With the sole exception of what I will call “Trump’s Four Pillars of Immigration,” and his hell-bent determination to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure, all of my conservative colleagues have labeled the 2018 State of the Union speech historic. Mark Levin was complementary calling the speech “Reaganesque.”
The POTUS laid out his immigration doctrine on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, using a 4-pillars analogy. Let’s unbox this puppy and see what’s hidden between the lines.
Upon close inspection, there are issues with Trump’s pillars. As is the case with the policies of Big Government, the demons reside within the details that are crafted by bureaucrats and politicians with multiple and often nefarious motivations.
On paper or, in this case, in a speech, Trump’s four pillars of immigration sound reasonable, even Conservative, on their face.
What has many conservatives concerned, as usual, is government sleight of hand. Trickery and treachery in the language of any bill can alter its perceived invention. So, let’s peek.
The Trump immigration doctrine is built upon these pillars:
- A Path to Citizenship for Dreamers
- A Secure Southern Border
- A Termination of the Visa Lottery
- A Halt to Chain Migration
A Path to Citizenship for Dreamers
Pillar #1: What POTUS Said:
The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.
What this Can Mean:
Even before the speech, the notion of granting illegals citizenship generated a Twitter storm of accusations that Donald Trump was breaking a key campaign promise. Let me set the record straight; the President is breaking his campaign promise to send so-called “Dreamers” back to their country of origin with the requirement that they apply for re-entry.
Some experts estimate that the estimated (and that’s all it is) 1.8 million illegal immigrants are going to swell to about 4 million. This would be good news to Democrats who have used immigration law and policies to garnish votes and maintain power. Without importing voters, the Democrat’s big government message will have a tough time surviving at the polls.
In addition to the integrity of the numbers, what will be the education and work requirements for qualification? What is the moral measuring stick for the “good moral character” test?
Can illegal immigrants who are convicted felons qualify if they have served their time? If a person commits sexual or other assaults and a liberal judge with an immigration ax to grind gives them probation will they still qualify for citizenship?
There are going to be hundreds of situations that will arise, each potentially changing immigration outcomes for Dreamers. Can you imagine the court system when immigration attorneys file thousands of lawsuits?
If we do not have the strength of will to deport illegals today, what will give us the strength later, in say 5, 7, 10 or 15 years? The crafting of the language of the law, its interpretation, and liberal court actions can all combine to derail the effectiveness of Pillar #1.
iVoteAmerica has no faith in the first pillar. It’s a violation of a campaign promise.
We give this pillar an “F” grade.
A Secure Southern Border
Pillar #2: What POTUS Said:
The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.
What this Can Mean:
Trump’s plan is a wall, closure of immigration loopholes and an end to “catch and release” practices. Okay, I’m ready for this.
My inclination is to immediately ask, why don’t we just do this as the first prerequisite to any future immigration reform? After all, Congress has approved the wall a number of times under different administrations, only to turn around and thwart the actual implementation of any plan.
Congress has tweaked Americans by never actually funding the legislation they pass. Faking immigration control during an election campaign gets them elected and re-elected, Then, after each election, they failed to act on the promises they make to voters.
The President’s negotiating position should be…”Give me my funding for the wall, now!”
Even if Congress acts on the 2nd Pillar or Trump’s immigration doctrine, there is no guarantee the action will be assured or funded promptly.
iVoteAmerica believes the second pillar, along with Pillar #3 and #4, should be combined into one priority and a single pillar for at least the next decade.
We give this pillar a “C” grade.
A Termination of the Visa Lottery
Pillar #3: What POTUS Said:
The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.
What this Can Mean:
The phrase, “It is time to begin moving towards…” is one of the most frightening phrases politicians use to buy time, avoid action and maintain power.
Why do we need move toward termination of the visa lottery program when we know its wrong on its face?
America should not operate an immigration casino with the deck stacked against the house! Allowing immigrants a place at a national crap table where we roll the dice is stupid.
If the President wants to stop the lottery, he can do so now by issuing an Executive Order with terminating the program using tightening the odds.
We will have to define “merit-based” in terms of tight policies based upon the ability of immigrants to make nearly immediate contributions to the economy, our values, culture, language, and heritage.
The GOP can end the visa lottery program immediately by passing legislation that terminates the program in its entirety and dismantles its entire bureaucracy in 90 calendar days.
VoteAmerica believes this third pillar is essential and should be immediately acted upon.
We give this pillar an “A” grade, but only if Congress will act.
A Halt to Chain Migration
Pillar #4: What POTUS Said:
The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.
What this Can Mean:
Chain migration and visa overstays account for the majority of our illegal immigration problems. The notion that dozens of family members can enter the country on the coattails of a 2nd or even 3rd generation aunt, uncle or cousin is insanity.
Our immigration laws already address spousal entry, and yes, children should be tied inseparably to their natural parents.
Again, as with Pillar 3, why can’t the GOP controlled Congress act immediately to end chain migration by passing a prohibitive new law? Such new legislation can be tied together with the elimination of the visa lottery program.
The truth is, if it had the political will, the GOP could roll Pillars 2, 3 and four into one piece of legislation before he 2018 midterm elections. This would then pave the way for honest, open discussion about Pillar #1, the so-called “Dreamers.”
President Trump’s State of the Union words are still ringing in my ears: “Americans are dreamers too.”
Like Pillar #3, iVoteAmerica believes this pillar is also essential and can be immediately and independently acted upon by Congress.
We give this pillar an “A” grade, but only if consolidated in comprehensive legislative action that combines it with Pillars #2 and #3. We are not seeing strength from Congress at the moment.