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Dave Brat: White House Amnesty Plan ‘Does Not Represent Promises President Trump Made to the American People’

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
JOHN BINDER
Washington, D.C.

The White House amnesty plan to potentially give citizenship to millions of illegal aliens “does not represent” President Trump’s commitment to implement an immigration policy that serves the interests of American citizens, Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) says.

In a statement on Monday, Brat said he could not support a draft amnesty plan crafted by White House advisers, including former Koch brothers executive Marc Short, Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and senior adviser Stephen Miller, that could give at least 4.5 million illegal aliens enrolled and eligible for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program a pathway to U.S. citizenship.

Brat said:

The White House amnesty plan may capture the wishes of the Washington establishment, but it does not represent the promises President Trump made to the American people. Giving amnesty beyond DACA recipients opens us up to fraud and corruption, as those who never signed up for the program attempt to become eligible. If you ask voters in states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, that swung to Donald Trump, if this amnesty plan keeps his promises, they will tell you it does not [emphasis added].

As Breitbart News reported, the White House amnesty plan estimates that about 1.8 million illegal aliens will be eligible for a pathway to U.S. citizenship under their proposal. But based on estimates from the 1986 amnesty, citizenship for 1.8 million illegal aliens would only be the starting point of the White House amnesty.

The 1986 amnesty was designed to give 400,000 illegal alien agricultural workers amnesty. After being enacted, though, about 1.1 million illegal aliens ended up getting amnesty, implying that 700,000 illegal aliens fraudulently received amnesty, as noted by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Should this pattern be the same for the White House’s amnesty plan, the low estimate of 1.8 million illegal aliens receiving a pathway to U.S. citizenship would quickly become 4.5 million illegal aliens eventually obtaining citizenship. This would be a sextupling of Obama’s DACA, as there are nearly 800,000 illegal aliens enrolled in the program.

Rather than the White House amnesty plan, Brat said House Republicans, particularly those who support Trump’s pro-American immigration agenda, are focused on whipping support for Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) immigration legislation, which would give legal status to only DACA-enrolled illegal aliens in exchange for a reduction to legal immigration levels, mandatory E-Verify to ban employers from hiring illegal aliens over Americans, and full funding for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Brat said:

House Republicans have been working to build support for chairman Goodlatte’s bill. The legislation, while not perfect, represents a rational compromise that provides for DACA recipients but also reforms the underlying immigration system in a coherent way. We are interested in taking a common sense approach to ensure our immigration system works so we are not back here again in another ten years dealing with millions more who came here illegally [emphasis added].

Brat is seen as one of Trump’s closest allies in the House, famously running on a pro-American immigration agenda to defeat former pro-amnesty House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Like Brat, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), a longtime advocate for mandatory E-Verify and an immigration policy in the national interest, said he could not support the White House’s amnesty plan, calling it “not a good deal” for America’s workers.

“This proposal grants amnesty today and delays legal immigration reforms until a distant tomorrow,” Smith said. “It is not a good deal for the American people. Immigration policy should put the interests of American workers and taxpayers first.”

Also included in the White House amnesty draft:

  • A more than ten-year wait before legal immigration levels are reduced to provide much-needed relief and wage increases to America’s working and middle class
  • No immediate end to the wage-crushing importation of blue-collar and white-collar foreign workers
  • A repurposing of the 50,000 visas that currently import foreign nationals through the visa lottery program
  • $25 billion to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border
  • No provisions to enact mandatory E-Verify, which would ban employers from hiring illegal aliens
  • No provisions to end or punish sanctuary cities, which protect and harbor criminal illegal aliens
  • No provisions to deal with the issue of ending birthright citizenship, where at least 4.5 million children have received U.S. citizenship although their parents are illegal aliens

The amnestying of 4.5 million illegal aliens under the White House amnesty plan would mean an instant depression of American workers’ wages and an enormous increase in the number of now-legalized foreign workers against whom Americans will have to compete for jobs.

Every year, the U.S. admits more than 1.5 foreign nationals, with the vast majority deriving from family-based chain migration, whereby newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S. In 2016, the legal and illegal immigrant population reached a record high 44 million. By 2023, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the legal and illegal immigrant population of the U.S. will make up nearly 15 percent of the entire U.S. population.

Mass immigration has come at the expense of America’s working and middle class, which has suffered from poor job growth, stagnant wages, and increased public costs to offset the importation of millions of low-skilled foreign nationals.

For blue-collar American workers, mass immigration has not only kept wages down, but in many cases, decreased wages, as Breitbart News reported. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues importing more foreign nationals against whom working-class Americans are forced to compete. In 2016, the U.S. brought in about 1.8 million mostly low-skilled immigrants.

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

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