The top Democrat in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, is opposing Mexico’s comprehensive immigration reform deal with U.S. President Donald Trump.
The deal expands the “Remain in Mexico” policy which returns illegal migrants back to Mexico until they can be bussed to their asylum-court hearings in the United States. The policy is now keeping just 8,000 migrants in Mexico, out of roughly 330,000 who crossed the border in the last three months.
“We are deeply disappointed by the Administration’s expansion of its failed Remain-in-Mexico policy, which violates the rights of asylum seekers under U.S. law and fails to address the root causes of Central American migration,” said the statement from House Speaker Pelosi.
But it is not clear how Pelosi can block Mexico’s agreement with the “Remain in Mexico” policy. It has already survived one review by judges, and Mexico’s offer of jobs and healthcare to the migrants will make it difficult for pro-migration lawyers to argue that Trump’s deal violates the legal asylum rights of illegal immigrants.
The expanded Remain in Mexico plan is a political blow to Democrats, who welcomed the Central American migration because it pressured Trump to get a fix with a deal that also offered some form of amnesty for the millions of illegals in the United States.
Trump has used his power over tariffs to cut the deal with the Mexican government, so denying political leverage to Democrats and the cheap-labor lobbies in Capitol Hill’s many disputes over migration and wages.
Pelosi’s statement showed frustration over the Democrats’ loss of political leverage:
President Trump must stop sabotaging good-faith, constructive, and bipartisan efforts in Congress to address this complex problem in a humane manner that honors and respects our most cherished national values.
Pelosi also complained about Trump’s successful use of tariffs to cut Democrats out of the deal with Mexico, saying ,”President Trump undermined America’s preeminent leadership role in the world by recklessly threatening to impose tariffs on our close friend and neighbor to the south … Threats and temper tantrums are no way to negotiate foreign policy.”
The Democrats’ leader in the Senate, Sen. Chuck Schumer, sneered at Trump’s success:
This is an historic night!@realDonaldTrump has announced that he has cut a deal to “greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.”
Now that that problem is solved, I’m sure we won’t be hearing any more about it in the future. https://t.co/DNNfbevkGP
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 8, 2019
Pelosi wrapped her partisan complaint in high-minded claims about Trump’s supposed refusal to resolve a “humanitarian” emergency. The deal “fails to address the root causes of Central American migration … [so] Congress will continue to hold the Trump Administration accountable for its failures to address the humanitarian situation at our southern border.”
In fact, the humanitarian emergency in Central America is subsidiary to the rational recognition by the migrants that the D.C. establishment is inviting them to enter the United States via the various catch-and-release policies.
Trump’s deal with the Mexican government likely will allow border officials to end the catch-and-release of Central American migrants.
Ending catch-and-release is a huge win for Americans and Trump because it means border officials now have a legal alternative to the catch-and-release rules that normally allow migrants to legally enter the United States if they bring children and claim asylum.
Those catch-and-release rules are set by Congress and the courts, and they allow the migrants to get work permits before their asylum court hearings, which are now backlogged for two or more years. Instead of catch-and-release, border agencies can now return migrants to Mexico until their asylum claims can be heard by a judge.
The end of catch-and-release will likely wreck the cartels’ labor trafficking business, which depends on migrants getting U.S. jobs to repay their smuggling debts. Few poor people in Honduras, El Salvador, or Guatemala will go into debt with the cartels, or mortgage their farms and homes to the cartels, once they know they will be forced to remain in Mexico prior to their asylum hearings.
In 2017 and again in 2018, the cartel’s labor trafficking business provided U.S. businesses with roughly 400,000 extra low-wage workers.
That is a ten percent inflation of the nation’s annual new labor supply, on top of the four million young Americans who enter the workforce each year.
If Trump blocks the flow of illegal migrant workers, then companies will face greater pressure to compete for American workers by offering higher wages, more training, and better conditions.
Trump’s compromise deal allows Mexico to dodge the escalating tariffs that he promised, and it also means that Mexico does not have to formally declare itself a “safe third country.”
Trump and his deputies wanted Mexico to declare itself a safe third country because that would give U.S. border officials the permanent legal authority to reject migrants who cross through Mexico. But the Mexican government strongly feared and opposed the “safe third country” proposal, yet their agreement to host the migrants before their U.S. court hearings provide similar legal authority to U.S. border agencies.
Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.
But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.
The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year.
This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.
This policy of flooding the market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the heartland to the coastal cities, explodes rents and housing costs, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.