DACA is neither bipartisan nor in America's interest

DACA is neither bipartisan nor in America's interest
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This week, a group of six pro-amnesty senators introduced a “bipartisan deal” to give amnesty to millions of so-called Dreamers and their illegal alien parents, while including absolutely zero tradeoffs requested by the White House and a majority of Republicans. Nothing to enhance border security. Nothing to increase interior enforcement or make necessary changes to our legal immigration system. President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE was right to swiftly reject an earlier version of this proposal last week.

The deal is a product of negotiations among the so-called “Gang of Six” — Republican Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: 'He’s not my enemy’ Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Lawmakers demand answers from Mnuchin on tariffs | Fed chief lays out stakes of Trump trade war | Consumer prices rise at highest rate in six years | Feds to appeal AT&T merger ruling MORE of Arizona, Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Health Care: Watchdog finds Tom Price improperly used funds on flights | Ex-Novartis CEO sent drug pricing proposal to Cohen | HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts: report Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs MORE of South Carolina, and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE of Colorado; and Democratic Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems launch pressure campaign over migrant families Kavanaugh paper chase heats up Senate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one MORE of Illinois, Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezCNN anchors break into laughter over comedian's alleged prank call to Trump Comedian claims he tricked Trump while impersonating Dem senator Schumer: Obama 'very amenable' to helping Senate Dems in midterms MORE of New Jersey, and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHarley stunner spikes tension with Trump over trade policy Races to watch in Tuesday’s primaries Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor MORE of Colorado.

Before diving into the details of this bad faith proposal, let’s establish a few things about these “negotiators” and their strategy. First, the notion that anything produced by the “Gang of Six” constitutes a bipartisan consensus is ludicrous. But even more ludicrous is the assertion that the product of these “negotiations” includes anything that protects the interests of the American people.

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Every member of the gang is unabashedly pro-amnesty, with five of the senators being former members of the 2013 “Gang of Eight.” So essentially you have one side of the immigration debate negotiating with itself. As Steven Duffield so aptly noted on Twitter, the deal is bipartisan in the way that a bill on coal production that includes Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (D-W.Va.) is bipartisan.

 

Second, “Gang of Six” leaders Durbin and Graham have made clear that they won’t even entertain any of the administration’s required tradeoffs for a DACA deal. Their goal in negotiations with the White House is simply to manipulate the president into abandoning his longstanding position on immigration and betray countless campaign promises. When they were unsuccessful last week, Durbin lamented that Trump’s Capitol Hill allies on immigration were invited to a meeting at the White House last week to “outnumber us and kill our efforts.” Graham then blasted White House staffers “who have an irrational view of how to fix immigration.” Essentially, they are unhappy about being unable to steamroll Trump and, more importantly, the American people, into accepting a massive amnesty for illegal aliens with no meaningful protections against future illegal immigration.

Now onto the proposal. The “Gang of Six” proposal’s amnesty provisions go far beyond DACA recipients in scope. The senators included the full DREAM Act, which would end up giving amnesty to nearly 3.5 million illegal aliens — many more than ever benefited under the DACA program. What about the parents who brought them here illegally? They get three-year renewable work permits as a reward for putting their children on a treacherous journey and crossing the border illegally. And that’s not all, the proposal adjusts the visa lottery as a way to provide amnesty for some 400,000 people who were granted Temporary Protected Status (some as long as 20 years ago), many of whom were here illegally at the time the triggering event in their homelands.

What do the American people get in return? Next to nothing. The proposal provides slightly under $1.6 billion for border wall planning, design, and construction, despite estimates by the Department of Homeland Security showing that construction could cost about $21.6 billion. In addition to the low ball offer, the proposal tacks on a bunch of conditions to even begin construction, including existing barrier technology requirements, eminent domain reporting, environmental protection reporting, controller general reviews, and alternate technology reporting. Looking for an end to chain migration, mandatory E-Verify, or increased interior enforcement? You won’t find it.

It is clear that the “Gang of Six” proposal is nothing more than a transparent attempt to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens while offering nothing that would prevent massive illegal immigration in the future. Perhaps the only redeeming feature of the legislation is its honesty: Its authors no longer even feel the need to lie to the American people about their intent to enforce our immigration laws. 

The president has already made a very significant concession in even expressing a willingness to address DACA — an unconstitutional program he pledged to rescind on his first day in office. Until the “Gang of Six” acknowledges that and starts operating in good faith, Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonOvernight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Hillicon Valley: DOJ appeals AT&T-Time Warner ruling | FBI agent testifies in heated hearing | Uproar after FCC changes rules on consumer complaints | Broadcom makes bid for another US company | Facebook under fire over conspiracy sites Hillicon Valley: Justice Department appeals AT&T-Time Warner ruling | New report on election security | FBI agent testifies in marathon hearing MORE (R-Ark.) has the best approach for their proposal: “Might as well roll it straight into the trash can.”

RJ Hauman is director of government relations at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a nonprofit group that advocates for legal immigration.