Earlier this year, Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Raúl Labrador (R-ID), and Martha McSally (R-AZ) introduced the Securing America’s Future Act of 2018 ( H.R. 4760 ).
Even though there are provisions in the bill that are positive or neutral, the overall impact is negative. The substantial cut to overall immigration levels in Division A has devastating economic and social impacts. Even the establishment of a new and more robust temporary worker program and the reallocation of Diversity Visa quotas to other programs does not alleviate the significant concerns associated with the reduction of legal immigration levels by more than 400,000 family and diversity visas.
Employers across the country disapprove of the E-Verify system mandated in Division B, primarily for the high compliance costs. The number of erroneous denials of employment authorization is also a significant hurdle, but is not addressed in this bill. But the highest costs are associated with the shrinking labor force in the formal economy, as undocumented immigrants are forced into the cash-based economy, self-employment, or unemployment.
Division B also criminalizes sanctuary cities, infringes on state and local law enforcement sovereignty, devastates the asylum process, and depletes the rights of children encountered at the border. Division C provides for significant border enforcement provisions and insidious interior enforcement provisions. Finally, Division D provides only for limited, contingent nonimmigrant status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) participants, with no allowances for those who would have aged into DACA eligibility, and without a pathway to citizenship or legal permanent status.
The full report provides a review of the key provisions in each section of the bill and a state-by-state analysis of the economic impacts of the changes.