House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected Donald Trump’s amnesty-for-no-wall deal with top Democrats and instead promised an amnesty with greater border security provisions.
But Ryan’s amnesty will likely also include the very unpopular goal of importing more wage-cutting foreign workers.
Ryan’s rejection came after Trump told reporters Thursday that “Paul Ryan and everyone is on board” with his decision to break his 2016 campaign promise for a border wall.
Ryan now has a much bigger immigration agenda than Trump, and he also needs a high GOP turnout in 2018 to keep the GOP’s majority in the House amid an expected rise in Democratic turnout. That is why Ryan has repeatedly said he will develop his own DACA amnesty deal over several months and will include stronger border protections –plus a greater inflow of cheap, temporary workers.
“I think the president understands he has to work with the congressional majorities to get any kind of legislative solution,” Ryan said at a Thursday news conference. “It was a discussion, not an agreement or a negotiation,” Ryan said about the late-night agreement between Trump, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. “You cannot fix DACA without fixing the root cause of our problem: We do not have control of our borders, so we need border security and enforcement as part of an agreement.”
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) September 14, 2017
The 2018 budget bill, approved Thursday, also includes $1.6 billion to build the wall, subject to Senate approval.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) September 14, 2017
On Wednesday, Ryan even endorsed Trump’s defunct 2016 campaign promise for a border wall, saying “I think a wall actually works.” he told Associated Press editors, adding:
The reason I say that is because I went down to the Rio Grande and the Border Patrol themselves told me, “Yeah, there are certain spaces where we actually need a physical barrier.”
GOP members want good border protections, he said:
The problem our members have, legitimately, is what they really worry about, is that if we don’t actually get security of our borders and enforce our laws, then we are just going to make the same mistakes as did in the past, and that is why we have to have these [border security] things dealt with … doing border security should not be a negotiable thing, we should have security of our borders.
“The Speaker would be a huge asset if he lives up to his pledge to not up bring immigration legislation that does not have the support of the majority of the Republican congressional caucus,” said Robert Law, government relations director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “Then a standalone amnesty bill or one packed with meaningless “border security” provisions will never get off the ground.”
The danger to Ryan from Trump’s reversal on his core campaign promise of immigration reform and a border wall is made clear by President George H. W. Bush.
In June 1990, Bush reversed his 1988 campaign pledge, “Read My Lips: No New Taxes.” That reversal crippled Bush’s 1992 reelection campaign — but it also hurt the GOP in the 1990 midterm elections. The GOP’s minority in the House dropped down by another nine seats to 167, and GOP’s Senate minority fell by one seat to 44.
Also, Ryan has seen immigration blow up the GOP before, including in 2014, when Rep. Eric Cantor, GOP’s Majority leader, was defeated by his primary voters, said Law. He continued:
The Speaker realizes that he is subject to a vote on his position on a moment’s notice, where the President does not face the voters until 2020, so if he teams up with Nancy Pelosi to ram through an amnesty package that the American people oppose, and that most Republicans oppose, he will lose his job as speaker, and that would probably happen the moment after Paul Ryan uses Democrats to sell out the American people.
Conservatives do not trust Ryan on immigration because he has repeatedly argued that companies should be allowed to import foreign workers whenever Americans’ wages start rising. This “any willing worker” approach was pushed in 2001, 2006 and 2007 by President George W. Bush, as he pushed for amnesties. Bush also largely ended enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws, which sharply reduced pressure on companies to design and buy the labor-saving machinery which boosts Americans’ productivity and wages.
Amid the growing inflow of immigrant labor, Americans’ wages have stayed flat for the 44 years since 1973.
In contrast, Democrats want to increase immigration levels — regardless of the impact on Americans’ wages — because immigrants tend to vote Democratic. The Democrats’ planned amnesty for the 800,000 DACA recipients, for example, would actually provide an amnesty option for 3.6 million people — and an immigration opportunity for millions more.
This Democratic support for mass immigration also means that Democrats strongly oppose any real or symbolic border wall. Barack Obama, in his 2006 book, “The Audacity of Hope,” described the nation-changing goal: “In my mind, at least, the fates of black and brown were to be perpetually intertwined, the cornerstone of a coalition that could help America live up to its promise.” He wanted extra immigration even though “this huge influx of mostly low-skill workers … threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans.”
Ryan doesn’t want that huge inflow of Democratic voters, but he wants the cheap workers to keep Americans’ wages low. So his pro-business compromise is to support tough border rules against any inflow of future voters while also allowing a huge inflow of wage-cutting temporary workers who return home without getting citizenship and the right to vote for Democratic candidates.
Here is the text of Ryan’s interview with the AP’s editors, who repeatedly described the 800,000 DACA illegals as “dreamers,” and completely ignored Ryan’s salary-cutting agenda:
I think the president made the right call [to end DACA] because it was unconstitutional … I wanted him to give us time, I didn’t want it to be rescinded on Day One and create chaos. But he was right in that President [Barack] Obama was wrong in basically using legislative powers that he did not possess … I’m pleased the Presidnet is respecting the constitution and what we asked the White House is to give us some time, so we could come up with the right consensus and compromise to fix this problem … We are having this conversation with our [GOP] members in terms in putting together this compromise.
Q: Do you still believe that “dreamers” should have a pathway to citizenship?
Ryan: Well, I want it. I don’t want to negotiate to the media on what this package will look like …
Q: But your own belief?
I have spent a lot of time on this over the years … but I do believe that kicking these 800,000 kids out to countries that they have probably not been to since they were toddlers, countries that speak languages that they may not even know, is not in our nation’s interest. So I do believe there’s got to be a solution to this problem, but at the same time I think it’s only reasonable, it makes perfect common sense, that we deal with the problem that was the root cause of this, which is we do not have operational control of our borders. We are not adequately enforcing our laws, and so it makes perfect sense to fix the source of the problem, the cause, while we fix the symptom of the problem, the DACA issue, so that we don’t end up with a DACA problem 10 years from now. That is the conversation we just now are beginning to have with our [GOP] members. There will be lots of conversations between lots of members on how and where we land on a consenseus to fix this problem.
Q: Your members are not just going to accept a Dream act?
A. That’s right … I think we just need to make progress in immigration just for the sake of the country. Put aside politics, this is a broken system that needs to be fixed. This is a broken system that needs to be fixed. What’s broken?
We don’t have operational control of our borders. I mean, heroin in Wisconsin is selling for like 10 bucks, so we have a serious problem that effects all communities with respect for our borders.
We have an undocumented population that is kind of our there in limbo.
We’ve got labor shortages in areas like agriculture and high-tech that are holding back growth and I really do belives we need to fix this entire system. I don’t think we can do it one big bill. I just never thought those [comprehensive] efforts could work, be succesful because they will collapse under their own weight.
I actually like the idea of moving to a merit-based immigration system for the economy’s needs. I think that makes a lot of sense. I think it is [Sen. Tom] Cotton and [Sen. David] Perdue who have a bill over in the Senate, the RAISE Act … it has a lot of merit. Whether the numbers [in the bill for annual legal immigration are proper,] that should be negotiated … But moving from what people describe as “chain migration” to a skills-based, merit immigration system makes a lot of sense, while keeping nuclear families intact … In this economy going forward, boomers [are] retiring, we are going to need skills, people with skills.
First, I think we get people in this country who are able-bodies from welfare to work — gotta do that, that is a big part of welfare reform — but even after we do all of that, there are still going to be dairy farms in western Wisconsin that can’t find people to milk their cows.
There are still going to be cranberry orchards – excuse me – cranberry bogs, that need help. There are still going to be you know, software engineers at Intel [Corp.] that still need people.
So I think that going to a system that respects those [buiness] problems, I think that is a good idea at the end of the day. How do we that, and where the consensus is, the kind of conversations that I think Congress has to have, but I see this as an American seeing a broken system that was written. We did an ’86 [immigration] reform, we did a ’96 reform, and basically, since 2007, we’ve been trying to reform our immigration laws and we haven’t. So the system needs to be fixed, but the problem our members have, legitimately, is what they really worry about, is that if we don’t actually get security of our borders and enforce our laws, then we are just going to make the same mistakes as we did in the past, and that is why we have to have these things dealt with.
Q. Does that mean a wall?
I think a wall actually works. The reason I say that is because I went down to the Rio Grande and the Border Patrol themselves told me “Yeah, there are certain spaces where we actually need a physical barrier.
Q. But not the entire length of the border!
I agree with that. Circumstances on the ground should dictate what you need at various places. Some places in mountainous areas you need something like a smart fence. In parts of the Rio Grande river valley, you need a levee, because there is a huge flooding issue. So there are circumstances on the ground that should dictate how we do border security but doing border security should not be a negotiable thing, we should have security of our borders.
Q. The RAISE act. That dramatically slashes legal immigration. The numbers do you support?
The numbers are what I have an issue with. But the idea of going to a skills-based point system, I think which a lot of countries do, I think there’s a lot of merit to that idea … these numbers need to be worked out.
Watch the interview here.
Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs. However, the government imports roughly 1 million legal immigrants to compete against Americans for jobs. Not all do go to work, for example, or else file for government aid, almost 100,000 legal immigrants per year are close to retirement.
The government also hands out almost 3 million short-term work permits to foreign workers. These permits include roughly 330,000 one-year OPT permits for foreign graduates of U.S. colleges, roughly 200,000 three-year H-1B visas for foreign white-collar professionals, and 400,000 two-year permits to DACA illegals. Some of those imported white-collar workers gain outsourced jobs at Jan’s alma mater, Stanford University.
That Washington-imposed policy of mass-immigration floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families.
Amid the huge inflow of new workers, the percentage of working Americans has declined steadily for the last few decades: