Will the Congress take the border seriously?
Trump’s Grand Immigration Bargain: Either Take Border Security Seriously, Or No Deal On ‘Dreamers’
Immigration: Another promise fulfilled? As part of a deal that would give so-called «dreamers» a path to permanent residency or citizenship in the U.S., President Trump unveiled a 70-point immigration plan that leans heavily toward reinforcing the U.S. border against illegal crossings. It’s long overdue.
Trump’s plan, submitted on Sunday to Congress, is part of a quid pro quo to toughen our border security while giving those who are the children of illegal immigrants a shot at staying here permanently.
It goes a long way toward doing what Trump promised during his campaign in 2016: get tough on America’s border security, which, under President Obama, had become an open joke. Among other things, the plans would give federal agents more power to nab illegals as they cross and to detain, hold and deport them more quickly if they’re caught on U.S. soil. He also calls for a border wall and more agents to police the border with Mexico.
Among its 70 provisions, the plan goes a long way toward closing many of the loopholes in U.S. law that have for years made a travesty of our nation’s border — including lax asylum standards, unaccompanied alien children, visa overstays and giving all levels of government, federal, state and local, the power detain those here illegally. This would, in effect, put an end to the so-called sanctuary movement, which is really little more than a refusal to obey U.S. law.
The goal of all this, the White House said, is to enact major changes in border security, enforcement inside the U.S. and the legal immigration system.
«If you don’t solve these problems then you’re not going to have a secure border, you’re not going to have a lawful immigration system and you’re not going to be able to protect American workers,» a senior unnamed White House official told the Washington Times.
It will certainly be interesting to see how congressional Democrats, who created the «Dreamer» problem in the first place, respond to Trump’s offer. With the support of Congress, President Obama issued a 2012 executive action that kept an estimated 800,000 illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children from being deported.
Democrats have used the unlawful presence of those youthful immigrants as a PR weapon to portray anyone who opposes their legalization as racist, even hateful. Now, with Trump willing to deal for better border security in exchange for legalizing the Dreamers, we’ll see how serious the Democrats really are.
But even this deal will have unanticipated costs. A recent estimate by the Center for Immigration Studies notes that the Dreamers, once legalized, will be able to bring in close to a million and a half near-relatives, mostly poor people from Mexico and the so-called Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. This represents a potential significant expansion in both welfare spending and Medicaid outlays for the mostly poor newcomers.
We’re all for a deal that would finally secure our border and to make the Dreamers permanent residents, but we’re wary. We remember quite well the 1986 immigration reform, which went from being the immigration reform to end all reforms, to an immigration fiasco that led to less-secure borders and more illegal immigration.
«There were actual promises at the time that, going forward, there would be stronger border enforcement,» Edward Meese, who served as attorney general under President Reagan, told the Daily Signal recently. «We felt it worth a try, as a means of stopping illegal immigration. I agreed with (Reagan), along with the rest of the Cabinet, about trying out the (immigration reform) commission’s recommendations.»
Once passed into law, however, the «enforcement» part of the deal was forgotten. All we got was amnesty, and another flood tide of illegal immigrants. From roughly 3.5 million illegals in 1990, estimates today put the illegal population at somewhere from 12 million to 22 million.
This should never happen again, and Trump knows it. Everyone talks about how «tough» and «strict» this new plan is. In fact, what Trump has offered to pro-immigration groups and lawmakers for the Dreamers is incredibly generous. All he’s asking in return is for Congress to take the border seriously, to fund the wall, and to send those who don’t belong here back to their home countries. Our advice: Remember 1986. If Congress won’t take our border security seriously, Trump should say no deal.