Trump Advisers’ BRIDGE Act Expands ‘Catch and Release’ for Future Migrants

MCALLEN, TX - JUNE 12: U.S. Border Patrol agents take a group of Central American asylum seekers into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas. The immigrant families were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing …
File Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The compromise shutdown deal reportedly being prepared by aides to the president would expand catch and release rules to aid millions of current and future illegal migrants and would paralyze enforcement for at least three years, immigration reformers said.

“It puts a legal forcefield around illegal aliens,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies. She said the expanded catch and release law “creates an even stronger magnet for people to come north than the original [2012] DACA did,” adding, “We see how these smugglers market the [federal government’s] catch-and-release policies already. So we’re going to see every town [in Central America] empty out as teens and people in their 20s and even 30s try to get here.”

Axios reported Saturday morning:

The offer is expected to include Trump’s $5.7 billion demand for wall money in exchange for the BRIDGE Act — which would extend protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — and also legislation to extend the legal status of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, according to a source with direct knowledge.

The proposed deal does not include any reforms to the existing catch and release loopholes, which allow the cartels to traffic hundreds of thousands of poor migrants into U.S. jobs, neighborhoods, schools, and welfare offices.

The BRIDGE Act was backed in 2017 by pro-migration legislators, such as now-retired Democrat Rep. Luis Gutierrez, and by business-first GOP legislators, including Washington’s Rep. Dan Newhouse, Nebraska’s Don Bacon, and Michigan’s Justin Amash.

A matching bill was pushed in the Senate by the team of Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin. “These young people have much to offer the country and we stand to benefit from the many contributions they will make to America,” Graham said in a 2017 statement.

The BRIDGE Act is marketed as a temporary relief for recipients of former President Barack Obama’s amnesty.

The core catch and release feature of the BRIDGE legislation is that it bars the deportation of any migrant “who appears prima facie eligible for [DACA-like] provisional protected presence.”

The BRIDGE Act offers work permits and deportation shields to every migrant who claims to be born after June 15, 1981  — including migrants who arrive next month — and who say they have been living in the U.S. between 2007 and 2012. The worldwide population of people who look younger than 38 is far larger than the 800,000 younger migrants who applied and registered for the DACA amnesty.

That rule would prevent the deportations of new migrants until enforcement officials prove a negative in court — that the new migrant was not in the United States between 2007 and 2012, said Vaughan.

“You have to prove they are not eligible for DACA, but you cannot do this when an individual has not been encountered before and has not provided his identity before,” she said.

The result, she said, is “they would only be able to enforce the law against people who have been deported before or maybe people with [U.S.] criminal records.”

The BRIDGE Act reads:

(3) REMOVAL STAYED WHILE APPLICATION PENDING.—The Secretary may not remove an alien from the United States who appears prima facie eligible for provisional protected presence while the alien’s application for provisional protected presence is pending.

(4) ALIENS NOT IN IMMIGRATION DETENTION.—An alien who is not in immigration detention, but who is in removal proceedings, is the subject of a final removal order, or is the subject of a voluntary departure order, may apply for provisional protected presence under this section if the alien appears prima facie eligible for provisional protected presence.

(5) ALIENS IN IMMIGRATION DETENTION.—The Secretary shall provide any alien in immigration detention, including any alien who is in removal proceedings, is the subject of a final removal order, or is the subject of a voluntary departure order, who appears prima facie eligible for provisional protected presence, upon request, with a reasonable opportunity to apply for provisional protected presence under this section.

The proposed deal is another amnesty-before-enforcement scam, similar to the 1986 amnesty, she said. “If this passes, the olly-olly-come-in-free will happen right away, but the wall and any other security in this deal will be either held up in court or not finished” before the migrants arrive, she said.

“This is a classic ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform’ deal that the more-migration people hope to get — fake amnesty for token security which may not ever materialize,” she said.

The BRIDGE Act is designed to pump more migrant labor into U.S. jobs, thereby forcing down wages and raising stock values. The “BRIDGE” acronym is said to mean the “Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow Our Economy Act.”

The deal will also smash Trump’s election chances in 2020, she stated. “They’d plummet because people will be so disheartened that they will stay home, and it empowers the Democrats to push for other [pro-migration policies] in the next two years,” she said.

Trump should reject the BRIDGE Act trade because his base is backing him in the shutdown standoff, because the Democrats are cracking, and because the Democrats’ visceral opposition to border security will damage their chances in 2020, especially as the public sees more migrants and more caravans trying to cross the border, she said:

Nationwide, the U.S. establishment’s economic policy of using legal migration to boost economic growth shifts wealth from young people towards older people by flooding the market with cheap white-collar and blue-collar foreign labor. That flood of outside labor spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor of blue-collar and white-collar employees.

The cheap labor policy 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 five million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions.

Immigration also steers investment and wealth away from towns in Heartland states because coastal investors can more easily hire and supervise the large immigrant populations who prefer to live in coastal cities. In turn, that investment flow drives up real estate prices in New York, California, and elsewhere, pricing poor U.S. Latinos and blacks out of prosperous cities, such as Berkeley and Oakland.



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