GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder is tap dancing away from his decisive support for a Democratic amendment which restores President Barack Obama’s catch-and-release border policies.
The Kansas legislator used his power as chairman of the committee on homeland defense appropriations to ensure approval of the July 25 amendment from Democratic Rep. David Price. The Price amendment blocks border officers from implementing the successful catch-and-release reforms established in mid-July by Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions.
“Thank you, Mr. Price, for bringing this amendment … for my part, I’ll be voting aye,” Yoder said July 25.
“Let me be clear,” Yoder said in a July 27 letter posted on his Twitter account:
There have been concerns about amendments that were adopted into our bill regarding asylum. These concerns are legitimate and I am committed to continuing to work with the President and the administration to fix this as our bill moves forward and ensure that any loopholes are closed and that we have strong and humane enforcement of all of our immigration laws.
In the passive voice, he offered a partial walk-back from Price’s amendment which revives Obama’s policy of accepting migrants who claim they are threatened by domestic abuse or by criminal gangs:
I am open to the best solutions that help these [domestic abuse] victims without undermining our ability to enforce our laws here in America.
Yoder’s rhetorical retreat, however, comes after the July 25 votes finalized the House appropriations committee’s homeland security funding package.
The legislation can be amended by the House Committee on Rules, which is indirectly controlled by House Speaker Paul Ryan before it is voted up or down on the House floor.
Yoder wrapped his passive-voice admission of voter opposition within an assertive promise to put Americans first:
I believe that our first responsibility is to keep Americans safe …
I’ve worked with President Trump and this administration to put together the strongest border security package this committee has ever presented before Congress. It has $5 billion in new border walls that will stretch across 200 miles …
I do not support catch and release and I believe we must quickly return individuals making false asylum claims back to their country of origin. Those who want to be granted asylum here in the United States should have to meet a high bar.
Translation: He's a bit scared, like Cantor was. Tries mealy-mouthed backtracking to placate GOP voters. Hey, maybe just give domestic abuse aid to those countries! Yeah, that's what I meant.
A little late (as with Cantor). He was against the bill after he was for it. https://t.co/ejLxOecOZ1
— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) July 28, 2018
Despite his pro-American claims, chairman Yoder also voted July 25 to widen four visa-worker loopholes in the nation’s borders.
Yoder voted to triple the H-2B blue-collar visa-worker program up to 200,000 resident workers, to expend the H-2A agriculture visa-worker program, and to put 400,000 Indian college-graduate visa-workers and family members on a fast-track to green cards and citizenship.
Yoder’s vote for catch-and-release also reopens the asylum-claim supply of cheap Central America workers to cheap-labor business groups. In 2017, federal officials awarded 400,000 work permits to low-wage migrants who are stuck in a huge backlog at the asylum courts.
When approving these four cheap-labor amendments, Yoder did not demand any pro-American concessions from business groups or from Democrats as he endorsed the cheap-labor giveaways.
Wages are rising slowly in President Donald Trump’s high-pressure economy, partly because business groups are fighting tooth-and-nail against any raises. For example, business groups have blocked Trump’s pro-American immigration reforms, and have made multiple efforts to boost the already large inflow of cheap labor into the United States.
Each year, four million Americans turn 18 — but the federal government offers green cards to 1 million legal immigrants, offers work permits to roughly 2 million visa-workers, and largely ignores the resident population of roughly 7 million illegal-immigrant workers.
That process spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. The policy 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.