Will Republicans betray their voters on lame-duck 'immigration reform'?
Just yesterday, the Washington Post reported that Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have reached an agreement on a "draft framework of immigration reform compromises."
It is important to know that D.C. has its own jargon that often functions as a euphemism in order that those beyond D.C. don't easily comprehend the motives.
"Immigration reform" in D.C. means amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for illegal migrants.
"Compromise" usually occurs when the GOP has surrendered its agenda before the Democrats.
The objects of the Democrats' generosity currently are the "DREAMers."
A bit of a background about these "DREAMers": DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is an Obama administration policy implemented on June 15, 2012. DACA prevents the deportation of aliens who entered the U.S. illegally as minors and allows them to get work permits.
The illegal aliens who participate in the program are referred to as DREAMers, a reference to the DREAM Act (the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act).
Most of these DREAMers were born in Mexico (80.2%), followed by El Salvador (3.8%). Some were born in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.
So what are the details of this plan developed by Tillis and Sinema?
The WaPo revealed the following salient ideas of the plan:
- A path to citizenship for 2 million "DREAMers."
- A boost in resources to speed up the processing of asylum-seekers.
- More resources to expedite the removal of migrants who don't qualify for asylum.
- A continuation of the Title 42 COVID health rule restriction on migrants applying for asylum, until the new processing centers are operational, with the aim of a one-year cutoff.
- More funding for border officers.
On the surface, this is a win for both parties. The Democrats will have 2 million new voters in the form of DREAMers and new asylum-seekers, who are likely to be future Democrats voters. The Republicans will have border security, the removal of migrants, and the continuation of COVID-19-based restrictions.
The Democrats are claiming that the lame-duck session is the last opportunity to pass immigration legislation. They could also claim that 3 out of the 5 points of the deal are in favor of the GOP; hence, the GOP should sign on.
In politics, if you compromise on your agenda despite being in a position of power, you are not only duped, but also a betrayer of your voters.
The Republicans are going to take control of the House next month. From then, they have two years to author all the laws they want to ensure that the border is secure. They can work to build a coalition with moderate Democrats in the Senate after that.
If, however, the Democrats are able to squeeze in their agenda during this lame-duck session, it is a victory for the Democrats, despite their being in a position of disadvantage.
Biden can claim that he was a facilitator of this deal, which increased their voter base increases by 2 million.
The legislation will need 60 votes to pass in the Senate. Currently, there are 50 Senate Democrats, and the Democrats need the support of at least 10 Republicans.
The WaPo laments that President Donald Trump, his adviser Stephen Miller, and "right-wing media propagandists" such as Tucker Carlson "amplify that toxic message to enrage the base" — i.e., it scares GOP lawmakers from compromising on their principles and giving Democrats easy victories.
Yes, it is ironic that propagandists such as the WaPo have the audacity to attack others as propagandists, but the sanctimonious rarely have any self-awareness.
The WaPo was unknowingly highlighting the importance of the MAGA movement. Trump, Miller, and Carlson are the few standing not only against the Democrats, but also against establishment Republicans, who readily capitulate before the Democrats.
The WaPo even refers to GOP senators who could support this plan. They are retiring Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and anti-Trump senators such as Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, etc.
Let's focus on the idea of granting the "DREAMers" a path to citizenship.
By entering the country illegally, the migrants have committed a crime. Perhaps the crime was committed unknowingly because the minor had no option but to accompany his parents and illegally enter the U.S. But it still is a crime.
A crime needs to be punished to deter others from committing similar crimes.
If the DREAMers are granted a pathway to citizenship, it sends an invitation to aspirants around the world.
It is the equivalent of saying, "Feel free to bring your children to the U.S. illegally. Someday, they will become citizens."
There are other disadvantages too.
If citizenship is given to one group, it gives hope to other groups who are in the U.S. illegally. They could stay in the hopes of qualifying eventually and receiving citizenship.
The presence of illegal aliens is a burden on the taxpayers and the facilities and infrastructure meant for citizens. If illegal migrants work for less than minimum wage and without benefits, once again, the citizen could see a drop in wage or be rendered unemployed. If the illegal migrants are of the criminal variety, once again the victims of these crimes will be citizens. Usually, it is the working class who suffers from this.
In the end, every country has laws that have to be followed, and immigration laws are not at all different.
The only way to enter or temporarily work in the U.S. is to apply for a visa and undergo a thorough background check and an interview. If the applicant clears all of these phases, he can enter or temporarily work in the U.S. The duration of stay and work also depends upon the visa permits.
The only path to citizenship is by naturalization, by marriage, through your parents, or through the military. Each route has its own set of specific requirements that must be followed.
If this proposed "immigration reform" plan is passed, lawmakers will be incentivizing the breaking of laws, which is the last thing any lawmaker should do.
Hopefully, the GOP senators will not participate in this sneaky attempt by the Democrats to push their agenda and instead focus on the dreams and aspirations of citizens.
Image: Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in 2016. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.