Rep. Dave Brat: 2018 DACA Amnesty Fight ‘Will Determine the Nature of Our Country’ — ‘If We Fail on This, Just Picture Europe’

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, explains his position to a TV interviewer before his group met with President Donald Trump as the GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" moves to a showdown vote, Thursday, March 23, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. …
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

“If we fail on this, just picture Europe,” said Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) of what would happen if Congress failed to permanently repair America’s “broken immigration system” and just passed another amnesty instead.

Brat made his comments on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight in an interview with Breitbart News’s Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour.

America will resemble “France, Sweden, Germany, [or] the Netherlands” in the absence of enacting an immigration system “for the benefit of American citizens and U.S. workers,” said Brat.

Immigration is a top-priority issue, said Brat: “This is not like any other policy issue. This will determine the nature of our country over the next decades in how we settle this. Either we’re going to add to the anxiety and all this hate-filled back and forth, or we find an economic solution for this country moving forward.”

Brat discussed Congress’s considerations to codify the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy into federal law.

Congress must prioritize four repairs for the immigration system before contemplating any DACA-style amnesty negotiation, said Brat: 1. Ending chain migration and the visa lottery; 2. Mandating employer use of E-Verify; 3. Construction of a southern border wall; and 4. Interior enforcement of immigration law.

The four aforementioned “permanent fixes” must precede any DACA negotiation regarding amnesty for illegal immigrants, said Brat: “It shouldn’t be about trusting or hoping, the permanent part has to come first, you see in that place and then you negotiate later.”

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) echoed Brat’s position in an interview with Breitbart News Tonight aired last week, calling for prioritization of border security and interior enforcement of immigration law over any consideration of amnesty for foreigners illegally residing in the homeland.

Promises for border security and interior enforcement of immigration law from politicians supporting broad amnesty for illegal immigrants are always broken, said Brat:

You need permanent fixes to the broken immigration system before any DACA negotiation takes place, because DACA is an automatic and permanent three million increase. So DACA’s 700,000 times three or four, and that gives you the three million, and that’s permanent, so you don’t trust anything. Our side always gets rolled, we get promises for internal enforcement. Obama was all in favor of that, right? He even added spending, more agents, more this, more that, and then he said, “Hey, agents that we just hired? Don’t follow the law of land.” He told them not to enforce the law.

Drawing on the expansion of previous amnesties, Mansour asked how politicians’ promised parameters of a new DACA-style bill could be trusted.

“There’s talk of putting an end to chain migration,” said Mansour. “But that seems to be a little bit like wishful thinking because couldn’t this be litigated in the courts? Even if you try to pass something, how effective is that going to be long-term? It seems as if with each one of these amnesties that are granted, they’re always litigated in the courts and there are always loopholes that people find, and it just ends up being endless. How much can we trust that there’s going to be something in some deal that they strike that [ends] chain migration? How is that going to be enforced?”

Brat said this is precisely why we need “the permanent fixes in policy” as a “starting point.” He explained:

We’re already hearing decay from the original permanent policy, even on [chain migration]. They’re starting to say, “Well, maybe just [chain migration] for these people, and maybe not just DACA, more than DACA.” So, you’re right. It’s just like [the amnesty granted under] Reagan. You really don’t trust. That’s why I emphasize the permanent fixes. You need permanent fixes to the immigration system that’s broken before any DACA negotiation takes places, because the DACA is an automatic three million permanent increase; so DACA’s 700,000 times three or four, and that gives you the three million, and that’s permanent. So you’re right, you don’t trust anything, right?

“Elites” and “the swamp in DC” support DACA-style amnesty legislation, said Brat, because they “want cheap labor.”

“I can’t think of anything worse for Republicans than to vote against that series of policies,” cautioned Brat, referring to the aforementioned “permanent fixes” he proposed toward immigration policy.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), said Brat, had promised not to connect January-scheduled budgetary debates votes to any DACA-style amnesty: “Our leadership promised that DACA would not be attached to any must-pass [continuing resolution], because that is a total a breakdown and usually ends up with chasing Democrat votes. If they keep their word on that, that’s a pretty good sign. They promised it would be a stand-alone bill on DACA, and that’s good news, and that would require a majority of Republican votes to pass.”

Republican focus on amnestying millions of illegal immigrants, said Mansour, is divorced from President Donald Trump’s popular mandate on issues relating to immigration.

“A DACA fix is nowhere near what the American people are most concerned about, nowhere near the top of the list,” said Mansour. “I don’t understand the urgency on this. It seems to me to be a Democrat issue of urgency since this is their next big pool of voters. I’m not sure why the GOP feels such urgency to deal with this.”

“Yeah, I don’t either,” said Brat. “That always amazes me. There’s nothing on DACA policy in the Republican platform. Paul Ryan, to his credit, promised that a DACA fix would not be attached to any must-pass legislation like a budget, [continuing resolution], omnibus, et cetera. It’s coming up January 20th. He said it would be stand alone.”

Noting that President Trump won in 2016 on “a very hard-line immigration platform” that was “wildly successful,” Mansour said that grassroots conservatives found this push for DACA amnesty, instead of the popular Trump immigration agenda, concerning. 

“It’s a little bit strange to us that the first bit of immigration legislation that the Republican Party has taken up on Capitol Hill is a DACA fix instead of the RAISE Act that the Trump administration got behind or the wall,” said Mansour. “Why does it have to be DACA? It seems a little bit odd that that’s what we’re going to be taking up on immigration first.”

“Right,” replied Brat. “Well, we do have some bipartisan stuff coming up that’ll be interesting to see how the president puts all of this together. We’ve got infrastructure coming up. The Democrats will likely want to do that.”

Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 between 9:00 p.m. and midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).


Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.


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