Memo to President Donald Trump and Senator Tom Cotton: It’s a trap! “Please get away from the tents of these wicked men, and do not touch anything of theirs, lest you perish because of all their sins,” as Moses warned.
The senators negotiating amnesty at the White House (except for Cotton) couldn’t care less about Americans, their sovereignty, security, culture, or fiscal solvency when compared with immigration. All they want is amnesty. But they know they must indulge a couple of our talking points in order to push for their end result — a perpetual cycle of amnesty.
A good way of looking at this is to understand kids who pretend to eat dinner in order to get dessert. My wife and I have this struggle with our three boys, all lousy eaters, every night. They have no interest in eating dinner and have no intention of eating a meaningful amount to nourish their bodies. It’s all about the cookies. They will eat three granules of rice and two microscopic pieces of chicken and pressure us until we relent and give them the cookie.
The same dynamic is playing out in these amnesty meetings. Both Republicans and Democrats want amnesty. They’ve learned nothing from past experience. But they will patronize us with vapid promises of “border security” and even talk of addressing “chain migration” as a means of getting the dessert. But all along, it’s the amnesty that’s the imperative, while the enforcement and reduction in immigration are the electives, to be negotiated down to nothing.
With that understanding, here are the contours of the “deal” being promoted in exchange for “dream” amnesty by Sens. Graham, Tillis, and Lankford. Sen. Gardner is also floating around in the background, and Flake (at the behest of Vice President Pence) is also being brought in on the negotiations:
- They will throw $1.6 billion in funding at the border as a “down payment,” but no assurance of long-term funding for the complete border wall. A flimsy deal for amnesty.
- They are playing semantics with chain migration. The concept of chain migration has become so unpopular that establishment Republicans feel the need to humor us about addressing it. They are promising that the illegals being granted green cards won’t be able to bring in extended family. But here’s the thing: Nobody can bring in family until they are citizens, even under current law. The problem is once they become citizens, they can bring in anyone they want. So this plan certainly wouldn’t include the RAISE Act, which ends chain migration for everyone, and wouldn’t prevent chain migration even just for the amnestied aliens, because once they become citizens seven or so years later, chain migration begins again.
- Lindsey Graham and others are floating an idea to abolish the diversity lottery, but reallocate those visas for other expansionist programs, such as Temporary Protected Status.
Thankfully, the president has continued to stay on message, at least publicly, and demand the border wall and a complete end to chain migration, along with 16 other priorities that place Americans first. However, he must be careful not to get fooled by the bait-and-switch in defining chain migration. He should also make it clear that absent the adoption of most of these principles — in real legislative text — he has no intention of continuing any facet of DACA amnesty. He should be unequivocal that March is not a deadline into which he’ll be pressured for amnesty, but rather that every day is a deadline for fixing immigration for Americans.
Otherwise, he risks falling into the endless trap of immediate amnesty in exchange for notional promises of enforcement later. Never give the kids the candy on a promise they’ll eat their chicken later.
The president must remember that even if Graham, Gardner, Tillis, and company throw in a few of our priorities, this is not an equal or fair trade. There is no entitlement to amnesty, especially after it’s been done so many times and has further broken our system. There is, however, an entitlement for the American people to have safe and secure communities and borders and not have their country become a dumping ground.
This is certainly true because we have already tried amnesty but have not seriously tried enforcement. It is certainly true because the foundation of public service is to take care of your citizens, not foreign nationals here illegally.
But it is most certainly true because these specific items were already promised to the American people on a bipartisan basis.
We are owed mandatory e-verify from 1986 amnesty.
We are owed exit-entry visa tracking from the 1996 law, never implemented.
We are owed interior enforcement and jurisdiction-stripping from liberal courts, as promised in statute in 1996.
We are owed a border wall, as passed with bipartisan support in 2006.
We are owed refugee and asylum reform because we cannot become like Europe.
We are owed an end to sanctuary cities because no community should be under siege from another country’s criminals when we have enough of our own.
We are owed a fix to counting illegals in the Census because every country has the right to self-determination.
Nourishment is a must; dessert is optional — not the other way around. It is a disgrace that there should even be any disagreement over these issues. Every one of them should be passed unanimously without any discussion of amnesty, much less fake indulgence of our priorities in order to get the amnesty with minimal or no substantive changes for the American people.
Trump must rename the entire focus of these negotiations. This must be about making immigration work for America. It must be about Deferred Action from Criminal Aliens (DACA!) fix, not a “fix” of Obama’s amnesty.
We’ve already played Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football on the promise of enforcement in return for amnesty. Now it’s time to do it our way. It’s time to reorient the priorities and make security the main course of national attention and relegate the amnesty dessert to a time when the political elites actually eat their veggies — for real this time.
Author: Daniel Horowitz
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.