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  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      House Committee on the Judiciary
      House Committee on Foreign Affairs
      House Committee on Homeland Security
      Border and Maritime Security
      House Committee on Ways and Means
      House Committee on Armed Services
      House Committee on Natural Resources
      Public Lands and Environmental Regulation
      Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs
      House Committee on Agriculture
      House Committee on Education and the Workforce
      House Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
      House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
      House Committee on the Budget
      House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
      Research and Technology
      House Committee on Financial Services
      House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
    IntroducedOctober 2nd, 2013

What is it?

Revises federal immigration policy. Notably, the bill: 

-allows undocumented immigrants to apply for Resident Provisional (RPI) status if they have been in the U.S. since December 31, 2011, have not been convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors, pay their assessed taxes, pass background checks, and pay penalty fees, among other requirements;

-permits undocumented agricultural workers to be eligible for an immigrant status known as a "blue card," if they have worked at least 575 hours or 100 work days of agricultural employment during a two-year period ending December 31, 2012;

-initiates a merit-based point system that allows foreign nationals to obtain Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status by accumulating points mainly based on their skills, employment history, and educational credentials;

-eliminates the current immigrant visa categories for siblings and adult married children of U.S. citizens, as well as the diversity visa program, replacing them with the point system above;

-clears the backlog of visa applicants by allocating visas to applicants with pending applications over the course of seven years starting in 2015, allowing these immigrants to qualify for LPR status by 2021;

-increases civil and criminal penalties for employers that knowingly hire, recruit, refer, or continue to employ an unauthorized immigrant or fail to comply with E-Verify requirements.

Impact

Would mean substantive changes for the roughly 11 million unauthorized immigrants currently residing in the U.S., foreign nationals applying for citizenship, and foreign nationals seeking asylum.

Cost

While a CBO cost estimate is not available for this bill as this time, a similar bill, S. 744, was analyzed by the CBO in June 2013, with the CBO estimating that S. 744 would DECREASE federal deficits by $158 billion over the 2014-23 period.

More Information

Media:

Immigration Policy Center: A Guide to H.R. 15

National Immigration Law Center: H.R. 15 Summary

Of Note:

-The bill is based on S.744, the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate by a vote of 68-32 on June 27, 2013. However, this bill removes the Corker-Hoeven border security amendment and replaces it with the bipartisan House border security bill, H.R. 1417, which was passed unanimously by the Homeland Security Committee in May 2013.

-Under current law, immigrants in removal proceedings do not have the right to appointed counsel if they cannot afford to hire a lawyer. The bill changes this in the case of unaccompanied minor children, immigrants with serious mental disabilities, and other particularly vulnerable individuals, and requires that a lawyer be appointed to represent them. 

-A 2013 Wall Street Journal/NBC News national poll found that almost two-thirds of respondents said they supported giving the 11 million citizenship. Support for that idea rose to 76% if the plan called for requiring them to pay fines and back taxes, learn English and clear security background checks. 51% of those polled said they were willing to give unauthorized immigrants with jobs citizenship after only five years, and 18% said they supported unauthorized immigrants becoming citizens immediately.

-The bill makes immigrants inadmissible or deportable if:

They have been convicted of an offense that involves participating in a street gang and promoting the criminal activity of the gang;

They have been convicted of a crime of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment for which they served at least one year in prison, or if they were convicted of more than one such crime;

Are convicted of three drunk-driving offenses. 

AKA

Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

Official Title

To provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.

    We will continue to advocate for commonsense principles that we believe must be represented in comprehensive reform efforts: Tough, effective border security measures, including providing law enforcement the tools they need to secure the border; A simple and effective employment verification system to ensure that employers play by the rules, and to crack down on those who abuse the law; Modifications to the new worker program to include an increase in the number of H-1B visas to attract the world’s best and the brightest workers, while implementing reforms that encourage this talent to reside permanently in the U.S.; Establishing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States who do not have legal status; and Reforming the legal immigration system to better strengthen the American economy and American families.
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    NO AMNESTY! NO "PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP" FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS! AND OBAMA MUST STOP FLYING IN "UNDOCUMENTED" CHILDREN AND LABELLING THEM AS "REFUGEES"! The party of the jackass (American Socialist Party, a.k.a. "Democrats, or DEMOCOMMIES) have screwed this nation more than enough!! We are supposed to be a nation that respects the rule of law, namely the U.S. Constitution! I'm totally against giving up our national sovereignty for the open borders, NWO crowd! I'm tired of Mexican drug cartels, gangs, and Islamic terrorists entering my country across our borders! And I'm FED UP with "sanctuary cities"! Generally speaking, I have nothing against LEGAL immigrants, as long as they wish to assimilate and if they share our Judeo-Christian values. I do have a BIG problem with this, however: Report: Immigrants Receive More #Welfare Than American Citizens Written by Raven Clabough; Tuesday, 10 May 2016 17:35 According to a newly released report by the Center for Immigration Studies, legal and illegal immigrant-headed households receive an average of $6,241 in welfare, 41-percent more than native households, which receive an average of $4,431. That represents a total cost of $103 billion in welfare benefits to those households, the Washington Examiner writes. The Daily Caller observes that this study follows up on a report from the Center for Immigration Studies last year that found that 51 percent of immigrant households receive some type of welfare, compared to 30 percent of native households. The September 2015 study by CIS was significant, as it revealed much higher welfare participation rates than had been previously indicated. Monday’s report, based on 2012 figures, goes beyond participation and estimates dollar costs connected to immigrants and welfare. That report revealed a number of significant findings. Based on the figures, the study reveals that immigrants from Mexico and Central America were the major recipients of welfare benefits, averaging $8,251 annually — "86 percent higher than the costs of native households,” the report indicates. But the same study finds that immigrants from other parts of the world receive significantly less welfare than even native-headed households. The report shows that the average European immigrant household receives $3,509 in benefits and the South Asian immigrant household receives $2,565 on average. The report’s author — Jason Richwine, a Harvard-educated analyst of immigration data — notes that while illegal immigrants cannot receive benefits directly, they are able to receive welfare benefits through their U.S.-born children, though possibly not as much. Illegal immigrant households receive an average of $5,692, while legal immigrants receive $6,378. Legal or illegal, immigrant households receive more benefits than native households. Overall, the report finds that on average, immigrant households receive 33 percent more cash welfare, 57 percent more food assistance, and 44 percent more Medicaid benefits than the average American household. Medicaid is the largest welfare program, Richwine notes. He contends that the report’s findings reveal the impact of immigration on the deficit and could be used by those opposed to immigration: While it is important for Americans to understand the rate of welfare use among immigrants, expressing that use in dollar terms offers a more tangible metric that is tied to current debates over fiscal policy. With the nation facing a long-term budgetary deficit, this study helps illuminate immigration's impact on the problem. http://www.rightsidenews.com/us/homeland-security/cost-welfare-use-immigrant-native-households/ This is particularly clear when one examines the taxes paid by each type of household. Last year’s report by CIS showed that immigrant households pay just 89 cents in federal income and payroll taxes for every dollar paid by native households. Furthermore, an analysis by the Heritage Foundation, cited by Richwine, revealed that in 2010, immigrant households paid $4,344 less in taxes than they received in services. The deficit for native households, on the other hand, was $310. Richwine notes that the National Research Council will release a new analysis later this year with the latest figures. Mark Krikorian, executive director of CIS, takes it a step further, noting that failure to change the current immigration policy will force taxpayers to continue to foot the bill for immigrant households. “If we continue to permit large numbers of less-educated people to move here from abroad, we have to accept that there will be huge and ongoing costs to taxpayers,” he wrote in a statement. Richwine contends that much of the discrepancy in welfare benefits to immigrant families versus native households has to do with the lower levels of education and larger families of immigrants. “Over 24 percent of immigrant households are headed by a high school dropout, compared to just 8 percent of native households,” he writes. “In addition, 13 percent of immigrant households have three or more children, vs. just 6 percent of native households.” Richwine determines that the findings point to one conclusion: A significant change to the welfare state is an absolute necessity: In order to reduce the cost of immigrant welfare use, either the welfare system or the immigration system must change. The former option is sometimes described as “building a wall around the welfare state” to prevent new immigrants from accessing it. It is easier said than done. Loopholes and exceptions have weakened previous attempts to limit immigrant access to welfare. More importantly, Congress has no power to prevent the U.S.-born children of immigrants from using the same welfare programs that the children of natives do. No matter how strong the “wall around the welfare state” is built, it cannot stop immigrant parents from signing up their U.S.-born children for Medicaid, SNAP, free school lunch, etc., as long as native parents can do the same. Only a full-scale rollback of the welfare state for both immigrants and natives would prevent immigrant families from consuming welfare dollars. Sadly, under this administration, that is not likely. The timing of the report’s release coincides with another report by the Center for Immigration Studies that reveals President Obama is asking for more than $17,000 for every new illegal minor. Putting that into perspective, the Washington Examiner compares that figure to Social Security retirement benefits, on average $14,772, noting that the amount spent on illegal Central American teens is $2,841 more. The report, entitled "Welcoming Unaccompanied Alien Children to the United States," examines the administration's efforts to allow hundreds of thousands of mostly male teens to enter the country. That CIS report found that $1.3 billion in benefits were paid to “unaccompanied children” — a cost that is more than double what was paid in 2010. And the president’s budget, currently awaiting congressional approval, includes another $2.1 billion for refugees, including illegal aliens from Central America. But the report notes that most of the undocumented minors do not actually qualify as refugees. Some critics contend it may be part of the administration’s backdoor approach to amnesty. The report’s author, Nayla Rush, asserts that the administration’s Central American Refugee/Parole Program with the United Nations, which declares these minors to be refugees, ultimately lays the groundwork for granting legal status to their illegal parents. "Children will be able to qualify for refugee status and then be flown to the United States. As a reminder, refugees receive automatic legal status and are required to apply for a green card within their first year following arrival. They can apply for citizenship five years from the date of entry,” Rush explains. "Since parents from Central America illegally present in the United States could not benefit from the CAM program and sponsor their children, perhaps the reverse can take place with children admitted under this new version of the refugee program. Children, acquiring legal status followed by naturalization by the time they reach adulthood, could indeed sponsor their parents," wrote Rush. According to the Washington Examiner, the same report further reveals the government’s flagrant disregard of taxpayer dollars, as it shows that the Obama administration is even funding the travel for the illegal minors to enter the United States. http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/immigration/item/23162-report-immigrants-receive-more-welfare-than-american-citizens?tmpl=component&print=1 Also this: Mexican Cartels Moving Terrorists Across Southern U.S. Border • Obtaining information via the Freedom of Information Act, Judicial Watch in January made public State Department documents showing that for “at least” 10 years Arab extremists have entered our country with assistance from Mexican drug cartels. Written by Clinton Alexander Monday, 02 May 2016 14:50 According to #JudicialWatch, for some time Mexican #drugcartels have been helping Islamic #terrorists now living in Mexico to cross the U.S. border in order to explore possible areas of attack in the United States. The wachdog group reports: Among the #jihadists that travel back and forth through the porous southern border is a Kuwaiti named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, an #ISIS operative who lives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso, Texas. Khabir trained hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen and has lived in Mexico for more than a year, according to information provided by JW’s [Judicial Watch's] government source. In a recent article, Khabir bragged to the Italian newspaper il Giornale, "The border that separates Mexico from the United States is so full of free zones that I could come in with a group of men in a few hours and kill thousands of people in Texas or Arizona." Considering the full weight of the statements by Khabir and the recent findings by Judicial Watch, there has never been a more important time to secure the southern border of the United States. According to il Giornale, the Mexican secretary of foreign affairs stated: The Obama administration and the American media are guilty of neglecting the phenomenon. We cannot understand whether it is a strategy, but this new wave of fundamentalism could have some surprises for the United States. In spite of Mexico’s large Catholic component, Khabir maintains that extremism has made large strides in the Mexican culture. Claiming thousands of converts over the last six to eight years, Khabir asserts that Muslim imams have had great recruiting success and have been welcomed in the Mexican society more so even than with the European culture. According to the Judicial Watch report, “Now Khabir trains thousands of men — mostly Syrians and Yemenis — to fight in an ISIS base situated in the Mexico-U.S. border region near Ciudad Juárez.” If indeed the reports are accurate and Khabir is living near the U.S.-Mexico border, the prospect of a porous border combined with nearly nonexistent immigration standards should raise red flags not only in U.S.-Mexico border states, but across the country. Even Politifact, a left-leaning political fact-checking group owned by theTampa Bay Times, admitted the concern when in an April 2016 article, author Joshua Gillin noted, There have been several reported incidents along the U.S.-Mexico border of several agencies encountering people on terrorism watch lists or with ties (or suspected ties) to terrorist groups. There also have been a number of people from countries associated with terror groups stopped by authorities, although that’s not an indication they’re terrorist infiltrators. But is it reasonable to suspect that some of these "people from countries associated with terror groups" could be "terrorist infiltrators," particularly considering that agencies have encountered "people on #terrorism watch lists"? Though Gillin may appear to be downplaying the threat, the truth stands: Our porous border has reached critical mass. The New American recently reported in this article on the nearly nonexistent southern U.S. border, quoting Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council: “As someone who has been involved in border protection for over 18 years, I can tell you the border is not secure and the situation is getting worse.” http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/immigration/item/22941-national-border-patrol-council-raises-alarm-detainees-simply-being-released In other statements also reported by The New American, Judd testified to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that border patrol agents were told by "a top Homeland Security official” that the Obama administration had “no intention of deporting” a large number of illegal immigrants sneaking into the country, and has instead issued orders for them to be released so they “don’t clog up the courts.” Judd added that even criminal cases involving illegal immigrants have found detainees being allowed to leave, having neither been deported nor given a Notice to Appear (NTA), which would have at least put them into the deportation process. (Emphasis added.) Reporting in another article for The New American in March 2016, Alex Newman contended, “Smugglers and other criminals are pouring across the often undefended border ... jeopardizing the livelihoods and even [the] lives [of Americans] — not to mention #nationalsecurity.” http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/immigration/item/22754-u-s-ranchers-on-border-plead-for-help-amid-onslaught-of-illegals Newman reported on a meeting between the elected officials of the small town of Animas, New Mexico, and hundreds of distraught ranchers: Inspiring the meeting, according to attendees quoted in media reports, was the kidnapping of a local American ranch hand. The victim reportedly happened upon a caravan of drug runners from the other side of the border while working on a cattle ranch in New Mexico's “Bootheel” region along the border with Mexico. Tricia Elbrock, co-owner of the company that employs the kidnapping victim, was quoted in the Albuquerque Journal recounting what happened in December of last year. http://www.abqjournal.com/735961/news/nm-ranchers-outraged-by-lack-of-security-at-border.html Also reporting for The New American, Warren Mass cited other statements by National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, We have apprehended #illegalaliens just north of the border who are still soaking wet from crossing the river. If they claim, as increasingly they are doing, that they have been here since January 1, 2014, we will process and then release them. They are still wet from the river and miles from any civilization and on their word alone we release them unless we physically saw them cross the river. This policy de facto creates an open border with Mexico for any illegal alien who wants to claim that they were here before 2014. Obtaining information via the Freedom of Information Act, Judicial Watch in January made public State Department documents showing that for “at least” 10 years Arab extremists have entered our country with assistance from Mexican drug cartels. But why hasn't the U.S. government, which has known about this security threat for at least a decade, responded by securing the border? Are "sleeper" terrorist cells already in place in the United States as a result of this folly? And what will be the consequences of continuing to leave the border unsecure? Alex Newman observed, Despite claims from politicians in Washington, D.C., it is clear that the border is nowhere close to what a reasonable person would describe as “secure.” That is by design, of course. But the people suffering on the front lines of that are only the first to be victimized. If Congress does not get serious about demanding the enforcement of federal laws on border security, all of America will face the consequences, too. It is time to restore law and order on the border. http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/immigration/item/23095-mexican-cartels-moving-terrorists-across-southern-u-s-border?tmpl=component&print=1
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    Before we overhaul our Immigration System, why not simply uphold our current laws. Unfortunately, our most current Presidents back to Buba Clinton have played Fast&Loose immigration roulette with the laws and enforcement. I'm old enough to remember when the Border Patrol was allowed to do their jobs. That green and white truck was very busy driving through RV Parks located close to the Mexico border.
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    "With millions of undocumented immigrants living in the shadows, waiting patiently for their opportunity to contribute fully to building a stronger future for our country, it is time for Congress to act. Pursing comprehensive immigration reform is not only a moral obligation, but it will also grow our economy, create jobs, and reduce the deficit by more than $900 billion over the next twenty years."
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    From my website: From generation to generation, immigrants have built, strengthened, and enriched our culture and our society; they have reinvigorated our economy; they have brought their hopes, optimism, and aspirations to the ongoing pursuit of the American Dream. That tradition is embedded into the very fabric of American tradition and strength, and in our time, we must make our own contribution to that legacy with comprehensive immigration reform.
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    A law should be passed that anyone found to come into this country illegally is forever barred from obtaining citizenship.
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    Why the heck not? I can't see a downside, especially given our current state of disarray and cruelty toward immigrants.
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    Immigration policy is an important way of fostering international understanding. We've always been a nation of immigrants, so let's facilitate greater labor opportunity and treat undocumented immigrants as kindly as we can.
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    This bill shouldn't pass as is. There are different immigrant categories in here. Being an immigrant that did everything legally myself, now a citizen who's awaiting a green card for his brother, I tell you that we should streamline processes and timelines for those abiding by the law. However, unless some special cases are warranted (e.g. children of those who BROKE immigration laws) we should not grant stay or legal status. Otherwise, why have my family and I always done everything by the law? My brother is on year 2 of waiting for his green card IN BRAZIL, he has 6 more years or so to go.
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    In order to address the many problems with our broken immigration system, an overhaul will be necessary. We need legislation that will adopt effective border security measures, implement an employment verification system, increase H-1B visas, and establish a pathway to citizenship for the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States without legal status.
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    Immigration needs to be decreased not increased. The American culture is being watered down to some bland non-culture
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    There is a lot of abuse of the current system. I am on h1b in usa and I do agree that we need to have a proper change in the system. For the good of all. Skills and talent should be given priority rather than nationality. Illegals should be banned. No illegal shd get social welfare money. I love America. Given me so many opportunities. I hope I will be able to continue to contribute in future by making my dreams come true working hard slogging all the way to glory and paying taxes including social security taxes that go to citizens of USA and which i do so with Complete awareness that I will lever get anything back until I get to be a citizen of USA. Years to go :)
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    What's wrong with something this sensible? Yes this bill is a band aid solution not a vaccine, but it's a decent start.
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    Sending agents to lie in wait outside a church is unacceptable. Please respect the ancient tradition of sanctuary by following both the letter and the spirit of the "sensitive locations" policy.
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    We need to make it easier to come here legally
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