On July 14, 62 Republican congressmen voted for a heavily criticized, Democrat-introduced amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 that would grant permanent residency to the adult children of temporary foreign workers.
Specifically, the amendment removes the “age-out” process where children of temporary foreign visa workers, born in foreign countries, must self-deport when they turn 21 years old.
Currently, for a dependent of a work visa holder to reunite with them here in America, the dependent needs to apply for an H-4 visa—which provides temporary legal residence to unmarried children brought to America. The amendment is expected to provide permanent residency to 200,000 dependent visa holders.
Of the 62 U.S. House Republicans who voted for the amendment, nine are from Texas: Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-8), Rep. John Carter (TX-31), Rep. Pat Fallon (TX-4), Rep. Tony Gonzalez (TX-23), Rep. Lance Gooden (TX-5), Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12), Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10), Rep. Van Taylor (TX-3), and the newest Republican member of Congress, Rep. Mayra Flores (TX-34).
The Republican Party of Texas platform states, “Any form of amnesty with regard to immigration policy shall not be granted, including the granting of legal status to persons in the country illegally.” Only three of those nine Texas Republicans—John Carter, Michael McCaul, and Kay Granger—mention opposition to amnesty on their campaign websites.
Rep. Mayra Flores defended her vote and dismissed critics on Twitter, stating, “Amnesty was not passed last week!” and urging the public to “[focus] on taking back the House this November.” Flores also recently posted a picture of herself with members of a pro-amnesty organization called Improve the Dream.
Amnesty was not passed last week!
An amendment in the NDAA bill gave legally documented children of LEGAL VISA workers the ability to remain in the United States with their parents.
Stop the misinformation and stay focused on taking back the house this November!!
— Mayra Flores (@MayraFlores2022) July 17, 2022
However, others denounced the amendment. U.S. Tech Workers posted on Twitter, saying that Flores’ vote encourages the displacement of American tech workers.
The H-1B visa program is specifically used to displace American workers from their jobs (do a basic search on the visa). What you voted on was to reward the children of the H-1B visa workers whose parents displaced Americans from their jobs. You’re rewarding that abuse! https://t.co/b6w9cP2QmA
— U.S. Tech Workers (@USTechWorkers) July 23, 2022
The Federation for American Immigration Reform also commented on the amendment, posting on Twitter, “Many of [the dependents’] parents are H-1B visa holders who have allowed themselves to be used as pawns to displace American workers from their jobs – which is exactly what the program was designed to do.”
In February 2021, a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released information from the U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey showing the underemployment (the rate of people overqualified for their jobs) for those with degrees in information systems and management is 37.1 percent, and unemployment is 4.9 percent.
For those with degrees in computer science, the underemployment rate is 22 percent, and the unemployment rate is 5.2 percent. Despite these statistics, pro-migration advocates insist on providing pathways to permanent residence to the detriment of American graduates and American wages.
Concerned citizens can utilize Texas Scorecard’s elected officials directory to contact their federal representatives.