President Donald Trump used his White House meeting with pro-amnesty GOP Senators to publicly pressure them to support his popular pro-American immigration priorities.
But the group of pro-amnesty GOP’s Senators — led by Sen. Lindsey Graham — dodged the pressure as they tried to flatter Trump into weakening his support for his election-winning, immigration reform agenda.
As the Senators sat around him in the White House, Trump spoke to the voters via the media’s cameras, saying:
Our current immigration system fails Americans. Chain migration is a total disaster, which threatens our security and our economy and provides a gateway for terrorism. Likewise, the visa lottery is bad for our economy and very bad for security. You saw that recently in New York along the West Side Highway.
We need a physical border wall. We’re going to have a wall — remember that — we’re going to have a wall to keep out deadly drug dealers, dangerous traffickers, and violent criminal cartels. Mexico is having a tremendous problem with crime, and we want to keep it out of our country.
We need to ensure our immigration officers finally have the resources, tools, and authorities that they desperately deserve and need to save and protect American lives. Even the Border Patrol agents, as you saw recently, killed — a couple of them killed; one very badly hurt. It’s a rough job and they’re incredible people, along with the ICE agents. These are incredible people. They’ve been with me right from the beginning, and they love what we’re doing.
Trump then turned on the Senators, pressuring them to support his popular goals, while his top immigration aide, Steve Miller, watched from the sidelines.
Trump got easy agreement from Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley and from Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, both of whom are pushing bills that would end the visa-lottery and chain-migration. According to the transcript, which was rushed out in full by the White House, Cotton said:
We have to end chain migration to prevent a future set of new chain migrants coming. We have to secure our border. We have to enforce our laws on the interior, as well, to decrease the illegal immigration that will inevitably encourage overstays.
The President and our group have been clear on that from the very beginning. And I hope the Democrats will sit down with us and finally take yes for an answer on it.
Grassley, who is leading a loose coalition of Senators towards a Trump-style plan, said:
What you said, we were here, I think, with you on November the 8th. We set out a program that we all agreed to here. We know that there has to be negotiations in regard to that, but you’ve laid out some principles that we will not compromise on.
Trump called on Grassley first, and complimented Cotton and also his own chief of Staff, John Kelly, who was also in the room.
But Trump faced careful pushback from Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is sponsoring the Democrats’ main amnesty, the DREAM Act.
That huge amnesty would offer 3.25 million illegals a quick path to jobs, the welfare office and the ballot box, at a low-ball taxpayer cost of $26 billion during the first ten years. The amnesty would also mark the political death of Trump’s pro-American labor policies because it would show that business can persuade Congress to import more workers whenever wages start to rise.
Graham refused to endorse Trump’s plan, and instead tried to flatter the President, saying:
[President Barack] Obama couldn’t do it. Bush couldn’t do it. I think you can do it. There’s a bill to be had. If you want it bad enough, we’ll get it and it will be good for the country. Everybody has got to give a little bit. But I’ve never been more optimistic about an immigration reform proposal making it to the President’s desk right now.
Trump, however, was ready for the flattery, and flattered his former enemy in the GOP establishment and the 2016 primary race races:
Lindsey used to be a great enemy of mine, and now he’s a great friend of mine. I really like Lindsey. Can you believe that? I never thought I’d say that, but I do like him a lot.
That mutual flattery hides the huge policy differences between Graham and Trump. For example, before the White House meeting, Graham chatted with radio host Hugh Hewitt and outlined his priorities. They include only small-scale wall construction, token “down payment” changes to the chain-migration system, and the reallocation of the 50,000 visa-lottery visas to business priorities. Graham said:
So here’s what’s going to happen. The diversity lottery is stupid – literally drawing names out of a hat. President Trump is right. We need to replace that and take those 50,000 visas and use them more rationally. We need to secure our border with a wall component where it makes sense. The DACA kids, you know, need a pathway forward, those who are non-felons, and we’ve got to make sure you don’t have a down payment on chain migration. We’re not going to fix it all. We’re going to break it into two parts. But the first round, there will be a down payment on breaking chain migration.
Two other pro-amnesty GOP Senators also declined to endorse Trump’s popular pro-American priorities.
Outsourcing advocate Sen. Thom Tillis repeated Graham’s flattery:
Mr. President, I just want to say exactly what Lindsey did. And if you think about in the Obama administration, when you had the votes to pass Obamacare and you couldn’t get the DREAM Act passed, then you know there’s something structurally wrong with just the baseline. I mean, if you just think about it, you’re providing the leadership to come up with a balance where you’re going to produce a bipartisan solution and a solution that’s consistent with your principles, which I think are important for us to fulfill the promises that we made to the American people. And we can provide certainty to the DACA population.
Tillis also complained about public support for the wall, saying:
And shame on anybody for getting caught up in words. The wall, for example — when we’ve got the opportunity to provide a solution, achieve your objectives, and do something good for the DACA population, then I think we should.
Tillis’ ally, Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, also joined the flattery, while also pushing the business-first claim that there is a March 1 deadline for a DACA/Dreamer amnesty:
Mr. President, thank you for bringing all of us together. I mentioned to you in September, when you first made the announcement about DACA, that you’d given a tremendous gift to the American people. It’s been 20 years since we’ve had a vote on immigration of any type that’s actually passed and become law.
The immigration issues are very hard, they’re very emotional. But there’s been no deadline. So every time that Congress starts to work on it, they work on it for a while and then drop it because it’s difficult. You gave us a deadline, and setting that for March the 1st, and that’s a tremendous gift to be able to get that done.
Thanks for your engagement on this. I do absolutely agree with your heart on the issues on DACA and for those kids, and be able to find — we’ve got to get a legislative solution, but we’ve got to deal with every other issue as well or we’ll just keep having DACA votes every 10 years, and we can’t do that. So, thanks. And, by the way, thanks for the new leadership in DHS as well. And looking forward to seeing your leadership in the days ahead
Tillis and Lankford are pushing their SUCCEED Act amnesty. In a press conference, Lankford said illegal immigration is a good thing because it promotes competition in the labor market with Americans.
Graham is trying to include some of their SUCCEED Act proposals in the Democrats’ DREAM Act, according to media reports.
Leaving a DACA meeting tonight, @LindseyGrahamSC says “there’ll be a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers” in deal that’s a compromise between Dream Act and the Succeed Act
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 3, 2018
Texas Sen. John Cornyn also evaded Trump’s focus on chain-migration and the visa lottery, while touting an amnesty as a “great opportunity.” He said;
Well, Mr. President, thank you for having us here. America is the most generous country in the world when it comes to legal immigration, but that generosity has been abused by people who are exploiting the vulnerabilities we have along the border with the lack of enforcement.
And we saw the previous administration that tried to usurp the authority that only Congress and the White House have in passing immigration laws. They tried to do it by executive action and the courts, who struck that down.
So I do think this is an important opportunity for those of us who care not only about the people and about our legal immigration system that’s benefitted us all, but also are determined to eliminate and stop illegal immigration, along with the drugs and the harm that that causes. And I do think this is a great opportunity. I hope we make the most of it.
Coming from a border state with 1,200 miles of common border with Mexico, my constituents in Texas all understand the importance of border security and enforcement. At the same time, they’re people with big hearts … And like you and like the rest of us who want to do the right thing by these young adults who came here as children, and I think we have a great opportunity
Vice-President Pence was in the room, and carefully distanced himself from Trump’s pro-American push by not mentioning chain-migration and the visa-lottery while he touted an amnesty. Pence said:
Mr. President, you’ve made immigration a centerpiece in the national debate over the last year and a half. And you said all along the way we’re going to build a wall and reform our immigration system. We’re going to enforce the laws of this country for the citizens of this country.
But you’ve also said along the way we’re going to do it with a big heart. And you’ve opened the door to an agreement on DACA, and today is part of an ongoing discussion with these Republican leaders but also with Democrats on Capitol Hill to accomplish that. And I look forward to being a part of it.
Throughout the event, Trump emphasized the needs of Americans, even as he said he wants to be generous to the illegals. He said:
If we have support from the Democrats, I think DACA is going to be terrific. We have people that have been working on this issue for a long time. As Lindsey said, as others have said, we really are at a point where I think we could do something spectacular for the people on the border, the people coming through.
We have to be careful because there’s a drug epidemic like the likes of which we’ve never seen in this country. We need protection. We need the wall. We need all of those things. And, frankly, I think a lot of Democrats agree with us. When they see what’s happening, when they see the kind of problems we’re having at the border, they really understand it. Whether they’ll vote that way is another situation, but they really understand it.
So we want to thank you all for being here. We have a great spirit going in the Republican Party. I think it can be bipartisan. I hope it’s going to be bipartisan. And we take care of a lot of problems. We can take care of a lot of problems. It would be really nice to do it in a bipartisan way. Okay?
Read it all here.
Trump’s priorities are very popular with voters and likely will help in the 2018 elections.
A December poll of likely 2018 voters shows two-to-one support for Trump’s pro-American immigration policies, and a lopsided four-to-one opposition against the cheap-labor, mass-immigration, economic policy pushed by bipartisan establishment-backed D.C. interest-groups. The poll for NumbersUSA is another reminder to politicians that the business-funded ‘Nation of Immigrants” polls distract attention from voters’ private views, which were shockingly displayed on the evening of November 8, 2016.
Business groups and Democrats tout the misleading, industry-funded “Nation of Immigrants” polls because they which pressure Americans to say they welcome migrants, including the roughly 700,000 ‘DACA’ illegals and the roughly 3 million ‘dreamer’ illegals.
The alternative “priority or fairness” polls — plus the 2016 election — show that voters in the polling booth 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.
Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.
But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting 1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.
The Washington-imposed economic policy of mass-immigration floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, 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 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.
The cheap-labor policy has also reduced investment and job creation in many interior states because the coastal cities have a surplus of imported labor. For example, almost 27 percent of zip codes in Missouri had fewer jobs or businesses in 2015 than in 2000, according to a new report by the Economic Innovation Group. In Kansas, almost 29 percent of zip codes had fewer jobs and businesses in 2015 compared to 2000, which was a two-decade period of massive cheap-labor immigration.
Because of the successful cheap-labor strategy, wages for men have remained flat since 1973, and a large percentage of the nation’s annual income has shifted to investors and away from employees.