GOP Rep. Newhouse on Amnesty: ‘We Owe it To These Young People’

Screenshot C-SPAN

GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse told C-SPAN viewers that Americans owe an amnesty to roughly 690,000 young illegals who got DACA work-permits from former President Barack Obama.

Newhouse appeared on C-SPAN December 7, where he said:

I have been part of a group that has been asking and pushing to get this done sooner, preferably by the end of the year, so we can take this off the table and put these young people who are in legal uncertainty, give them some legal certainty in their lives, some continuity. So I think if there is enough urgency here that we should address this before the end of the year, not wait for that March deadline. There are people every day who are losing their legal status and this is something I think we owe it to these young people to be able to come up with a legislative solution that will work for them.

On December 5, Newhouse and 33 other GOP legislators signed a letter to House Speaker Ryan asking for a quick Christmas amnesty for roughly 690,000 adult illegal immigrants who choose to stay in the United States after being brought into the country by their illegal immigrant parents.

The GOP letter did not demand any measures that would help young American fulfill their dreams, or raise their salaries, or that would push employers to recruit sidelined Americans now living in areas that get little investment or new jobs.  Instead, Newhouse and the other 33 GOP legislators called for an amnesty to benefit companies and illegal immigrants:

We write in support of passing of a permanent legislative solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients before the end of the year …

… we must address the urgent matter before us in a a balanced approach that does not harm valuable sectors of our economy nor the lives of these hard-working young people. We must pass legislation that protects DACA recipients from deportation and gives them the opportunity to apply for a more secured status in our country as soon as possible. Reaching across the aisle to protect DACA recipients before the holidays is the right thing to do.

The letter also dismissed the importance of American parents and citizenship, saying that “DACA recipients … are American in every way except their immigration status.”

When asked by Breitbart why the illegals deserve an amnesty, Newhouse’s office responded:

DACA recipients were brought here as children through no fault of their own. In the U.S. we do not hold children accountable for the actions of their parents. I have sat down with DACA recipients in my home state of Washington, one of whom was brought here at the age of seven months, and these young people want to work and contribute to our way of life in the U.S. To obtain DACA status, these young people were required to be in school, to have graduated high school or obtained a GED certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. DACA recipients cannot have not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor.

President Donald Trump is ending Obama’s DACA amnesty in stages. By November, roughly 300,000 illegals will have lost their DACA work permits, opening up hundreds of thousands of jobs to Americans.

The 34-member letter also did not denounce the demand by industry and the Democrats for quick passage of a “clean DREAM Act.” The legislators’ silence allowed business and progressive groups to portray their letter as support for the quick, no-strings DREAM Act amnesty.

The Democrats’ pending DREAM Act would amnesty to 3 million illegals, without any safeguards and offsets for Americans, such as civil lawsuits against employers who hire illegals, or an end to chain-migration rules. The act would put the 3 million illegals on a fast-track to welfare programs and voting booths, and would allow them to bring millions of additional relatives into the United States via chain-migration rules.

The expensive push for an unpopular amnesty is being led by wealthy groups such as the Emerson Collective, New American Economy and, which was created by information-technology investors to raise the supply of foreign graduates and to lower the salaries of American graduates.’ founders include billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, whose Microsoft Corp. is based a short distance from Newhouse’s district.

Newhouse is a farmer who represents an apple-growing district in Washington State. He justified his amnesty call by citing fruit-growers’ use of cheap labor to pick their crops, despite his allies’ effort to portray the low-skill migrants as university graduates.

Newhouse owns a 600-acre farm and was appointed the director of the state agriculture department in 2009. He won his federal seat in 2014 after a very close race with a Tea Party Republican, partly because of support from the state’s GOP establishment. In Congress, Newhouse joined the establishment’s Main Street Partnership caucus.

Newhouse said companies like his need imported labor instead of crop-picking machinery:

The Yakima Valley is where I’m from and we have a large variety of different kinds of crops that are raised in the state of Washington. Over 300 crops are raised commercially in Washington state so it is a huge agricultural state. But it is intensive agriculture. A lot of labor is necessary in order to raise some of the crops that we have in our state. and so, labor is a huge issue. It really is. It is something, we need it solve this immigration problem because of the fact of the matter is the [migrant] folks that we have coming in to do the agricultural work we absolutely need. There is not enough American citizens to get the work done to feed our country and feed the rest of the world. And so this is a solution that we are working on in order to not only help agriculture but other aspects, parts of our economy.

American farmers’ reliance on labor instead of machines leaves them with little maneuvering room as foreign competitors compete for market share by combining their very cheap foreign labor with U.S-style management techniques and long-distance transportation. In response, Newhouse is also pushing Hill legislators to back a plan that would allow orchard operators to hire the foreign H-2A visa-workers who are allowed to work in fields for several months a year.

In his C-SPAN interview, Newhouse seemed to recognize the unpopularity of any no-strings amnesty for either the 690,000 recipients or the 3 million ‘dreamer’ illegals. He said:

I think it is clear the American public would like to see improvements in the security measures that are taken not only on the border but also in the interior of our country. Plus, and this is a very important thing, we want to get to a spot where we don’t have to in 10 or 15 years to go through this again. So we want to prevent us being — prevent us from being in the situation in another decade.

When questioned by callers on C-SPAN, Newhouse veered away from his December 5 letter urging a quick amnesty, saying “Wcan’t just pass a clean DREAM Act.”

He said, without offering any strategy for achieving his extra goals, that:

We have to have other measures in place so we don’t have to do this [amnesty] again in 10 or 15 years. So I agree with your point … What do we do? This [quick amnesty] is something I think that is the right thing to do but also at the same time, like I said, we don’t want to have to repeat this action in the future.

Newhouse’s district is now more than one-quarter Hispanic, largely because of the many Hispanics who arrived in the state to work for agriculture companies, such as Newhouse’s operation.

When asked by Breitbart News if he would reject legislation that lacks safeguards and offsets for Americans, Newhouse’s office responded:

Like most of my GOP colleagues, I have consistently opposed a ‘clean’ Dream Act, because any legislative fix for DACA must not only pass the House, but President Trump has indicated that increased border security and immigration enforcement, which I support, are required in a DACA deal to win his signature. I support a compromise that meets the President’s requirements to be signed into law; we need to keep all options on the table, including additional border security, interior enforcement, ending the visa lottery program, and tougher vetting of immigrants.

The President has said that he would “like to see something where we have good border security, and we have a great DACA transaction where everybody is happy and now they don’t have to worry about it anymore because, obviously, as you know, before, it was not a legal deal.” I support negotiations for a standalone piece of legislation that supports the President and would include border and interior enforcement while protecting DACA recipients from deportation.

Newhouse also said he is spending half his time lobbying other GOP legislators to pass the quick amnesty for the young illegals.

There are conversations happening on a regular basis between all members of Congress. There are small group meetings happening every single day. I think that I spend probably myself at least half of my day visiting with members of  — on both sides of the aisle — members of the House on this issue. I think what we are trying to do … instead of anyone saying ‘I don’t want to do this,’ people are trying to find the correct balance of the two sides on the issue.  Some people want a clean DACA bill meaning that nothing related to border security or any of those kinds of things are included … that would be more like the DREAM Act, yes. Others would like to see much more in the way of security measures taken. So we are trying to find that balance, that sweet spot in the middle that a majority of the members of both Houses can accept.

So far, Democrats have refused to accept any safeguards or offsets on their planned DREAM Act amnesty for 3 million illegals. However, Democrats are backing away from their threat to shut down the federal government if they do not get the DREAM Act amnesty.

The retreat comes as multiple polls show the public is strongly opposed to the Democrats’ amnesty-or-shutdown threat.

The Democrats’ calls for amnesty are unpopular because the contradict Americans’ sense of fairness to other Americans. Business groups and Democrats embrace the misleading, industry-funded “nation of immigrants” polls which pressure Americans to say they welcome migrants. But the alternative “fairness” polls show that voters put a much higher priority on helping their families, neighbors, and fellow nationals get decent jobs in a high-tech, high-immigration, low-wage economy. The political power of the voters’ fairness priorities was made clear during the GOP primaries and again in November 2016.

Several of the letter’s 34 GOP signatories are not running for re-election. They are Reps. Charlie Dent, Joe Barton, Dave Reichert, Frank LoBiondo, and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen,

The other legislators who signed the letter include Reps. Scott Taylor, Rodney Davis, Carlos Curbelo, David Valadao, Mia Love, Mark Amodei, Brian Fitzpatrick, Mike Coffman, Peter King, Ryan Costello, Fred Upton, Jeff Denham, John Faso, John Katko, Chris Stewart, Susan Brooks, Adam Kinzinger, Mike Simpson, Mimi Walters, Leonard Lance, Pat Meehan, Elise Stefanik, Tom MacArthur, and Chris Smith, Will Hurd and Bruce Poliquin.



Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.