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Michael Swartz / Jan. 26, 2018

Trump's Immigration Plan — Something for Everyone to Hate

Amnesty for 1.8 million in return for border wall money and eventually ending chain migration and visa lottery.

If you’ve been paying attention to our coverage of the so-called “Dreamers,” you’ll recognize right away the following quote: “We have to send a clear message - just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean your child gets to stay. We don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws.” At the time, Hillary Clinton was ramping up her campaign for president and this was her immigration “sell” to independent voters. Not that she really meant it. As Mark Alexander explained earlier this week (after noting all the Demo flip-flops on immigration), “Now, as their lower- and middle-income voter blocs are hemorrhaging, the Democrat Party is turning its back on those traditionally supportive groups and opening a socialist voter pipeline to flood America with their most promising future constituency — Latinos.”

Just who are these euphemistically named future Democrats? They include all illegals who claim to have come to the U.S. before the age of 16, have lived here since June 2007, and were not older than 30 in 2012 when Barack Obama’s administration illegally granted them de facto amnesty.

In any case, they may well get some help from the unlikeliest of sources: Donald Trump. The president laid some of the groundwork Thursday for a grand bargain on immigration reform that features a way for 1.8 million illegals - more than twice the number of “Dreamers” because it includes those who were eligible but didn’t apply for DACA - to “morph into” citizenship over a period of 10 to 12 years. In return, Trump expects an (eventual) end to chain migration and the visa lottery, as well as $25 billion to build a border wall and another $5 billion for “other border security programs.”

“Tell them not to worry about it, we’re going to solve the [DACA] problem,” the president assured. “Now, it’s up to the Democrats, but [Dreamers] should not be concerned.” He also hinted at extending the March 5 enforcement deadline for a deal if progress is made.

Details are still being fleshed out, but there’s clearly something for everyone - and something for everyone to hate. Some leftists are, predictably, calling the proposal “racist.” And the real trouble is Democrats don’t actually want an immigration deal, preferring to keep it as a contentious election issue.

According to House Demo-gogue, Nancy Pelosi: “The [Republican immigration] plan is a campaign to make America white again. … They are changing the character of our country with what they are putting forth. They bring a tear to the eye of the Statue of Liberty and fear to the hearts of people who are here playing by the rules.” That’s right, its all about “making America white again,” by targeting illegal immigrants “who are here playing by the rules.” Huh?

But there is no race case to be made, given that the top beneficiaries from the republican plan are not white: 850,000 Mexicans, 200,000 Indians and 100,000 from Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Bangladesh, the Philippines, China and even 50,000 from Haiti.

On the Right, there are doubters too. “I do not believe we should be granting a path to citizenship to anybody here illegally,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Immigration policy guru Mark Krikorian calls Trump’s proposal “preemptive surrender.” Breitbart News labeled the president “Amnesty Don.” Indeed, those in Trump’s electoral base may be the most difficult doubters to convince, and the legitimate question is whether this will dispirit those voters come election time.

Why? Well, the devil’s in the details. According to Richard Viguerie’s Conservative HQ, “While the White House proposal technically ends chain migration and the lottery, it uses ALL those visas to bring in the 4 million people on the visa waiting list. That means current immigration levels will continue for the next 10-15 years or more AND amnesty will be granted to a minimum of 1.8 million illegals. These are permanent changes to America’s electorate. If this passes the Trump proposal will make Republicans a permanent minority party and limited government constitutional conservatism a soon-to-be extinct philosophy of government.”

Other than that…

As National Review’s Rich Lowry added, “It would be a travesty if after defeating the rest of the GOP field in part on the strength of immigration, [Trump] signed on to the worst amnesty deal since 1986.” Lowry was referring to the Durbin-Graham immigration bill that would allow the parents of these illegals the same deal as their progeny (bringing amnesty to possibly five million illegal aliens), but there are plenty of land mines even in a deal such as Trump is proposing. While he’s known for the art of the deal, Trump may not have as strong a bargaining position as his recent victory in the Schumer Shutdown would lead him to believe.

Consider, for example, that a lengthy border fence was already mandated by the Secure Fence Act - a bill passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2006. Obviously this was never made into a budgetary priority, and when one considers the amount of time needed to design and build a border barrier - given the inevitable legal battles and roadblocks Democrats and their allies will throw at it in a stalling tactic until they can cancel it through their control of Congress, the White House or both - $25 billion may not get the job done.

On the other hand, that 10- to 12-year process for citizenship? In reality, Trump only has, at best, six years to complete his mission - assuming, of course, he maintains a favorable Congress and wins re-election. Depending on this November’s midterm elections, his timeframe could be less than a year. And no wall is built that quickly.

The truth is that any move toward giving citizenship to those who entered the country illegally or those who came legally with a visa and chose to overstay it is a slap in the face to the millions of immigrants who took the time and money to go about the process of becoming Americans in the right way. Yes, Dreamers may be the most sympathetic poster children for compassion, but they aren’t exempt from Rule of Law. Republicans should put the dreams of American citizens first, but they should also not neglect to remember that Liberty is colorblind, and they should be making their case for Latino voters.

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