Contact: Louisa Tavlas

WASHINGTON, D.C. August 1, 2022 — Today, the Niskanen Center calls on Senate Democrats to add green card recapture and cap exemption amendments to the Inflation Reduction Act negotiations — or risk leaving on the table the most significant update to U.S. immigration policy since 1990. 

Green card recapture and cap exemptions are two legal immigration provisions that were never struck down by the Parliamentarian and would provide relief for up to 5 million people stuck in immigration backlogs. 

“These are pro-family reforms that will reunite millions of families separated by immigration restrictions and generate significant economic benefits and revenue — potentially over $4 trillion to GDP in 10 years,” said Kristie De Peña, Vice President for Policy at the Niskanen Center. 

De Peña continued, “The Parliamentarian left the door wide open for these provisions: her previous rulings rejected provisions that change who is eligible for legal status — these provisions only change the timing. Most importantly, they have passed muster before.” 

These provisions will benefit families of all nationalities and many visa categories. Yet, the current conversation seems narrowly focused on defeating border amendments. “There is room for defensive posturing against damaging border amendments while proactively pushing for these critical, lasting reforms,” De Peña added. 

We hope that lawmakers will capitalize on this tremendous opportunity to modernize immigration law. 

The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.