Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) claims his I-Squared immigration bill would at a minimum, triple the number of “high skilled workers” entering America. However, instead of helping American citizens who’ve been out of work for years, I-Squared would alter the Immigration and Nationality Act, (INA Section 201(b)(1)), enabling an unlimited number of F-1 visa foreign students to receive green cards for life.
I-Squared creates “instant green cards” or “stapling green cards to diplomas” and what is known as “family-based chain migration.”
First, I-Squared (under Section 303) creates a new condition for green card distribution. Students who earn a master’s degree or higher in a field loosely connected with Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM), loosely defined by the Department of Homeland Security, are exempt from existing green card limitations. Worse still, Rubio’s I-Squared bill gives the executive branch exclusive authority to determine who qualifies as a STEM candidate.
Keep in mind, that the U.S. already issues over one million green cards annually.
I-Squared would expand this one million to an unknown, unlimited number of foreign nationals admitted to the U.S. on an F-1 visa—beyond the 90 percent of green cards already issued to non-Western migrants from Asia, Africa, Latin America, or the Middle East.
Consider that the State Department issued F-1 visas in 2014 alone, to:
- 36,006 Saudi Arabian students;
- 6,973 to Turkish students;
- 4,278 to Kuwaiti students;
- 2,137 to Bangladeshi students;
- 1,308 to Egyptian students; and
- 3,280 to Iranian students.
Imagine these roughly 54,000 students from Islamic-controlled countries who only follow Shari’a law, being given green cards for life—in addition to each of their family members.
Next, I-Squared ushers in “family-based chain migration.” Despite Rubio’s Gang of Eight’s continuous claim to support “merit-based” immigration, I-Squared brings in unlimited number of family members—without merit—whose employment-based immigrant relative already resides in the U.S.
Green cards equate to work, but also to lifetime welfare and citizenship. If Islamists were to vote, Pew Research reports they are one of the most reliable voting blocs in the world for the U.S. Democratic Party.
Already, spouses and minor children of employment-based immigrants represent roughly 53 to 55 percent of the visas administered.
This disaster is what Rubio and I-Squared supporters state is best for America.
And, this is in addition to one State Department program that allows each refugee to bring an additional eight family members. For every “10,000” refugees, another 80,000 will arrive—all at taxpayer expense. And there are millions more under the Refugee Resettlement Program– most of whom are not vetted.
To summarize, I-Squared combines the terribly porous and unaccountable F-1 foreign student visa program with citizenship. By doing so, Rubio is extending citizenship to a group of people the law has specifically prohibited from becoming citizens since 1952.
Any claim Rubio makes about ISIS, “radical Islam,” terrorism, or immigration, is at best intellectually dishonest.
There is a long history of unresolved known national security risks associated with America’s failed foreign student visa program. A leader’s proper response should require demanding vigilant auditing, oversight, and reform. Instead, Rubio suggests that a failed program be expanded without proposing any new safeguards. Worse still, he cosponsored legislation that would specifically and exponentially increase national security risks for all Americans.