Although New Year’s confetti is still being cleaned off the floors, Paul Ryan already issued a statement that could easily be a contender for the most remarkable statement of 2016. In a Monday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Paul Ryan declared without a trace of humor that “People who know my record know that I’m for border enforcement, border control, not for amnesty.”
But a review of Paul Ryan’s record demonstrates a two-decade history of pushing amnesty and mass immigration. In fact, Ryan has developed perhaps the most open borders record in Congress– for members of either party. And Ryan was instrumental in blocking an effort to reduce immigration in the 1990’s, changing forever the course of American history.
In the interview with Tapper, Ryan was asked about criticisms levied against him by GOP frontrunner Donald Trump for being “weak on immigration: “Frankly I’m disappointed that he’s weak on immigration, he’s weak on the border, and he’s in favor of amnesty, so I have my disappointments with him,” Trump said of Ryan.
Although Trump is indeed correct, Ryan told Tapper in response, “Look, I’m not taking the bait. I’m not going to get into the commenting about this and that… People who know my record know that I’m for border enforcement, border control, not for amnesty.”
Ryan’s declaration, which went unchallenged by Tapper, contradicts the entire history of Ryan’s career.
Indeed, as recently as just last month, Speaker Ryan ushered through Congress an omnibus spending bill that completely funded President Obama’s still-running 2012 executive amnesty for DREAMers. His bill also gave federal grants to sanctuary cities, as well as funding the resettlement of illegal aliens within the United States, the release of criminal aliens, and tax credits for illegal aliens.
Meanwhile, Ryan’s omnibus failed to provide funding for the mandatory completion of a 700-mile double-layer border fence that Congress promised the American people with the 2006 Secure Fence Act—even as Speaker Ryan constructed his own border-guarded security fence around his posh mansion in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Yet far from simply funding amnesty, Ryan’s omnibus funded an expansion of immigration levels. Ryan’s spending bill funded an expansion of Muslim migration, bringing the total number of visas for Muslim migrants this year (temporary and permanent) to about 300,000.
His omnibus also expanded a controversial low-skilled H-2B guest worker program, which immigration attorney Ian Smith has explained will disproportionately “hurt America’s most vulnerable workers.” Without providing any evidence to support his claim, Ryan sought to justify the controversial provision by declaring that American “businesses would have shut down with this” provision “because they couldn’t get the labor.” Ryan made this claim despite the fact that 92 million Americans are currently outside the labor force.
Sen. Tom Cotton declared that this provision was a direct violation of Ryan’s pledge not to bring up major immigration legislation while President Obama was still in office. Cottton wrote:
It’s especially disappointing that the new House leadership, in fewer than two months on the job, broke its promise not to bring major immigration legislation to the floor this year. One must wonder how many other promises in the Capitol have an expiration date. But one need not wonder why our voters are in open rebellion and our presidential candidates are successfully running against Congress.
Similarly, in a November interview with Sean Hannity, Ryan ruled out the possibility of curbing Muslim migration, instead adopting the rhetoric of President Obama and declaring— contrary to what current U.S. immigration law mandates— that “a religious test is not appropriate” to screen foreign migrants. Ryan told Hannity that considering a foreign national’s religion during the immigration process would be fundamentally un-American— insisting “That’s not who we are.”
Ryan also denounced Trump’s plan to temporarily pause Muslim migration, stating: “This is not conservatism. What [Trump proposed]… is not what this party stands for and more importantly it’s not what this country stands for.”
Conservative legend Phyllis Schlafly declared that Ryan’s claim that restricting migration is not conservative is “absolutely wrong”:
He’s absolutely wrong. I think all the polls show that the country is with Donald Trump on that issue… It is certainly not our duty to let in everybody who wants to come to this country. Probably the whole world wants to come into this country… We need to respect the will of the majority. Republicans ought to be a grassroots party. And the grassroots certainly agree with Donald Trump on most issues, but certainly on the immigration issue.
Ryan’s record of pushing for open borders immigration policies extends far beyond just the past few months. Indeed, Ryan’s effort to expand America’s immigration levels beyond all known historical precedent dates back more than two decades.
As Roy Beck, president of the immigration control group NumbersUSA, told Breitbart exclusively last October, Ryan “has spent his entire adulthood ideologically connected to the open borders crowd. Open Borders is in his ideological DNA. That’s the terrifying thing. He’s an ideologue and has spent his whole life working for ideologues. Open borders seeps out of every pore of his being. This isn’t personal, it’s just who he is… Paul Ryan is the heart and soul of crony capitalism.”
Bloomberg’s John Heilemann’s previous reporting documents Beck’s declaration. “[Ryan’s] ties to the pro-immigration mafia ran deep,” Heilemann wrote nearly two decades ago.
In a 1996 piece for Wired magazine, Heilemann detailed Ryan’s involvement in the effort to kill the bipartisan push to curb immigration— led by Republican Congressman Lamar Smith and inspired by Civil Rights champion and late-Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.
Heilemann reports that Ryan, as Sam Brownback’s legislative director, teamed up with immigration expansionist Stuart Anderson to pen “a series of highly influential, deeply devastating ‘Dear Colleague’ letters educating their peers about the hazards of [Lamar] Smith’s bill [to slash immigration rates].”
Beck explained that, because of his involvement in derailing the bipartisan immigration curbs:
Ryan is a part of the group that created the massive immigration problem facing the nation today. As a direct result of Paul Ryan and Sam Brownback, there are an additional 10 million immigrants in the country [than we otherwise would have]… If not for the Ryan and Brownback efforts, we wouldn’t even be debating illegal immigration today. During the mid-90s, the illegal population was less than 5 million. If E-Verify had been implemented that point, we would not have so many illegal immigrants in the country today. The whole illegal immigration problem is the responsibility of Brownback.
In 2012, the Washington Times detailed how this was just one of many efforts Ryan was involved in to expand immigration:
[Ryan] worked to water down the strict immigration limits in a bill Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, was working to pass in the mid-1990s… As a staffer in Washington, he worked for Jack Kemp and Sen. Sam Brownback — both of whom were part of the Republicans’ pro-immigration wing, and who fought crackdown efforts from within their own party… As a congressman, he voted for a 2002 legalization bill, praised the 2006 Senate immigration bill backed by Mr. Bush and co-sponsored a 2009 Democratic bill that would have legalized immigrant farmworkers.
More recently, in 2013, Ryan became one of Congress’s most ardent champions of Barack Obama, Marco Rubio, and Chuck Schumer’s shared immigration agenda. Ryan became Sen. Rubio’s counterpart in the House for leading the charge to enact Obama’s vision of never-ending mass immigration into law.
As the Center for Immigration Studies’ Mark Krikorian wrote at the time in a piece entitled, “Do Rubio, Ryan Really Trust Obama To Enforce The Law?”
Marco Rubio has effectively endorsed President Obama’s approach to immigration, and that endorsement was in turn endorsed by Paul Ryan. Or, as Julia Preston put it in the New York Times yesterday, ‘Strikingly, Mr. Rubio’s principles did not sound that different from proposals for an immigration overhaul by Mr. Obama, Democratic leaders and a handful of other Republicans.’
Indeed, shortly thereafter Paul Ryan joined forces with open-borders advocate Luis Gutierrez— who once declared, “I have only one loyalty…and that’s to the immigrant community”— to stump for Marco Rubio’s immigration agenda. In fact, the two developed such a good relationship over the years that Gutierrez was one of Ryan’s earliest endorsements for House Speaker. Ryan’s Speakership was subsequently backed by other Democrats, such as Harry Reid and Xavier Becerra, before Congressman Jim Jordan, Mick Mulvaney, and the House Freedom Caucus helped push Paul Ryan over the finish line and into the Speaker’s chair.
Video footage of Gutierrez and Ryan’s efforts to sell the public on Rubio’s immigration agenda reveal Ryan’s deep commitment to amnesty. Ryan told their audience that American lawmakers “have to” and “need” to enact amnesty and expedited citizenship to illegal immigrants. “We have to offer people a path to earned legalization,” Ryan said. “We need to make sure that the children who are here, who are brought here, who did not choose to come here, who were brought by their parents– that they have an ability to earn citizenship in a far faster way.”
In a separate video with Gutierrez, Ryan made the case for open borders—declaring unabashedly, “America is more than just a country… It’s more than our borders. America is an idea. It’s a very precious idea.” As Breitbart has previously explained, this statement is significant because, while a country has borders, “ideas” do not. If America is an “idea” rather than a “country,” then refugees in Somali have as much “right” to a job in the United States as do children whose ancestors fought in the American revolution.
Ryan continued, “We want an economic based immigration system where… labor and supply and demand can meet each other so we can help fuel our economy and create jobs.” Ryan’s declaration represents the essence of the open borders philosophy. Under this global one-world theory, any willing employer should be able to hire any willing worker regardless of what country they live in. This view– that America is an “idea” and not a “nation”– sees borders as an obstacle to commerce. Sen. Rubio echoed a similar refrain earlier this year in the first Republican debate, in which he complained that the nation’s federal immigration policy does not do enough to serve the interests of foreign citizens living in foreign countries who call Sen. Rubio’s office because the wait times for entry are too long.
Rubio said, “And let me tell you who never gets talked about in these debates. The people that call my office, who have been waiting for 15 years to come to the United States. And they’ve paid their fees, and they hired a lawyer, and they can’t get in.”
A PBS Frontline documentary, which aired in October of 2015, further exposed the details of Gutierrez and Ryan’s push to pass amnesty.
“Paul Ryan and I talk,” Gutierrez told the filmmakers. “What we do with Ryan,” Gutierrez explained, “is he puts together a bunch of bills, one of which is legalization, and that’s the one we join him on. The legalization is good enough that I can go and say we need to get in bed.”
Gutierrez told filmmakers that their collaboration had to be conducted in secret, so as not to tip off Republican voters. “You feel like you have to kind of sneak around to have dinner with these guys,” Gutierrez’s communications director, Douglas Rivlin, said, referring to his secret meetings with House Republicans to push amnesty. “Unlike some of you [expletive deleted], I don’t mess around with my wife, so–but let me tell you–right? I feel like I’m sneaking around right on my party … when I have dinner with you guys,” he said.
“Right,” Gutierrez confirmed. “We can’t tell people. That’s OK. Maybe that’s the way this has got to get done. But if those are the rules, those are the rules.”
Another Republican lawmaker, with whom Gutierrez was working closely during this time, is pro-amnesty and a mass migration supporter, Congressman Trey Gowdy– who recently endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio for president. Like Ryan, Gowdy developed a close relationship with Gutierrez. As USA Today reported at the time, “In separate interviews, Gowdy and Gutierrez gushed about their mutual respect and trust.” Gutierrez said of his friendship with Gowdy: “I think some things just happen because it’s meant to be… The chemistry is there.”
Ryan’s hardcore progressive stance on the critical issue of immigration prompted Phyllis Schlafly to question Ryan’s very ability to lead the Republican conference— as Pew polling data reveals that 92% of the GOP electorate oppose Ryan’s desire for increased immigration levels. Schlafly was particularly critical of a 2013 declaration Ryan made in which he claimed that it was his job as a U.S. lawmaker to put himself in the shoes of foreign nationals and work to improve the lives for those foreign citizens. Ryan said:
Put yourself in another person’s shoes, which if you’re in elected office, that’s what you kind of have to do that almost every single day… what we do is we take different people’s perspectives. The gentleman from India who’s waiting for his green card. The DREAMer who is waiting. We take all these different perspectives. We process it through our values and our morals and our principles. And then we come up with the answer to try and solve this problem.
“That doesn’t sound like a good prescription for victory to me,” Schlafly told Breitbart exclusively. “The job of the leader of the Republicans in Congress is to help Republicans to win the next election, and to guide them along that path. And unfortunately I don’t think Ryan’s view of his job is correct at all.”
Although Ryan has sought to brand himself as a new generational leader, when Breitbart asked Schlafly if Ryan’s support for the donor-class’s trade and immigration agenda makes him more of a “candidate of yesterday” than a candidate of tomorrow, Schlafly declared unequivocally, “Yes, it does.” Schlafly explained that Speaker Ryan has forced conservatives to refight issues, which they thought they had won by sending Republicans Congress: “Those are the issues we thought we beat when we elected a Republican Congress. It turned out we didn’t.”
Indeed, immigration is not the only issue where Paul Ryan backed President Obama. Like Sen. Rubio, Paul Ryan was vocal in his support for giving President Obama fast-track authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Fast-track allows international trade deals like TPP to be pushed through Congress without having to face Senate filibusters, treaty votes, or amendments. Rubio even called the TPP a “pillar” of his Presidency.
As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Ryan was essential to Congress’ passage of fast-track. At the time, Politico described passing fast-track as “the fight of Paul Ryan’s career”—one which, like his push for Obama and Rubio’s immigration agenda, at times had to be conducted “quite stealthily”.
Politico writes, “Over the past several months, the Wisconsin Republican has worked — almost single-handedly, and quite stealthily— to build support to give Obama additional authority to negotiate a massive trade deal with Pacific Rim nations.”
As CNN’s Dana Bash similarly reported in a piece entitled, “Paul Ryan’s New Partner: Obama”:
If things had gone differently in the 2012 presidential election, Paul Ryan would be vice president right now. Instead, he’s allied with the President he tried to defeat. As chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, he’s muscling a controversial trade bill through the House that could shape President Barack Obama’s legacy — and his own.”
Tonight, Paul Ryan will be seen sitting behind President Obama’s shoulder as the President addresses the nation and articulates his vision for the same trade, crime, and immigration policies shared by Speaker Ryan.
The Washington Post recently reported that “Paul Ryan is rapidly emerging as Republicans’ anti-Trump.” Indeed, the Ryan-Rubio wing of the Republican Party—with its emphasis on importing cheaper foreign goods and labor into the country, combined with its unwavering commitment to a doctrine of interventionist foreign policy—seems diametrically opposed to the Trump wing of the Republican Party, which addresses culture and quality of life issues facing everyday American citizens, such as a immigration, trade, and crime. So far, these issues have yet to come up in any great depth in any of the GOP debates. It will be interesting to see if that changes on Thursday’s debate hosted by FOX Business.