Republicans are bleeding their traditional suburban voters at a quick pace. They are without a narrative and nearly out of time to make a difference for this election. When they return from summer recess, they have one final opportunity to either make a big play on the top issue on voter’s minds. Or they could simply monkey it up by running out the clock while they are losing.
According to recent polls, immigration is the top concern of voters. And for good reason. It touches on every important economic, security, and cultural issue voters care about, and unlike other issues, it is amazingly simple to solve. We can choose our own immigrants, period.
Here is a list of 25 ideas, most of which have already been introduced as legislation, that are political winners and will completely reorient the narrative of this election. This is not a complete list of the best ways to deter illegal immigration and reform the broader system, but they are all commonsense reforms that are easy to communicate and would effectively deter illegal immigration without touching on certain sensitivities of weak GOP members (assuming they really want to solve the issue). As you are reading through them, imagine the powerful ads that could be created to expose all the Democrats opposing them, particularly those senators up for re-election in red states.
1) Fund the wall with foreign aid from home countries of illegal aliens: H.R. 6657, sponsored by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., would reduce foreign aid to countries whose nationals are apprehended at the border by $2,000 per illegal. The funds would be directed to an account for the border wall. In addition, it would levy fees on foreign remittances and raises certain fees for visa applications, with the funds going towards a salary raise and restoring overtime pay for border agents.
2) El Chapo Act: H.R. 2186, sponsored by Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, would capture the criminal forfeiture funds of wealthy drug smugglers to be used for the border wall.
3) End visa overstays by requiring bond: In addition to finally implementing a biometric visa tracking system to stop the 700,000 annual overstays, which was flagged by the 9/11 commission as a major vulnerability, H.R. 6089, sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, would require certain classes of visa applicants who are prone to overstay their visas to post bond upon entry to the country. H.R. 463, sponsored by Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., would mandate jail time for most visa overstayers and bar them from reapplying for a certain number of years.
4) End Central American fleecing of America: H.R. 391 would finally clarify the true definition of asylum and unaccompanied alien children, which would exclude 99 percent of the current flow of aliens from receiving any legal status and mandate that they be deported expeditiously, along with their illegal alien relatives already in the country.
5) Make visa overstays and first-time border crossings felonies: There are numerous bills that would accomplish this. Another great deterrent would be to indefinitely bar anyone from ever immigrating to this country if they are caught crossing the border and advertise such a change in law in Spanish-language media in their home countries.
6) No citizenship for MS-13: H.R. 5065, sponsored by Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., would denaturalize any member of MS-13 found to have been a part of the group within 10 years of naturalizing. We had no tolerance for communists and Nazis; we should not coddle and even reward MS-13 with citizenship.
7) Mandatory deportation of drunk drivers: Thousands are killed by drunk driving. It’s equally tragic when the perpetrators are American, but it’s completely avoidable when the individual shouldn’t be in this country. Congress should pass the old Scott Gardner Act (H.R. 3808), sponsored by former Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., which would mandate that ICE apprehend all illegal aliens arrested for drunk driving. Congress should also make repeat DUIs a deportable offense for legal immigrants. A great many criminal aliens who went on to commit other crimes had DUI arrests or convictions and were never deported.
8) Deport criminal aliens: H.R. 5653, sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., would make all legal immigrants who are convicted of any felony or two misdemeanors deportable. This will ensure that many career criminal aliens who plead down to lower charges are deported and also fix the ridiculous Dimaya Supreme Court decision invalidating the “crime of violence” statute.
9) Deport those on terror watch list: Liberals say “no fly, no buy” – that anyone on the terror watch list should automatically not be able to purchase a gun, even when the person is a U.S. citizen with due process rights. But there is no right for an alien to remain in the country. H.R. 844, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., would codify the concept of “no fly, goodbye” by deporting those aliens on the list.
10) Forge ties with local law enforcement: H.R. 4295, sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., would explicitly deputize states and local governments to enforce immigration law and offer numerous cooperative programs to make it easier for localities to apprehend illegals and communicate with ICE.
11) Davis-Oliver comprehensive interior enforcement: H.R. 2431, named after two police officers killed by an illegal alien, would be one of the most comprehensive and effective tools to protect public safety from criminal aliens. It explicitly allows states to enforce immigration law, even when the feds are derelict. It protects these states from lawsuits while allowing citizens to sue sanctuary cities for damages. It contains numerous provisions to enhance expedited deportations, strengthen the leverage of ICE, tighten up screening in visas, fix bad court decisions, and punish countries that decline to repatriate their illegals. The bill has passed the House Judiciary Committee through two successive Congresses, yet leadership refuses to bring it to the floor.
Ending Stolen Sovereignty
12) End identity theft: If we end identity theft, we end illegal immigration. Mandating that the IRS and SSA inform any citizen, employer, and local law enforcement when a Social Security number is used twice or anomalously, along with other similar ideas, is vital to personal security and deterring illegal immigrants from ever coming here. Congress should also require ICE to apprehend any alien caught engaging in identity theft.
13) No employer tax break for illegal hires: H.R. 176, sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, would deny tax deductions for wages and benefits paid by businesses to or on behalf of illegals, thereby removing a financial incentive for businesses to hire them.
14) Stop counting illegals in the Census: Few people in this country want illegal aliens influencing representation in Congress. With a new reapportionment coming up, Congress could easily direct the Census to only count citizens and legal immigrants.
15) Stop non-citizens from voting: Talk about foreign influence in our elections: Nobody wants non-citizens voting in our election. The issue is overwhelmingly unpopular with voters. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., has a bill that will block federal funding to localities that allow non-citizens to vote. In addition, motor-voter laws should be updated to require states to ask for proof of citizenship before registering to vote. Democrats will be talking a lot about Russian interference on the campaign trail. This is among the best issues with which a sane GOP leadership would arm its rank-and-file members.
16) No welfare for illegals: A bill to require the IRS to check immigration status before mailing out refundable tax credits and to make it clear that refundable credits are defined as welfare that was barred from illegals under a 1996 bill. H.R. 1041, sponsored by Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., would bar the IRS from accepting Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to process refundable credits for illegals. Enforcing our public charge laws would also be enormously popular.
17) Make English the official language: What a novel and popular idea. H.R. 997, sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, would do exactly that. Additionally, it defies logic to have bilingual ballots when, by definition, only citizens should be voting. Any naturalized citizen should clearly know enough English to vote.
18) Remove immigration from lower federal courts: The single biggest threat to our sovereignty is the ability of any illegal alien group to shop an immigration issue to a liberal lower court judge and set our border policy nationwide. H.R. 5648, sponsored by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, would strip the lower courts of any power to adjudicate cases that “raise issues of immigration, naturalization, refugee status, asylum, and any other related matter or case involving a claimed legal right to enter or remain in the United States.” The decision by the administrative DOJ judge would be final unless the Supreme Court took the appeal directly.
19) No in-state tuition for illegal aliens: H.R. 5229, sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., would bar states from offering in-state tuition to illegals when not all Americans are offered the same discount.
Stopping sanctuary cities
20) No block grants for illegal aliens: H.R. 5435, sponsored by Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., would require the federal government to issue block grant programs only based on the legal population in a city so that sanctuaries have no incentive to juice up their populations with illegals and secure extra funding, to the detriment of legal immigrants and American citizens.
21) Jail time for sanctuary city officials: H.R. 5884, sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, would penalize sanctuary city officials who knowingly thwart federal immigration law with five years in prison.
22) Defund sanctuaries and fund ICE: H.R. 6318, sponsored by Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., would eliminate all law enforcement grant programs for sanctuary cities and reallocate the funding for ICE. This bill cuts to the core of the Democrat platform for this election – coddle criminals and abolish ICE. H.R. 6252, sponsored by Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., would go a step further and cut off all funding of all kinds while protecting any individual officers in sanctuary cities from being fired for complying with federal law contrary to local policy.
23) Cut off funding to sanctuary colleges: There is a growing trend of universities harboring illegal aliens. H.R. 1342, sponsored by Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., would cut off some funding for colleges that receive federal grants but fail to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
True Immigration Reforms
24) Allow states to block refugee resettlement: H.R. 4310, sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., would require the support of the state legislature and governor in a given state for the federal government to enact a resettlement plan. More than any other form of immigration, refugee resettlement is a burden on the local areas, and they have no say in the matter. This would be a very popular election issue in many states.
25) End visa lottery: This idea is so popular that even Democrats give lip service to reforming it. It is prone to fraud and terrorist infiltration and works against American interests by its randomness. Yet Republicans have refused to hold a vote on it. H.R. 1178, sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., would abolish this boondoggle.
Imagine if Republicans spent the next two months keeping the Democrats in session and off the campaign trail while passing a new pro-American immigration bill every day. Imagine if they used every earned and paid media hit to highlight the Democratic Party as the party of MS-13 that is fleecing the American taxpayer, stealing our birthright, endangering our communities, and hurting our kids in schools. Not to mention the drug crisis that has been spawned as a result of the open borders and sanctuary cities. This is the surest way to match the intensity of the Democrat base with Trump voters and also win back swing voters in the suburbs, who are concerned about safety and security but are tired of the perceived antics from this administration.
If Republicans don’t take steps on the issues Amerians care about, they will simply make the election about what the media wants it to be.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.