A report from the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest says immigration officials by 2025 could approve an estimated 10.5 million visas that allow immigrant workers and foreign students to live and work in the country. That's more than the total populations of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, according to the right-wing site Breitbart News, which exclusively obtained the Senate report.
Federal policy allows officials to grant approximately 1 million new Legal Permanent Resident status cards -- known as green cards -- every year. Department of Homeland Security statistics show that 5.25 million immigrants had been given that status in the last five years. Recent polling, meanwhile, shows a majority of U.S. citizens want lawmakers to reduce those numbers drastically.
Since the 1950s, visa programs have accounted for the overwhelming majority of immigration to the country for workers and students, as well as refugees and people are seeking political asylum. Critics of U.S. immigration policies have said visa programs let corporations substitute lesser-skilled and lower-paid foreigners for unemployed Americans, which has enraged people who oppose mass immigration to the U.S.
“The last four decades have witnessed a dramatic change in the wage and employment structure in the United States,” Eric Gould, an economics professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has said, according to Breitbart News. “The overall evidence suggests that the manufacturing and immigration trends have hollowed out the overall demand for middle-skilled workers in all sectors, while increasing the supply of workers in lower-skilled jobs. Both phenomena are producing downward pressure on the relative wages of workers at the low end of the income distribution.”
Critics also blast green cards for letting immigrants claim government benefits they believe should be exclusively for U.S. citizens. Those benefits include work authorization, federal welfare programs, Social Security and Medicare benefits. Green cards also allow immigrants to apply for citizenship and aid the immigration of family members and elderly relatives from their home nations.