Goodlatte-McCaul proposal is a viable path for sensible immigration reform

Goodlatte-McCaul proposal is a viable path for sensible immigration reform
© Camille Fine

The "Schumer Shutdown" taught Democratic leaders a very important math lesson: You can’t deny services to 325 million Americans — many of whom are taxpayers — in order to deliver amnesty for 700,000 illegal aliens. The only surprising thing is that it took them three whole days to come to that realization.

A recent Harvard-Harris poll shows just how far from the American mainstream the wayward Democratic leadership has wandered. While Schumer’s open border sentiments were on full display for the public, 63 percent of Americans support an immigration cap of less than 500,000 immigrants per year — roughly half the current number coming in — including 63 percent of African Americans and 55 percent of Hispanics. Moreover, more Americans support zero immigration — nine percent — than the seven percent who support the current level of immigration. The poll also showed strong support for the border wall and torpedoing the visa lottery.

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Congress has roughly two weeks to come up with a bill that will serve as a vehicle for the major immigration debate both parties have agreed to. Thankfully, House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteVirginia reps urge Trump to declare federal emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence Republicans mull new punishments for dissident lawmakers Republicans ready to grill Bruce Ohr as Trump-DOJ feud escalates MORE (R-Va.) and Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulHillicon Valley: Manafort to cooperate with Mueller probe | North Korea blasts US over cyber complaint | Lawmakers grill Google over China censorship | Bezos to reveal HQ2 location by year's end Overnight Defense: Details on defense spending bill | NATO chief dismisses talk of renaming HQ for McCain | North Korea warns US over cyber allegations Bipartisan House group presses Google over China censorship MORE (R-Texas) have a bill that provides an excellent starting point for that discussion, because it not only puts the national interest first by delivering on many of the enforcement promises made by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE during his campaign, but it also contains a provision that addresses demands for a palatable DACA fix.

 

Securing America’s Future Act authorizes the construction of the border wall while adding 10,000 Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents to ensure that sufficient boots are on the ground. The bill additionally requires full implementation of a biometric entry-exit system — a tracking system endorsed by the 9/11 Commission — that would allow the government to know with some degree of certainty who is in the country and who has overstayed their visas.

The bill also ends outdated and dysfunctional chain migration by limiting family-based immigration to spouses and minor children of citizens and green card holders, while also providing renewable nonimmigrant visas for parents of U.S. citizens. Additionally, the proposal ends the visa lottery system — a laughable way of choosing immigrants that serves no identifiable goal — and redirects those visas for skill-based visa categories.

The bill also addresses the most powerful magnet that draws illegal immigrants into the U.S.: American jobs. All new hires would be required to submit to E-Verify, the online system that ascertains a candidate’s right to work in the U.S. The system is not only free and has proven incredibly effective in the states where it is voluntarily used, but it also has a 99.7 percent accuracy rating.

The bill presents a solution for the DACA issue that offers a three-year renewable legal status that would allow them to remain and work in the U.S., and travel abroad, but would not put them on a path to citizenship.

There’s also a competing bill in the Senate that is championed by the “Head Cheerleader” of the Republican mass immigration caucus Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' Graham knocks South Korea over summit with North MORE of South Carolina. Graham, along with the “Czar” of the Democratic open borders coalition, Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE of Illinois and four other senators, are collectively known as the “Gang of Six.” The bill is the reincarnated 2013 “Gang of Eight” bill, which resembles the “Bride of Frankenstein” on steroids. It gives amnesty to the 3.5 million illegal aliens included in the DREAM Act as well as their parents, for an estimated total of 10 million illegal aliens.

Our current immigration law was passed the year the Beatles had the top album; when the Berlin Wall not only divided a city, but divided Europe; America had not yet stepped foot on the moon; and the population of our nation — now 325 million — was not quite 200 million. Our nation, our culture, and the world we live in have all changed dramatically since then. It’s time our immigration laws caught up.

Dave Ray is director of communications at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).