Leading immigration experts say Sen. Thom Tillis’ (R-NC) latest push for amnesty ignores President Donald Trump’s mandate for cracking down on illegal immigration.
While Tillis’ legislation would increase border security, it would also grant amnesty, a type of immigration reform measure that Democrats have been demanding since the 1990s, as Breitbart Texas reported.
Mark Krikorian with the Center for Immigration Studies told Breitbart Texas the Republican establishment simply cannot give up on the idea of amnesty, comparing it to the Gang of Eight Bill which both Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) heralded at the time.
“The Gang of Eight people are relentless,” Krikorian told Breitbart Texas. “They’ve tweaked the old bill and are now trying to prop it up again.”
“It’s almost like Tillis just ignored Trump’s victory,” Chris Chmielenski with NumbersUSA told Breitbart Texas.
Both Krikorian and Chmielenski said establishment Republicans and Democrats will use amnesty and portray it as a necessary measure after Trump’s border wall is finished being constructed along the US-Mexico Border.
“It’s almost certain that guys like Tillis are going to say in six months or a year, ‘Look we have fixed enforcement problems, now we have to move onto amnesty’,” Krikorian said.
“One of the most offensive pieces is to trade enforcement for amnesty,” Chmieleski said. “The American people want enforcement. The people made that clear.”
Chmielenski said his biggest concern with Tillis’ legislation, apart from the amnesty component, is that it would increase current immigration levels, which are already considered higher than average.
“My assumption is that so much focus has been put on the amnesty component, but it’s going to have immigration increases,” Chmielenski said. “Most bills since 1965 have had immigration increases.”
“Tillis has been a strong advocate for increasing legal immigration numbers,” Chmielenski continued. “He’s said in the past that not enough workers are coming in.”
Krikorian echoed similar concerns about Tillis leading the charge on comprehensive immigration reform, telling Breitbart Texas, “Tillis apparently is beloved by these [amnesty] folks.”
“They love Tillis, which to me is a terrible sign,” Krikorian said. “Republicans should not be taking their cues from Tillis.”
Tillis’ legislation would essentially keep Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) intact, allowing illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. at a young age to stay in the country legally.
Trump has been pressured, most recently, by immigration hawks and his base to pull-through on a promise he made during his campaign where he said he would “immediately” terminate DACA.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.