Sen. Lindsey Graham shoved a modest set of border and asylum reforms through the Senate’s judiciary committee on Thursday amid emotional complaints from Democrats, including one senator who theatrically tore up the committee’s rulebook.
The unified Democratic opposition to the reforms threatens to make the judiciary committee irrelevant in the immigration debate, Graham told his Democratic colleagues. “I am sorry we could not reach agreement on a broader package … but I am not going to stop the process,” said Graham, who is up for election in South Carolina next year.
Graham said he held his reform package for seven weeks to get some support from Democrats but gave up when Democrats tried to block the bill by boycotting a meeting to prevent the needed quorum. “I am the chairman of the committee — everybody over here [on the GOP side] believes this will fix the problem … [so] after seven weeks of going nowhere, I guess what you’re saying I cannot move this bill at all, ever, unless you all show up.”
“I tried my best to find a compromise … This committee is not going to be the dead-end committee,” he told the committee. “We’re actually going to act.”
Democrats claimed Graham was breaking the committee’s rules and promised to block the bill on the Senate floor and in the House. “It is an effort that is doomed,” said Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal. “The chairman did not reach out to try to find a bipartisan solution,” complained Sen. Diane Feinstein, the top-ranking Democratic on the committee. The bill “will not come to a vote on the House floor … This bill will not become law,” she said.
The Democrats’ demonstration of unified opposition came despite Graham’s suggestion of a political trade for his reform — including the offer of citizenship to the population of at least three million “DACA” illegal aliens.
By sending the bill through the committee with a 12-to-10 vote, Graham will force Democrat senators into a floor debate where they will either support the pro-migration policies favored by their progressive base — or instead, vote for the reforms that are popular among swing voters.
Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee previewed the debate, saying the current laws defended by Democrats “end up facilitating truly heinous acts.”
Smugglers bring children over the border to serve as sex slaves, aided by laws for “Unaccompanied Alien Children,” he said. Smugglers “know the U.S. government will complete the trafficking route for them … [and U.S. agencies are] only the final link in the human trafficking chain,” he said.
The Democrats’ opposition to the border reforms is based on their party’s ideological support for foreign migrants over Americans amid plentiful evidence that mass migration damages Americans’ wages and salaries, schools, rents, and civic life in their American homeland.
Democrat Sen. Schumer gives thumbs-up to detained illegals, urges all migrants be sent to Catholic Charities, then urges more border loopholes. Yet in NY, employers still are not raising wages to compete for US workers amid the flood of migrant labor. https://t.co/BfwDUk9Lyq
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 23, 2019
Feinstein described the Democrats’ argument against border reforms:
The [migration] crisis is that there is an unprecedented number of children and families coming to the United States seeking legal immigraiton through asylum claims. The crisis is not about illegal immigration – it is about record numbers of total people trying to enter our country. It is what is present on the Statue of Liberty, it is about what Emma Lazarus wrote — “Give me your tired, your poor” — That is the watchword and moniker of our nation.
In fact, the statue was built in France during the 1970s to celebrate the Union’s 1865 victory in the civil war and also to tout U.S. democracy. Pro-migration advocates added her poem to the statue in 1903 to help rewrite the nation’s story of cohesive, self-ruling pilgrim settlement into an elite-led diverse and chaotic “nation of immigrants.”
Now we have a new problem where children and families who are facing violence and persecution in their home countries are coming to our nation for refuge in record numbers … Unfortunately, the Trump administration has exacerbated the problem by disrespecting the laws that ensure we treat vulnerable families and children with care, and provide basic humanitarian conditions. In fact, in the last year, at least seven migrant children have died after being in U.S. custody.
But numerous studies show that the vast majority of migrants are moving to the United States to get jobs.
Similarly, legal and illegal migrants in the United States have killed many more than seven Americans during 2019. In May, for example, Breitbart News reported:
An illegal alien from Mexico has been arrested and charged with murdering a beloved 75-year-old grandmother in Houston, Texas.
Marco Cobos, 19-years-old, is an illegal alien from Mexico, a law enforcement official confirmed to Breitbart News. On May 19, Cobos allegedly stabbed 75-year-old Etta Nugent 13 times in her home for 40 minutes to an hour as she begged for her life, according to prosecutors.
Nugent was a beloved mother of three children and grandmother of six who had retired as a parish secretary at Holy Ghost Catholic Church. Nugent was a parishioner at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church.
Democrats can stop Graham’s bill on the Senate floor and can prevent passage through the House. However, the bill will help GOP leaders force Democrats who are up for election in 2020 to vote for or against the popular reforms.
The Democrats’ opposition to border reforms is also helping to block other legislation, including Lee’s S.386 bill that would expand the transfer of more U.S. college jobs to the U.S-India Outsourcing Economy.
Graham’s asylum reforms “will increase [humanitarian] problems at the border,” Feinstein claimed. The reforms would lower standards for the shelter of migrants, allow border officers to vet asylum claims by people who claim to be aged 17 or below, deny legal advice to migrants, give the Department of Justice authority to block migration via the “Special Interest Juvenile” loophole, allow the detention of migrants with children for 100 days, and require migrants to apply for asylum at processing centers in their region or at “Points of Entry” along the U.S.-Mexico border, she said.
The changes are “draconian,” Feinstein added.
Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy theatrically tore up the committee’s rulebook and accused President Donald Trump of waging a “political war on immigration.” Graham’s bill would “ratchet up the cruelty against refugees seeking asylum,” he said.
But Graham shrugged off the complaints from hostile Democrats: “You either give up being the chairman or do what I’m doing … We cannot have the committee become irrelevant.”‘
“You’re not going to take my job away for me,” he said. “You may not like what we do over here [so] you can vote ‘no.’ But this committee is not going to be the dead-end committee.”
New York Times op-ed author admits the obvious: Immigration makes the rich richer and the middle class poorer. His proposed fix is implausible, but it does showcase elite's fervent support for more immigration. https://t.co/iSql4iBz87
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 19, 2019
Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university. This total includes roughly 800,000 Americans who graduate with skilled degrees in business or health care, engineering or science, software or statistics.
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 1 million H-1B workers and spouses — plus roughly 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 transfers wages to investors and 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.
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.
“If there is a growing flood of foreign labor, the American middle class is no longer going to exist, and Republicans will not have a constituency,” said Hilarie Gamm, a co-cofounder of the American Workers Coalition.