GOP Senators on Border Wall Panel Keep McConnell, Trump in Charge of Migration Debate

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The four GOP Senators picked for the border security conference committee are not leaders in the high-risk immigration issue, ensuring that Senate Majority Leader and the president will decide the next stage of the immigraiton and border wall controversy.

The GOP Senators on the border security panel are Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito, North Dakota’s Sen. John Hoeven, and Missouri’s Sen. Roy Blunt, a source told Breitbart News. The four members each have earned a B rating from the mainstream NumbersUSA advocacy group, which favors a reduction in legal immigration.

The panel of four Republicans and three Democrats is slated to negotiate a bipartisan response by February 15 to the President’s demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funds.

The GOP side of the panel was picked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and notably does not include the leading members of the GOP’s pro-amnesty cheap labor caucus, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. James Lankford, Sen. Thom Tillis, or Sen. Cory Gardner.

The three Democrats include two of their experts on the immigration issue, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy. The third Democratic member is Montana Sen. Jon Tester.

Durbin recognizes the high-risk unpredictability of the migration issue, partly because he was one of the leaders in the disastrous “Gang of Eight” cheap labor amnesty push. That push helped the Democrats lose nine Senate seats in November 2014, and also helped Donald Trump destroy Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign in 2016.

The Senate panel is expected to play a central — but not decisive — role in the next three weeks as President Donald Trump and his advisers — plus McConnell — decide whether they should keep raising the price they are willing to pay hostile Democrats to win a small extension of the border wall

For example, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, has reportedly suggested the President will offer a plan to provide amnesty to roughly 1.8 million young migrants. The Kushner plan would include the 800,000 registered DACA migrants — but it would also tempt many migrants to cross the border in the hope of getting an amnesty during Trump’s reelection campaign.

GOP-affiliated business lobbies want amnesties partly because they would get a new influx of extra consumers and workers. But the business lobbyists also know that it Trump endorses amnesties during the next three weeks, he would surrender his political leverage to push for his “Four Pillars” reforms in 2020.

The business groups are also pushing hard for Kushner and Trump to approve a huge new inflow of visa workers, via the H-1B or OPT programs. The extra visa workers would please Wall Street and many donors — but would also alienate many of the suburban professionals and young graduates whom Trump needs to win in 2020.

The business groups are using a series of industry-funded polls to win support in the White House. But those polls hide other polls of deep emotional opposition among Trump’s supporters and among swing voters to any border policy which increases migration, raises crime or lower wages.

The President’s allies among the immigration reform groups also do not want the Senate panel or White House officials to push for a large amnesty in exchange for a short wall. Instead, the groups generally prefer a reformist policy that will curb migration — with the aid of better barriers on the border — and so help push up voters’ wages before Trump’s reelection campaign in 2020.

“One thing we’ve always said is that a fixation on the wall is myopic,” said R.J. Haumann, policy director at NumersUSA. “Barriers are part of the solution, but there are bigger and better solutions to these problems,” he said, adding that Trump’s reelection will be aided when wages rise.

Another option is for the president to declare a national emergency — without granting any concessions to Democrats or business — and then order his agencies to build additional miles of a wall using unspent funds. The option would ensure a backlash in Washington D.C. but is likely to survive a court challenge. 

The President’s agency appointees are also pushing ahead with a variety of solutions, including the construction of better fences and the rollout of regulatory changes.

The most important regulatory change is the new “Remain in Mexico” policy, which may allow the president to shrink the catch-and-release practices at the border and also deeply damage the cartel’s labor-trafficking business. “That is a very big deal — hopefully, it does not get struck down in the courts,” said Haumann. 

Progressive opponents of the Remain in Mexico policy say it is creating “a legal wall” against the economic migrants who claim asylum to activate the catch-and-release loopholes in the border wall.

Those pro-migration claims echo the Democrats’ visceral opposition to any border wall, which is increasingly being described by no-deal progressives as an unacceptable symbol of GOP racism towards non-white migrants.

That no-deal stance leaves the Democrats vulnerable in 2020 to a presidential campaign which portrays them as more concerned about migrants than about Americans’ wallets and neighborhoods.

Nationwide, the bipartisan 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 coastal real estate prices, pricing poor U.S. whites, Latinos, and blacks out of prosperous cities, such as Berkeley and Oakland.

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