Pelosi’s disgraceful weaseling on merit-based immigration

Common sense and public opinion both strongly favor prioritizing immigrants who bring education and skills to the country, so that they can support themselves and provide more tax payments than they consume in the form of welfare and other need-based services. Few questions of public policy receive support in the eighty percent range, yet merit-based immigration actually does receive nearly 80% in reliable polling.

So, President Trump’s announcement of a push for such a system creates a real problem for House Democrats. If they cooperate in enacting a popular immigration policy that obviously benefits the United States, they would both hand a victory to Donald Trump and lose leverage on enacting their own favored policies in the "cimprehensive immigration reform" they always demand. The goals include keeping the borders open and granting immediate citizenship and voting rights (or just registering voters legally or not, if enforcement mechanisms are neglected at the state level) to hordes of poor people who are streaming across the border at a current level of over a million a year.

In the face of this, Nancy Pelosi engaged in disgraceful word play yesterday:

The entire point of immigration policy is to benefit the citizens of the United States. Forcing citizens to pay for the welfare and government services consumed by poor families entering with children (who will need expensive bilingual schooling), and who will generate few taxes but consume large tax revenues if they bring low education and skill credentials, enacts a penalty on American citizens.

What makes her statement yesterday utter weaseling is that in the past she has strongly praised merit-based immigration, as Issues and Insights editorializes:

[I]t wasn’t long ago that she was offering fulsome praise for a another immigration bill that also would have implemented a merit-based system for immigration.

In fact, when the Senate passed that bill in 2013 — with every single Democratic senator voting aye — she said the bill would “reaffirm our values, advance our ideals, and honor our history as a nation of immigrants,” and that “the Senate moved our country one step closer to achieving commonsense reform that reflects our heritage and makes America more American.”

But right there in that bill, there’s a section under the heading “Future Immigration,” which explains how the bill “Establishes a merit-based and points immigrant admissions system.” That system would award points to potential immigrants based on education, employment, and other characteristics, and grant visas to those with higher scores. 

What’s more, the Senate bill put limits on family-based immigration by eliminating siblings and children over age 30. These relatives would have had to apply under the new point system or find another avenue in order to immigrate. 

Also eliminated were a visa lottery program that granted green cards based only on the fact that a country has fewer immigrants coming to the U.S. 

Pelosi not only praised the Senate bill, she also urged Democrats in the House to vote for virtually identical legislation introduced in that chamber.

No doubt, Pelosi will refuse to bring Trump’s immigration plan to a vote when it becomes a bill. At the point, it will be time to dramatize her past support for the same measures, and challenge her. When she refuses to allow a vote, then campaign against every House Democrat who supported her as Speaker, telling voters that their Congress Member’s vote for Pelosi is why a merit based immigration system reform was torpedoed, and that the only way to get such a bill passed is to vote for the Republican.

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