By: Rebecca D. Costa, The Costa Report
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration Statistics claims that - as of January 2012 - an estimated 11.4 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States.
In 2014, President Obama issued an Executive Order granting amnesty and a 2 year deferral to almost half of the undocumented persons living in the United States. According to United States Representative from Iowa, Steve King, "granting amnesty to millions of people (by the President) was unconstitutional - we should shut off ALL funding to the President's lawless unconstitutional orders." The result? King voted in favor of a recent bill to withhold funding for Homeland Security. In a recent interview on The Costa Report, King said "the immigration amnesty passed by the President is not legal and we won't fund those programs."
King made the point that the United States legalizes more immigrants than any other country. As a result of the large numbers, he urges leaders "to cap legal immigration at levels we already have." King further encourages his colleagues to work toward immigration reform which admits skilled workers who will strengthen the domestic economy. In a recent interview on The Costa Report, King indicated he would like to see the United States adopt immigration policies similar to Canada and Australia which focus on "enhancing economic social and cultural well-being of the country." He wants immigration reform to focus on applicants "who are educated, young enough to contribute to the economy, and with language skills that can assimilate."
The Congressman claims the vast majority of individuals who are admitted into the U.S. today fall under the family reunification program, or guidelines governing political asylum, which do not examine the value those immigrating can contribute to the economy. For example, the family reunification program accounts for 480,000 family based visas to be issued each year to the spouses, relatives and children of U.S. citizens. This immigration policy has led to "growing evidence that illegal immigrants are coming to the United States already pregnant, knowing that (when the child is born on U.S. soil) they will fall into the family reunification program." King argues "between 340,000 and 750,000 babies are born in America each year that get automatic citizenship even though both parents are illegal; there is no other country in the world that does this."
King's solution? In February he introduced the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2015. The Act would end the practice of allowing automatic citizenship to children of illegal aliens who are born in the United States by specifying that at least one parent must be a legal U.S. Citizen.
In addition to taking a stand on birthright citizenship, earlier this year King introduced the New IDEA Act - The Illegal Deduction Elimination Act - to discourage employers from hiring undocumented workers. The act "would eliminate the incentive of hiring illegal workers to employ cheap labor by making wages and benefits paid to illegal immigrants non-deductible for federal tax purposes." According to King, if the employer hires someone who isn't in the E-Verify system, the IRS would not recognize the employee as a business expense.
To hear the full interview with Trita Parsi, visit www.thecostareport.com