Prepared statement Ill

Papademetriou, Demetrios G., senior associate and director, immigration mi-
gration policy program, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

International Migration Study 177

Prepared statement 131

Roberts, Markley, assistant director. Economic Research Department, AFL-

CIO: Prepared statement 115

Skerry, Peter, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: Prepared
statement 45

APPENDIX
Statement of Steve K. Singal 211

(III)



LEGAL IMMIGRATION REFORM PROPOSALS



WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 1995

House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims,

Committee on the Judiciary,

Washington, DC.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:45 a.m., in room
2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lamar Smith (chair-
man of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives Lamar Smith, Elton Gallegly, Carlos J.
Moorhead, Ed Bryant of Tennessee, John Bryant of Texas, Barney
Frank, and Xavier Becerra.

Also present: Cordia A. Strom, chief counsel; Edward R. Grant,
counsel; George Fishman, assistant counsel; Judy Knott, secretary;
and Paul Drolet, minority counsel.

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN SMITH

Mr. Smith. The Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims will
come to order.

I'd like to welcome everyone here. We're glad to be in our normal
Judiciary Committee meeting room. It gives us a little bit more
space and makes room for the visitors that we have.

We have a full day today. We have 4 panels and 10 different wit-
nesses covering this subject that we have not yet covered before as
a subcommittee, legal immigration.

America needs immigration reform. Current levels of immigra-
tion are at historic highs. Immigration levels have steadily in-
creased since the end of World War II with no end in sight. There
is justifiable concern over whether America needs this much immi-
gration at the present time.

When the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy
issued its report in 1981, it was entitled "U.S. Immigration Policy
and the National Interest." There is a message there that we have
lost. For too long, serious immigration reform has been frustrated
by those who deny that there is a national interest that must be
served by our immigration policy. Private interests have dominated
the immigration debate. We must reclaim the immigration issue as
one that affects all AmericEins and decisively state and defend
those principles against which immigration policy should be meas-
ured.

Congress must assert its proper and central role in this process.
In fact. Congress has a historic opportunity this year to implement
a new immigration policy that puts America's interests first. We
cannot fail to seize that opportunity.

(1)



Our failure to enforce laws against illegal immigration is notori-
ous. We examined that issue in a series of hearings conducted prior
to the April recess. We now have a solid record on which to base
new legislative proposals, which we expect to introduce in early
June.

Illegal immigration, however, is not the only area that needs re-
form. Today, as a result of legislative changes made in 1965, 1986,
and 1990, we are admitting increasing and historically high levels
of legal immigrants. The vast majority of these immigrants are ad-
mitted on the basis of family relationships, without regard to their
level of education or job skills.

The principle of family unification is laudable, but it should not
override all other interests. A great proportion of immigrants
should be admitted on criteria that are more explicitly related to
our national economic interest.

Employment-based immigration, which accounts for a smaller
but still-sizable group of legal immigrants, also needs examination.
To what extent do these immigrants displace U.S. workers? Also,
are visas being given to aliens who have supposedly come here
temporarily on nonimmigrant visas, but who always intended to
immigrate permanently?

Finally, it is appropriate to examine other categories of immigra-
tion, such as the diversity program and refugee admissions.

Our task today is to begin the process of defining the principles
that should guide our legislative reforms and to suggest measures
that would be consistent with those principles. We look forward to
what our witnesses will have to say on these topics. I would like
to suggest some starting points for their discussions.

First, the United States has a right and a duty to select who we
permit to immigrate, and to make that selection on the basis of
who will contribute the most to America. We should exercise this
authority more explicitly than we have in the past to admit people
with the education, job, and language skills needed to succeed in
our economy.

Second, the United States should extend immigration benefits to
the nuclear family, the spouse and minor children, of those whom
we select to immigrate. Current family immigration preferences en-
courages chain migration. An immigrant can petition for the admis-
sion of parents and adult brothers and sisters, who in turn can pe-
tition for the admission of their relatives.

As a result, more than 70 percent of all immigrants are admitted
exclusively on the basis of family relationships, mostly to other re-
cent immigrants. There is no evaluation of what these more ex-
tended family members might contribute to our economy.

Third, immigrants must embrace the fundamental civic duties of
American society. Among these are the need to learn English, to
understand the principles of U.S. Government, and the need to
have a knowledge of U.S. history.

Fourth, immigrants should expect to remain self-reliant and not
burden American taxpayers by taking undue advantage of public
benefits. This has long been a principle of U.S. immigration law.
Since the turn of this century, being a public charge has been
grounds for exclusion or removal from the United States. This pro-



vision has not been enforced, leaving American taxpayers with the
bill for welfare assistance to immigrants.

Fifth, immigrants should contribute to economic growth. Reason-
able numbers of immigrants with a high level of skill, education,
or ability in a particular field benefit America economically, but
many experts believe that large-scale, low-skilled immigration dis-
places American workers, especially in minority communities. Im-
migration laws should be examined to make sure that they con-
tinue to accomplish what is best for American workers and for the
economy.

It is time for Congress to shift the focus of immigration policy
from serving special interests to serving the national interest.
While tens of millions of people understandably would like to come
to the United States, only those who will contribute to our economy
and our society should be admitted. America can create a rational,
fair, and constructive immigration policy that is consistent with our
national interests.

Before I recognize my colleague and friend from Texas, let me
say to you all that we expect more Members in just a few minutes.
However, there is a Crime Subcommittee meeting that is in direct
conflict with the meeting of the Subcommittee on Immigration. So
we'll have some people going back and forth during the course of
the day.

Now I'm very pleased to yield to the gentleman from Texas, Mr.
Bryant.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'm grateful that we are having a hearing on legal immigration.
I think it really is the principal focus of this committee's work, and
I'm pleased that we're going to scrutinize it. I think many of our
problems in this area are a result, as you said, of serving of or an-
swering the call and the requests of special interests when we've
taken up immigration legislation in the past, rather than legislat-
ing for the broad national interest of the entire country.

I'm particularly concerned about the impact on emplojrment of
the importation of labor into this country that displaces American
jobs, and some of you may have seen the television shows recently
that have focused on that. I hope that we can address this in a
hard-headed, no-nonsense fashion and respond.

It is, in my view, regrettable that the last time we took this legis-
lation up in the full committee has been about 4 years ago now.
The bill we passed actually increased the amount of legal immigra-
tion. I opposed that bill at the time, and my views are the same
today. I think it's a time for us to reexamine this whole matter.

So I thank you for calling the hearing.

Mr. Smith. Thank you.

Let me recognize the gentleman from California, Mr. Gallegly.

Mr. Gallegly. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I just want to thank you for calling this hearing today. I think
it's certainly one of the most important issues facing the Nation
today. It's certainly one that is on the front pages of the paper
more often in recent weeks and months than in the past, and the
issue of legal immigration continues to be a focus of much atten-
tion, and I think largely due to the fact that we have had such tre-
mendous increases in illegal immigration.



I just want to make it clear from this Member's standpoint that,
while I think that the issues we'll be reviewing today are very im-
portant, I think that we want to be very careful that in looking at
the issue of legal immigration that we're not too quick to knuckle
under to the requests of many folks who want to close the front
door because the back door is off the hinges. From this Member's
standpoint, while my energy continues to focus on the issue of ille-
gal immigration, I think that many of the issues that you've men-
tioned today as it relates to legal immigration certainly is very
worthwhile and something we must face.

So I look forward to hearing the testimony. Unfortunately, in my
case, we're marking up two of my bills in another committee at the
same time this morning. So I may be going back and forth.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Smith. Thank you for your comments.

Another gentleman from California, Mr. Becerra, is recognized.

Mr. Becerra. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and let me say to you
again that I applaud you for your thoughtful deliberation of the
issue of immigration, both undocumented and now documented,
and I wish to applaud you for making every effort to obtain as
much information as we can, so we can come through with some
rational basis for making any changes or reforms to immigration.
I think this is a way to do it.

I want to associate myself completely with the remarks of my
friend and colleague from California, Mr. Gallegly. I think it's im-
portant that we do have a chance to deliberate completely, and I
also agree that when we heard those words back when, when peo-
ple were saying the reason we're going after undocumented immi-
gration so vigorously is because we want to make sure we preserve
that front door for legal immigration, I think Mr. Gallegly's com-
pletely correct. And I hope that what we find is after all the testi-
mony is in from all the experts and we have a chance to sit down,
we're able to come up with some good reform for immigration for
this country.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Becerra.

The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Bryant, is recognized.

Mr. Bryant of Tennessee. Thank you, Mr. Chairmsm.

I apologize for being late. Like Mr. Gallegly, we've got other in-
volvements this morning, and I look forward to hearing from these
distinguished panels.

After reviewing your opening statement — I'm sorry I missed it,
but after reviewing a written copy of it, I simply want to, as a part
of my — as my opening statement, associate myself with your re-
marks

Mr. Smith. Thank you.

Mr. Bryant of Tennessee [continuing]. And move forward with
the hearing.

Thank you very much.

Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Bryant.

Carlos, do you have an opening statement? The gentleman from
California, Mr. Moorhead, is recognized.

Mr. Moorhead. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for
agreeing to hold these most important hearings today.



Legal immigration to the United States during the 1990's will
reach the highest levels in American history. Nearly 80 percent of
all Americans believe the United States should not continue to in-
crease immigration levels, and I agree that our current immigra-
tion system has not been working for everyone — or anyone, actu-
ally — ^for a long time. It no longer meets the national interests it
was intended to serve.

In 1986, I voted against the amnesty provisions of IRCA and I
believe we sent the wrong message to our neighbors to the south
by accepting illegal aliens as permanent residents. Nearly 2.7 mil-
lion persons received lawful permanent resident status through
this legalization program from 1989 through 1993.

I also voted against the Immigration Act of 1990 which allowed
a 40-percent increase in the number of immigrants who enter the
United States on an annual basis. That doesn't mean that I'm op-
posed to immigration because virtually all of us, through our fami-
lies, come to this country by immigration, but it is important that
we have our immigration levels set at a point that we can assimi-
late the people that come without adversely affecting the economy
and the quality of life that's available for our people.

We are the most generous Nation on earth and continue to take
in more immigrants than the rest of the world combined, but we
cannot continue to take in more people than we can afford to as-
similate. According to the GAO, immigrants are now using Federal
welfare programs like SSI and AFDC at alarming rates. We must
put an end to these abuses.

I look forward to hearing the testimony before us today and also
to working with you, Mr. Chairman, and the subcommittee to move
a comprehensive immigration reform plan.

Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Moorhead.

We'll go to our first peinel and our panelist, who's already seated
at the witness table. Dr. Susan Martin, Executive Director of the
Commission on Immigration Reform.

Dr. Martin, welcome back on a new subject, but we're pleased to
hear from the Commission and appreciate your presence as well.

Let me say to all witnesses who are here today that even though
there are a large number of witnesses, we're going to be generous
in our 5-minute normsJ limitation and stretch that to about 7 min-
utes and give you an extra 40 percent because of the complexity
of some of the subjects and because of requests on the part of a
number of the witnesses.

So, Dr. Martin, we'll start with you, and welcome again.

STATEMENT OF SUSAN MARTIN, PH.D., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
U.S. COMMISSION ON IMMIGRATION REFORM

Ms. Susan Martin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate this
opportunity to come here today to update you on the work of the
Commission on Immigration Reform with regard to legal immigra-
tion.

The Commission is now considering options to improve our legal
immigration policies. The Commissioners plan to complete their de-
liberations by the end of this month and have recommendations for
you by the beginning of June.



Barbara Jordan, our Chair, has specifically asked me this morn-
ing to convey her interest in appearing before this committee as
soon after June 1 as is convenient for the committee in order to be
able to share her recommendations with you as you proceed on
these issues.

The Commission, in preparing for its recommendations on legal
immigration, has held expert consultations on just about all of the
major aspects of U.S. immigration policy, on family reunification,
on the economic impacts of immigration, on the employment-based
categories themselves, on the demographic impacts, and natural re-
source and economic effects that occur as a result of increased pop-
ulation growth. And we have also had consultations on refugee and
humanitarian issues.

The Commission has also held site visits and field hearings
throughout the country. Just in this past year, since last May, the
Commission has been in Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Lowell, MA;
Phoenix, AZ; central Texas, where we have in each case sought to
investigate the impacts of all types of immigration, but in these
hearings particularly legal immigration, on the U.S. economy and
the U.S. society — ^so testimony from a variety of groups as to what
they see as the strengths and weaknesses in our current proce-
dures.

The Commission's 1994 report to Congress presented a prelimi-
nary profile of legal immigration under the Immigration Act of
1990. We have since updated those numbers replacing the projec-
tions we had in our 1994 report with the actual numbers of admis-
sions for 1994.

In the last fiscal year, 798,000 immigrants entered, down from
the previous year's number of 880,000. Total entries under the stat-
utory cap on family employment and diversity admissions were
662,000. Family-based immigration accounted for just under
500,000 of these numbers. Employment-based additions equaled
120,000 entries, but that number is a bit deceptive because it in-
cludes about 21,000 Chinese students who were given regular sta-
tus under the emplojrment-based categories. So the actu^ number
of people admitted on the basis of an employer's claim or because
of their job skills was just under 100,000.

The diversity transition program accounted for about 40,000 ad-
missions. As of this year, as you know, the regular diversity pro-
gram comes into effect.

Beyond the statutorily capped numbers of 662,000 immigrants,
another 136,000 were admitted outside of these numerical limita-
tions. Mostly, these were refugees who adjusted their status within
the United States after having been admitted under the Refugee
Act of 1980 in previous years.

My written testimony has information about the characteristics
of the immigrants who have been admitted since passage of the Im-
migration Act of 1990. I won't go into any details in my oral testi-
mony on that.

Now in terms of the Commission's current work in this area, two
things are guiding the Commission's work as we look at the ade-
quacy of our legal immigration issues. One has already been men-
tioned in a number of the opening remarks. We, too, as we have
done in our previous work, are looking at the national interest



served by immigration policy. I was pleased, as a former staff mem-
ber of the Select Commission, to hear that Commission's report
mentioned, and certainly we, this present Commission, has that
same interest in ensuring that our immigration policies serve the
broad national interest.

Our second, as we're going through these deliberations, is again
one that has informed much of our work to date, and that's an as-
sessment of the credibility of our current policies and the mecha-
nisms used to admit people — to ensure that, in fact, those admis-
sions, policies, and procedures meet the national interests that are
defined.

The Commission is doing a grounds-up review of our immigration
policies. We are looking individually, and then collectively, at all of
the individual categories under which immigrants are admitted
and putting all of those categories to those tests. Do they serve the
national interest and are they credible, and are they transparent
to the American public in terms of being able to understand what
is guiding those entries?

More specifically, in assessing current policies, the Commission
is examining the following issues:

We are looking at family reunification policies with particular
focus on the priority to be given to the admission of individuals of
different family ties in order to again best serve the national inter-
est.

We are looking, secondly, at the impact of immigration on labor
needs, employment, and other economic conditions in the United
States, particularly in the context of evolving global and domestic
economic restructuring.

Third, we're looking at the social and civic incorporation of immi-



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JLegal immigration reform proposals : hearing before the Subcommitee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, May 17, 1995 → online text (page 1 of 30)