Trump’s 2016 ‘Phoenix Promise’: No Consideration of Amnesty Until ‘Illegal Immigration Is Memory of the Past’

In President Trump’s historic immigration speech in Phoenix, Arizona during the 2016 presidential election, the then-candidate promised that amnesty for illegal aliens would never be considered until illegal immigration was ended, a border wall was constructed, and pro-American immigration reforms were enacted.

During the speech, Trump made clear that American workers would see benefits with pro-American immigration reforms before illegal aliens were given a pathway to legal status to permanently remain in the United States.

Trump stated:

In several years, when we have accomplished all of our enforcement goals – and truly ended illegal immigration for good, including the construction of a great wall, and the establishment of our new lawful immigration system – then and only then will we be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those who remain. That discussion can only take place in an atmosphere in which illegal immigration is a memory of the past, allowing us to weigh the different options available based on the new circumstances at the time. [Emphasis added]

Trump’s “Phoenix Promise,” as NumbersUSA President Roy Beck dubbed it, has set a precedent for his administration whereby discussions of an amnesty for illegal aliens would only be discussed when reductions to legal immigration were also included in a deal.

A Senate immigration package, crafted by a handful of lawmakers including Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), couples an amnesty for nearly 800,000 illegal aliens shielded from deportation under the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with reductions to legal immigration that would give relief to America’s working and middle-class.

The SECURE Act, as Breitbart News reported, would offer three-year work permits to DACA illegal aliens while ending the legal immigration process known as “chain migration.”

Under chain migration, which accounts for more than 70 percent of all immigration to the U.S., new immigrants are allowed to bring their foreign relatives to the country, including grandparents, parents, adult children, cousins, extended family members, and grandchildren.

Recently released data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on chain migration revealed that more than nine million foreign relatives of immigrants have come to the U.S. in the last decade, with every two new immigrants bringing seven foreign relatives with them.

This process has led to more than 1.5 million illegal and legal immigrants arriving in the U.S. every year, driving down wages for America’s working and middle class while providing a never-ending flow of cheap foreign labor for big businesses and multinational corporations.

Roy Beck told Breitbart News that ending chain migration — which is now supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — is a “tremendous movement forward.”

“It’s wonderful that this somewhat diverse group of Senators saw that it was time to end chain migration,” Beck said. “This is good… and the president deserves most of the credit.”

Though the SECURE Act would fully end chain migration, thus potentially cutting legal immigration in half, Beck told Breitbart News he has reservations about the amnesty aspect of the legislation, saying he is concerned that illegal aliens could see immediate benefits while American workers are left waiting years to see results.

In addition to including amnesty, the legislation does not include mandatory E-Verify, the computer system tasked with weeding illegal aliens out of the American workforce. Beck said E-Verify is the primary way to end illegal immigration and should be included in any legislation that seeks to stop illegality.

“The way you make sure you end illegal immigration is through mandatory E-Verify,” Beck said. “That’s a major, major flaw that E-Verify is not mandatory in this bill.”

Americans are increasingly opposed to an amnesty for DACA illegal aliens. A poll this week revealed that only 1-in-5 swing voters support shutting down the federal government to give amnesty to DACA illegal aliens, Breitbart News reported.

Even among Democrats, the most sympathetic group of voters to illegal aliens, only 34 percent said it is “definitely worth” shutting down the government in order to give amnesty to DACA illegal aliens.

Since DACA’s inception, more than 2,100 DACA recipients saw their protected status revoked for being involved in gang activity or suspected/convicted of a felony. Due to a loophole in the DACA program, more than 39,000 illegal aliens have been able to obtain Green Cards and more than 1,000 naturalized.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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