Beware the Lindsey Graham amnesty betrayal

· January 10, 2019  
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Update: Politico reports that President Trump rejected the group’s compromise idea. The original article is below.


Only in politics can the very people who created a problem then be tasked with solving the problem. And they try to solve it with more of what caused it in the first place.

DACA and similar amnesty magnets created the new wave of Central American migration since 2013. That wave single-handedly empowered the drug cartels, fueled the drug and gang crisis, and brought unimaginable fiscal and security liabilities in our communities, not to mention a humanitarian crisis for the migrants themselves. Now, Jared Kushner is working with Lindsey Graham to promote a deal of some border wall funding in exchange for codifying and expanding that very amnesty. The problem is that amnesty is the main reason why we need a border wall at all. More of it will make a wall useless.

Kushner and Graham have an amazing idea. You see, it was never tried before. They are asking Democrats if they would agree to begin funding part of a border wall, which is just one of the many things we were promised and need to stop illegal immigration. In return, they will give the Democrats another mass amnesty, which will engender an even bigger wave of illegal immigration before we can construct all of the wall. Sound original?

Last night, Manu Raju of CNN reported that a number of RINO senators met in the office of Lindsey Graham to discuss an offer to Democrats that would include $5.7 billion for the border wall in exchange for some sort of a “dream” amnesty, Temporary Protected Status amnesty for 400,000 illegals who took advantage of a program designed for temporary visitors, and an expansion of H-2B slave labor visas. The senators attending the meeting in Graham’s office were Susan Collins, R-Maine, Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Lisa Murkowksi, R-Alaska.

While nobody should be surprised that these passionate supporters of amnesty would constantly be scheming to turn a debate over sovereignty into a debate over benefits for illegals, here is what should disturb law-abiding Americans hoping to finally force a national debate over our needs. Jared Kushner, the second most powerful man in the country, was in attendance. According to an anonymous CNN source, Kushner said that the White House would be open to a deal that includes wall funding.

Kushner has been pushing some version of this plan since the beginning of this administration and has always been a supporter of Obama’s amnesty. He was instrumental in persuading Trump to support the jailbreak bill Congress just passed. If you don’t think this could happen on amnesty, think again. Once Trump supports such a deal, our goose is cooked.

There are a number of problems both with the policy and the politics of even beginning negotiations from this point. Rosemary Jenks, government relations director for Numbers USA and a veteran of every immigration battle of the past three decades, summed it up cogently:

If reports are true that Jared Kushner told senators tonight that the White House is open to any deal that includes wall funding, Republicans — and America — have already lost this fight. The wall cannot be built in a day, and regardless will not address the abuse of the asylum system, the problem of unaccompanied minor children, visa overstays, sanctuary policies, chain migration, wage suppression for poor Americans, or any of the other myriad problems with our immigration system. Why are none of these things being included in the negotiations, but instead only more amnesty and more cheap labor? We need a physical barrier on our border, but it is not worth giving away our sovereignty.

Let’s go through these points one by one.

1) Starting with a small percentage of what you want: To begin with, $5 billion is only a fraction of the $25 billion cost for the full wall. At the same time, the White House never even demanded an asylum and UAC fix, judicial amnesty fix, or sanctuary fix. Those are much bigger problems than the lack of a wall. Remember, even without a wall, illegal immigration slowed to a trickle during the first few months of Trump’s presidency when the Central Americans perceived that the party was over. But then the party wasn’t over, and Trump began talking about DACA and the courts started codifying Obama’s asylum policies. Without them, we would not have a problem. Why are Republicans unilaterally agreeing to three Democrat priorities before Democrats have shown any sign of giving one penny for the wall? The deal itself would be bad enough if enacted, but if this is the opening bid, we will be left with pennies for the border in exchange for mass amnesty.

2) A border flow like you’ve never seen before: Jaeson Jones, a retired captain of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division, has a lot of contacts closely monitoring the drug cartels. He told me, “The cartels have already sent the message to Central and South America that if you want to cross into the United States, come now before the wall is built.” This is why we are setting records for family units every month. As Jenks noted, it takes a while to build the wall, and this deal won’t even build anywhere near a full wall. If we announce an amnesty, it will spawn the biggest migration we’ve ever seen at the border.

3) DACA and the magnets are a bigger cause than the wall is a solution: We are in this position because of DACA, expanded asylum, all the magnets on the interior, and the courts. If we were to codify an amnesty without fixing any of those problems, the illegal immigrants would just surrender themselves at the points of entry, even if we successfully built a 2,000-mile wall. CBP data already shows an increase in those surrendering themselves at points of entry. Eventually, a wall (which will not be built in full) would help against the drug trafficking and other criminal activity, but if we are going to continue agreeing that courts can rule that aliens can demand entry with impunity, demand catch-and-release based on uttering the words “credible fear,” and then run to their favorite sanctuary city, they will simply come to the points of entry. That is already happening. If we legally erase our border, no amount of physical infrastructure will help deter the flow. The wall works great, but only if our incentives are such that immigrants do not want to get caught.

While a border wall is an important component of blocking one dimension of illegal immigration, any promise for immediate amnesty in return for long-term funding is no deal at all. You must trade statutory changes for statutory changes, not for funding.

Until now, Trump has held strong. But if there’s one person who can get him to reverse course, it’s Jared Kushner, through the symbolism of a border wall, however partial it might be.

Now is not the time to begin discussing amnesty. Trump has successfully harnessed a sustained national dialogue over the evil of open borders. It is already beginning to put pressure on vulnerable Democrats. Trump should double down with a series of national addresses across the country focusing on one evil consequence of open borders at a time. He should livestream a series of roundtable discussions with border agents, ICE, DEA, border sheriffs, and Texas DPS to give the American people the scope of this problem.

It was over 32 years ago when Chuck Schumer admitted that the 1986 amnesty was “a gamble, a riverboat gamble” and that we were “headed into uncharted waters” because “the employer sanctions might not work.” Well, now we have three decades of history behind us, including the undeniable reality of Obama’s illegal DACA and what it has caused. This is no longer a gamble. This is straight-up suicide.


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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.