Center for Immigration Studies Director Mark Krikorian says President Donald Trump’s list of pro-American immigration priorities “make it less likely” that the White House will sign off on any deal that simply gives outright amnesty to illegal aliens.
In a piece by Krikorian, the immigration reformer says Trump is the only Republican administration out of the 2016 GOP presidential candidates who would have put forward the list of immigration priorities while also shifting the burden to shield 800,000 illegal aliens covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program onto House and Senate Democrats.
First of all, this list, even if just theoretical, is better than anything ¡Jeb! or Rubio or even Cruz would have come up with. And if you’re going to negotiate, you don’t start by offering a proposal that’s preemptively watered down.
What’s more, while Trump won’t necessarily consider himself bound by this (any more than he’s bound by anything else he says on any other subject), it makes it less likely Congress would send him, or he’d sign, a naked DACA amnesty, maybe with some fig-leaf border security provisions. (Drones!). Having raised the bar like this, signing a DACA bill that doesn’t include some significant portion of what’s outlined would be a Neville Chamberlain-level failure of deal-making, and would have political consequences.
Trump’s immigration priorities include:
- Construction of a border wall
- Deporting unaccompanied alien children who are not at-risk in their native country
- Preventing criminal illegal aliens and gang members from receiving immigration benefits
- Mandating E-Verify, which weeds out illegal aliens from taking U.S. jobs
- Eliminating the diversity visa lottery
- Classifying overstaying a visa as a “misdemeanor”
- Restricting certain federal grants to sanctuary cities that refuse to detain criminal illegal aliens
- Ending family-based chain migration
- Enacting a merit-based legal immigration where only qualified immigrants can enter the U.S.
Krikorian says Trump’s immigration priorities put Democrats in a political bind, as the far-left open borders lobby and corporate donors want nothing more than blanket amnesty with no reforms attached:
The Democrats have, of course, denounced the White House “anti-immigrant wishlist” as dead on arrival. They’d say that even if they were serious about compromise, because that’s the way the game is played. But they’re not serious.
Chuck Schumer is a cunning and sophisticated political broker who’d be happy to agree to some meaningless border security theater (drones!) in exchange for a DACA amnesty – but the progressive base won’t stand for it. Last month anti-borders radicals shouted down Nancy Pelosi, screaming “We are not a bargaining chip!” and “All of us or none of us!” The anti-borders activists are demanding a “clean DREAM Act” (which would be many times larger than a simple DACA fix) without even the flaccid provisions in the “No Wall McCaul” border bill.
In that environment, the Dems are in no position to bargain for real, even if they wanted to. Since the Republican leadership is eager to surrender on DACA, and even the White House is probably willing to take something less than the full list they outlined Sunday, that means if there’s no DACA fix passed by March (when DACA work permits start expiring at the rate of a few hundred a day), it will be the Democrats’ intransigence that’s the cause.
Fellow immigration reformers praised the Trump administration’s immigration priorities but did not concede that the reforms should be traded for amnesty for DACA recipients.
“Based on our earlier internal surveys, the Trump Administration’s release of immigration policy priorities is certain to reassure and even thrill most of the 8 million members of the NumbersUSA online network who expect that policy to put American workers and communities first,” NumbersUSA President Roy Beck said in a statement. “That was the promise that Pres. Trump made in his campaign, and it is exciting to see the promise re-stated in so much detail.”
In previous statements to Breitbart News, NumbersUSA spokeswoman Rosemary Jenks has repeatedly said the pro-American immigration reform group does not under any circumstances support amnesty for illegal aliens.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.