On Wednesday six House Republicans introduced a bill, HR 4760, which they say would “fix the country’s immigration system”, including improved border security and better enforcement against the millions of illegal aliens within our borders. However, it also includes at least a limited amnesty for illegal aliens who signed up for Obama’s unconstitutional DACA program.
Is this bill a reasonable solution to the plague of illegal immigration, or is it another attempt by congressional Republicans to fool conservatives while moving towards amnesty for most or all illegal aliens?
Much of the bill looks like a response to what conservatives have been demanding. It includes funding for a border wall and supportive technology, additional agents for the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection, and an effective biometric entry-exit system for tracking the millions who enter legally on a temporary visa, but never leave. “Sanctuary cities” could lose Federal funding as a punishment for refusing to cooperate with Federal immigration enforcement.
It also recognizes the need for eliminating the incentive of coming illegally in order to take an American job, and would require employers to more effectively check out new employees to confirm their legal status. Deportation of gang members would be facilitated.
In terms of broader reform, the bill would eliminate both the Diversity Visa program and chain migration. The latter is especially a problem, since by allowing legal residents to bring in relatives it permits virtually unlimited immigration. Deportation of unaccompanied minors who arrive illegally would be made easier, and responds to what has been an increasingly serious loophole in the immigration laws.
However, the bill would also write into law the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program that Barack Obama implemented by executive action without any legal or constitutional basis. During the Bush and Obama administrations, conservatives repeatedly beat back liberal attempts to provide amnesty for illegal aliens, whether comprehensive or narrowly targeted to young people. A DACA amnesty could be just the opening wedge toward amnesty for all illegal aliens. That is clearly what Democrats and at least some Republicans have in mind.
Furthermore, it appears that the bill maintains DACA’s assumption that anyone who illegally entered the US as a minor did so unwillingly, without making any investigation to determine whether that person came alone or was brought by others. That allows those who sneaked across the border on their own to take advantage of a program intended to assist children brought by their parents.
Another matter of concern is that the bill may be intended for nothing but show. Comments from members of Congress say that it cannot pass the Senate, and may not even have the votes to pass the House.
Perhaps the real purpose of this bill is to get House Republicans to vote for a bill containing amnesty, putting them on record against the principle of enforcing the immigration laws fully and impartially.
The GOP leadership may be planning to let this bill go down to defeat, then throw its support behind a Senate DACA bill that is so weak on illegal immigration that it has Democratic support. The leaders would insist that the House has already gone on the record in favor of DACA, and only the Senate bill can pass.
Congressional negotiations on DACA are continuing as this is written, and Congress might be presented with a Democrat-approved “compromise” at any moment. The Washington establishment is fully committed to getting the amnesty ball rolling with DACA, then following it with a much broader amnesty (often described as “comprehensive immigration reform”).
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