NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 5, 2007

A group of former Border Patrol Agents recently warned U.S. senators that the immigration bill currently under examination would compromise national security if signed into law, says Amanda Carpenter, Political Reporter for

One of the most troubling parts of the bill is the "z visa" -- a legal, renewable identification card that could be issued without requiring its holder to first return to their home country -- says Carpenter:

  • In order to get a z visa, applicants must undergo a full background check, but the bill only gives government officials a single business day to determine if the applicant is a criminal.
  • If nothing suspicious turns up within 24 hours, the applicant would immediately be given a probationary z visa that would be valid for up to six months after the official z visa is issued.
  • According to varying estimates, there are between 12 million and 20 million illegal aliens currently living inside the United States; all of them would be able to apply for the z visa under the Senate bill.

The bill has other problems as well:

  • It allows illegal-alien gang members to sign a "renunciation of gang affiliation" that would clear the applicant of past gang affiliation and help them obtain a visa.
  • It also shelters illegal aliens who have defied a court ruling to leave the country if the illegal alien could prove leaving the United States would result in extreme hardship.
  • In addition, it calls for 6,000 new agents to be installed by 2008; this is an unworkable number given the curriculum for immigration law, physical training, firearms instruction, driving and the Spanish language requirements.

Source: Amanda Carpenter, "Border Agents Warn Immigration Bill Will Compromise National Security,", June 5, 2007.


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