House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has abandoned the House’s migrant crisis funding bill in favor of the Senate’s less radical version, which includes some of the Democrats’ many pro-migration priorities.
The concession was made as the House and Senate ran out of debating time prior to the July 4 recess, amid strong support from Senate Democrats for the Senate’s migration crisis funding bill.
But the concession is not a permanent defeat for House Democrats, who will likely include many of their pro-migration, anti-enforcement priorities in the pending homeland security funding bill.
The Senate migration crisis bill provides more than $1 billion to preserve the orderly inflow of many economic migrants into Americans’ workplaces and schools, and includes no spending to curb migration.
The Senate also ensures more than $3 billion to maintain the well-organized pipeline of so-called “Unaccompanied Alien Children” from Central America to their sponsors in the United States. Most of the sponsors are the youths’ parents and in-laws, many of whom are living illegally in the United States.
The Senate bill preserves the UAC pipeline because it includes a Democratic amendment which bars ICE from deporting the illegal immigrants who sign up as “sponsors.” In 2018, President Donald Trump’s enforcement officers began deporting illegals who revealed themselves while trying to pick up their children at shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Pelosi dropped the House’s version of the bill amid opposition from swing district Democrats. According to Politico:
The House had planned to vote Thursday on its amended version of the border package. But roughly 18 moderates vowed to oppose the bill on the floor, according to multiple sources familiar with the whip count.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla), a leader of the Blue Dog Coalition, confirmed that multiple moderates had been planning to buck the party on a procedural vote on the floor later Thursday.
“We have a significant number,” Murphy said. When asked if it was enough to tank the bill on the floor, “That is to be determined.”
GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy had slammed the Democrats’ support for the UAC pipeline, which is jointly run by the Mexican cartels and U.S. federal agencies. In a floor speech on June 25, he said:
I’m not sure anybody’s read the bill. I’m not sure even those on the other side know what’s in it. Here’s how it’s worse — [it says the] Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services [HHS] cannot share information about the sponsors of [Unaccompanied Alien] children [UAC].
Think about that for one moment. They’re making sure two departments cannot share information in their own government. This [sharing] is necessary to ensure children are not placed with human traffickers or other predators.
The House version also include stealth rules that would block President Donald Trump’s border control strategies. These include the Remain in Mexico program, the metering initiative, and the pending rewrite of the Flores Settlement agreement, and his use of foreign aid to pressure more cooperation from Latin American countries. Those strategies appear to have reduced the catch and release of migrants by two-thirds in the last three weeks, according to data released by Breitbart News.
Remember two weeks ago when all respectable opinion dismissed Trump's Mexico deal (after tariff threats) as phony–nothing Mexico hadn't agreed to before? https://t.co/TO2MeqAV9r Well, not so fast https://t.co/EPyLnPUrQj
— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) June 26, 2019
If passed, these aggressive Democrat rules would effectively reopen the border, said Rosemary Jenks, policy director at the NumbersUSA.
But the Senate bill includes many Democratic wins.
It includes rules allowing Democrat politicians to visit the border shelters with just two days notice. It provides $30 million to the Democrat-affiliated non-profits that help migrants move to their target locations, $10 million for immigration lawyers to help migrants win asylum, and $9 million to help illegal migrants get their “UAC” children delivered faster. It also loads more requirements onto the detention centers, driving up costs and likely providing Democrats with future excuses to denounce the shelters.
The bill was drafted by GOP Sen. Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Senate appropriations committee, who also granted multiple policy giveaways to Democrats in the February 2019 funding bill for homeland security.
GOP spending chief Sen. Shelby surrenders to Democrats: He lets them include their pro-migration policies in the border budget yet he urges GOP passivity. Then Dems smear GOP for the crisis which the Dems encourage, yet Shelby thanks them for their 'tone' https://t.co/ABpJbbmRdU
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) June 21, 2019
Shelby’s budget includes almost no measures to help reduce the migrant inflows into Americans’ workplaces, schools, and communities. For example, it does not increase the detention funds needed to end the catch and release policies which allow migrants to get the U.S. jobs required to pay their smuggling debts.
Senate Democrats boasted of their gains in a press statement:
The Southern Border Humanitarian Assistance Supplemental includes $4.6 billion, $400 million below the revised request from the Trump administration, to address the humanitarian crisis on our southern border as families flee violence and dire poverty in their home countries.
This includes $2.88 billion for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to care for migrant children, and $1.3 billion to improve the inhumane conditions at the border and alleviate overcrowding at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities.
Oversight And Constraining The Trump Administration:
• NO Funding For Trump’s Wall And NO Funding For Ice Detention Beds.
• PROHIBITS DHS Transfers Of ANY Funding In This Bill To ANY Other Purpose.
• PROHIBITS Information Obtained From Potential Sponsors Of Unaccompanied Children From Being Used In Immigration Enforcement Actions.
• ENSURES Congressional Oversight Visits To ORR Facilities Within 48 Hours’ Notice.
• Temporary Facilities In Operation For More Than Six Months MUST Meet New Minimum Standards, And All New CBP Processing Facilities MUST Meet National Standards On Transport, Escort, Detention And Search.
• REQUIRES Monthly Public Reporting On Children Being Separated From Their Families. The Supplemental Includes:
• $979 Million In New Funding For Migrant Care, Processing Facilities, Food, Medical Services, And Safe Transportation. • 30 New Immigration Judge Teams To Address The Immigration Backlog.
• $20 Million In Funding To Expand Alternatives To Detention Programs By An Estimated 13,500 People.
• $30 Million In Grants For Nonprofits Who Care For Migrant Families Released From CBP Custody.
• $10 Million For The Legal Orientation Program To Educate Migrants About Their Rights And The Legal Process At The Border.
• $9 Million To Speed Up Placement Of Unaccompanied Children With Sponsors And Manage Their Cases.
Democrats are helping illegal-immigrant parents smuggle their foreign children into the US via the UAC pipeline. Up to 88,000 are expected in 2019. That's bad for Americans. But it is good for business, so GOP Senators stay mute — except for Sen. Graham. https://t.co/MrAOT6sTSM
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) June 22, 2019