Yoder Admits Catch-and-Release Problem, But Hides Cheap-Labor Visas

Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Embattled GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder is suggesting he will fix the catch-and-release language which he inserted into the 2019 appropriations bill — but he is not offering any details or offering to fix several other cheap-labor provisions which he added to the spending bill.

“Should the bill come to the House floor for consideration, we plan to offer a manager’s amendment to address the asylum language,” said an August 2 statement to Breitbart News from Yoder’s office.

The vague offer from the Kansas Representative was dismissed by Jessica Vaughan, policy director of the Center for Immigration Studies:

The asylum provision is not the only problem with the spending bill that Yoder put together. It sounds like he’s trying to figure out where the line in the sand is … to address the minimum number of concerns needed to get the bill over the finishing line.

Nearly all of the 30 GOP members of the House Appropriations Committee are backing Yoder’s catch-and-release plan, chiefly by allowing a voice vote of the catch-and-release amendment. The only opposition came from Rep. John Carter, a Texas Republican who was chairman of Yoder’s DHS appropriations subcommittee in 2017.

Advocates for immigration-reform are concerned that GOP leaders will are backing Yoder’s giveaways, and will delay a fight over the border-spending bill until after the election. Once the election is over, reformers fear House Speaker Paul Ryan will unite with Democratic leaders to force President Donald Trump to either shut down the government or else sign a bill that defunds the wall and immigration-enforcement, revives migration by restoring Obama’s catch-and-release policies, and freezes American wages by opening up several cheap-labor visa-programs for college graduates and blue-collar workers.

On July 25, Yoder endorsed an amendment to the 2019 spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The amendment was drafted by a Democrat, Rep. David Price, and would revive former President Barack Obama’s catch-and-release policies by barring government officials from spending any time or money implementing the successful July asylum reform implemented by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Yoder’s revival of Obama’s catch-and-release policies would allow a huge number of migrants to live and work in the United States if they bring a child to the border and merely ask for asylum because they have a “credible fear” of persecution by criminal gangs or of abuse by a spouse.

The asylum-seeker does not have to prove his or her case to be allowed to file a claim, but once the claim is filed, officials are forced to release the migrants if they bring a child with them because a California judge insists they cannot keep a child in detention for more than 20 days. Officials prefer to keep the migrants in detention because few released migrants actually file their cases, attend hearings and go home once their asylum claim is denied. Since 2001, this policy has allowed more than 400,000 migrants into the United States to work in the nation’s cheap-labor industries.

Yoder also pushed a green-card amendment that opens the door to more outsourcing of college-graduate jobs, amendments to expand the blue-collar H-2A and H-2B visa-worker programs, and an amendment to block detention of migrant families.

Yoder did not seek any pro-American concessions from Democrats or business groups when he pushed these cheap-labor amendments.

Those cheap-labor measures have gotten far less exposure from the establishment media that Yoder’s promise of $5 billion for the border wall, largely because most reporters prefer to focus on migrants’ concerns rather than Americans’ priorities.

Yoder’s July 25 giveaway bill can be altered by the rules committee — which is controlled by House Speaker Paul Ryan — and will then may be sent to the floor for a vote. However, the bill may be delayed until it is rolled into an end-of-year omnibus bill after the November election.

Vaughan highlighted several concerns about the brief statement by Yoder’s office that “we plan to offer a manager’s amendment to address the asylum language.”

Yoder is ignoring his obligation to not try to legislation or change policy in the funding bill, said Vaughan. Yoder’s green-card changes and catch-and-release asylum reversals “don’t belong in the spending bill,” she said.

Yoder’s statement does not include any details about Yoder’s corrective language, not any promise to reveal it early enough so that it can be studied and debated, said Vaughan. “He is trying to get people to agree to changes that are sight-unseen — it is pretty unrealistic,” said Vaughan.

Yoder’s promised manager’s amendment may not fix the catch-and-release problem, but the GOP “leadership will pressure people to vote for because it is in must-pass legislation,” she said. “They hitch [unpopular] provisions like this to these kinds of bills so that people have no opportunity to discuss … the garbage.”

Yoder, said Vaughan, also “does address all of these guest-worker provisions and the [green card] country caps [in the bill] — he’s not making any effort to address the concerns about those [and] they are just as big a problem as the asylum amendment because it is a direct hit on Americans’ jobs.”

“I think he has drunk the [pro-migrant] cool-aid completely on the [green-card] visa,” issue, Vaughan said about Yoder’s green-card plan. That plan would put at least 400,000 Indians visa-workers and family members on a fast-track to green cards and citizenship, and likely expand the outsourcing programs that have transferred many hundreds of thousands of college-graduate jobs to Indian visa-workers:

I think he really thinks he is doing the right and noble thing. He’s not looking for face-saving way out – he thinks he’s a hero and he wants to be a hero [and] he’s trying to dupe his fellow members into agreeing with it.

Yoder is running for election in a Kansas district which voted for Sen. Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Breitbart News asked all 30 of the GOP members on the committee if they opposed Yoder’s giveaways:

  • Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey, Chairman
  • Harold Rogers, Kentucky
  • Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama
  • Kay Granger, Texas
  • Michael K. Simpson, Idaho
  • John Abney Culberson, Texas
  • John R. Carter, Texas
  • Ken Calvert, California
  • Tom Cole, Oklahoma
  • Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida
  • Tom Graves, Georgia
  • Kevin Yoder, Kansas
  • Steve Womack, Arkansas
  • Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska
  • Thomas J. Rooney, Florida
  • Charles J. Fleischmann, Tennessee
  • Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington
  • David P. Joyce, Ohio
  • David G. Valadao, California
  • Andy Harris, MD, Maryland
  • Martha Roby, Alabama
  • Mark E. Amodei, Nevada
  • Chris Stewart, Utah
  • David Young, Iowa
  • Evan H. Jenkins, West Virginia
  • Steven Palazzo, Mississippi
  • Dan Newhouse, Washington
  • John R. Moolenaar, Michigan
  • Scott Taylor, Virginia
  • John Rutherford, Florida
Yoder’s response is cited above.
Hannah Shea, a spokeswoman at Rep. Steve Womack’s office responded, saying “the amendments, as you noted, passed by voice. Any concerns would have been raised in committee debate.”

The Yoder giveaways were not cited by the committee when it touted the committee’s work:

Breitbart News checked the members’ Twitter accounts to see if they voiced any concerns or opposition to Yoder’s cheap-labor giveaways. None Tweeted any opposition, and only two acknowledged the cheap-labor visa programs.


Two of the committee members lauded the cheap-labor bills they won by expanding the H-2A labor visa to include year-round farmers and to dairy farms, and the H-2B program for companies that do seasonal work, such as landscaping and forest maintenance.

A few days later, after Breitbart News, spotlighted Yoder’s revival of catch-and-release, Yoder issued a statement suggesting he would walk away from his support for the Obama’s policy:








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