Press release from CIS of the USA
Based on the experience of the 1986 amnesty, we expect that nearly 9.9 million illegal aliens will receive amnesty under the recently passed Senate Hagel-Martinez bill. That is, they will legalize and can apply for permanent residence and citizenship. As in 1986, we also expect that one-fourth, or 2.6 million, will receive amnesty fraudulently. The bill will also allow an estimated 4.5 million family members of illegal aliens currently living abroad to join their legalized relatives for a total of 14.4 million beneficiaries.
The new report, "Amnesty Under Hagel-Martinez: An Estimate of How Many Will Legalize if S.2611 Becomes Law," by the Center's Director of Research, Steven A. Camarota, is on line here. Among the findings:
* Based on the 1986 amnesty, we estimate that slightly over 70 percent, or 7.4 million, of the 10.2 million illegals eligible for the three amnesties in Hagel-Martinez will come forward and receive amnesty legitimately. That is, they will gain legal status allowing them to live and work in the United States and eventually apply for permanent residence and citizenship.
* We also estimate that, as in 1986, there will be one fraudulent amnesty for every three legitimate ones (2.6 million) for a total of 9.9 million amnesty beneficiaries.
* In addition to the amnesty beneficiaries, the bill will allow an estimated 4.5 million family members currently living abroad to join their newly legalized relatives for a total of 14.4 million people who will benefit from the bill's amnesty provisions.
* Our assumption that 70 percent of illegals who will come forward, as in 1986, is conservative because, unlike the last legalization, illegals now know that amnesties are real and not a ruse by the government to deport them. Moreover, increased border enforcement has made illegal crossing more difficult, making legalization a more attractive option.
* Our estimate of 2.6 million fraudulent amnesties, based on 1986, is also conservative because the false document industry is now more developed. Moreover, the immigration bureaucracy already has a severe fraud problem, according to the Government Accountability Office. As its workload mushrooms with amnesty, fraud will become even more difficult to detect.
* Of the 14.4 million illegals and their family members who will receive amnesty, we estimate that 13.5 million will eventually become permanent residents, which means they can stay as long as they wish and apply for citizenship. Deaths and out-migration account for the balance of the 14. 4 million.
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