Kushner’s Immigration Plan: Not A Gang Of Eight Catastrophe—But Still An Assault On Middle Class, Historic American Nation
05/17/2019
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Earlier by Washington Watcher: Kushner’s Plan Maybe Not DISASTROUS For Immigration Patriots, But Trump Should Go Back To RAISE Act Anyway

President Trump finally announced Jared Kushner’s much-anticipated immigration plan Thursday. It’s not as bad as the catastrophic Gang Of Eight bill or the various Bush Amnesty proposals. But it’s still an assault on American workers, shifting focus now to the educated middle class, and on the Historic American Nation.

The bill aims to make America’s immigration system more “merit-based” and move us away from chain migration. The merit-based part means that it will rapidly increase the number of skills-based visas, such as the H1b, in its implementation. Kushner’s plan keeps the number of visas issued every year the same. However, the plan’s stricter requirements may result in a modest reduction in immigration.

It also makes an effort to curb illegal immigration.

“Our proposal is pro-American, pro-immigrant and pro-worker,” Trump said in his White House announcement speech. “It’s just common sense. It will help all of our people including millions of devoted immigrants to achieve the American dream.” [Trump immigration plan revamps asylum, requires work skills and learning English, by Franco Ordonez, McClatchyDC, May 16, 2019]

The plan itself has not yet been released. But based on Trump’s announcement, various news reports, and the Watcher’s sources, we can get a fairly good picture of what’s good and bad about the plan.

The Good:

  • NO AMNESTY: The plan legalizes no illegal immigrants—not even DREAMers. That’s a major victory, considering previous proposed “comprehensive immigration reforms” all included Amnesty. Not so here.
  • Possible modest reduction in legal immigration: While the number of visas is kept the same, the new plan will make it much harder to obtain one. To be prioritized for a green card, applicants would need to be financially sound, speak English, and pass a basic U.S. civics test. The plan demands that nearly 60 percent of visas are apportioned to “highly-skilled” immigrant visas. In contrast, around 12 percent of the current intake is marked for high-skilled immigrants. These restrictions—if enforced—may make it doubtful all of these slots will be filled. As a result, America will probably take in fewer immigrants.
  • It aims to build the Wall: Trump’s February executive orders and budget bill gave him (if he wins in court) over $8 billion in wall funding. That’s a substantial amount, but not enough to complete the wall. The Kushner plan, according to sources, gives Trump the full funding for the wall.
  • Makes other countries pay for the wall: The plan authorizes Customs and Border Protection to raise custom fees and fines, which will go to a “border trust fund.” The funds collected will be used to recoup the costs of building the wall. It’s not quite like making Mexico pay for the wall, but it’s something. Still, why not a remittance tax?
  • Implements biometric entry-exit system: This new system would ensure that all travelers to the U.S. are properly screened at ports of entry and checked to make sure they’re supposed to be here. This will make our country safer and likely reduce illegal entry.
  • It would make it harder to claim asylum: The plan calls for a quicker screening process and tighter restrictions for asylum seekers. This would clear out the many frivolous asylum claims.
  • Calls for a crackdown on visa overstays: Trump wants to address one of the main sources of illegal immigration with this measure. The specific actions have not been laid out yet.
  • It cuts down chain migration: Trump did not mention the term and, ominously, the White House is reportedly advising Republicans to not say it [Trump unveils plan to overhaul the legal immigration system, by John Wagner, Seung Min Kim, Josh Dawsey and David Nakamura, The Washington Post, May 16, 2019] But the Kushner plan significantly cuts down on chain migration with its prioritization of high-skilled immigrants. If 60 percent of America’s yearly immigrants arrive on skills-based visas instead of family relations, chain migration will effectively end. It will also likely eliminate the diversity visa lottery in order to accomodate the plan’s merit-based mandate.
  • It includes mandatory e-Verify: Trump did not mention it in his press conference, but sources have assured the Watcher that mandatory E-verify is in the bill. It appears that Trump simply forgot to mention it (as he is wont to do). Mandatory E-verify would make it much harder to employ illegal immigrants in America and dissuade many potential illegal immigrants. (BREAKING: an outline tweeted Friday morning by OANN’s Ryan Girdusky seems to confirm E-verify is in the plan).

The Bad:

  • Immigration reductions are not written into the text: While the bill might reduce numbers due to its stricter requirements, the RAISE Act would have halved immigration upon implementation. The new restrictions would probably reduce America’s immigration intake, it still won’t be as low as the RAISE Act’s decrease.
  • It increases guest worker visas tremendously: To reach the increased skills-based visa threshold, far more H1b visas and others will be awarded. That will not be good for the American (skilled) workers who are replaced. H1bs are particularly damaging because they bring foreigners to America to train for jobs that go back with them after their visa expires. It’s the outsourcing visa.
  • It is a gift to the Cheap Labor Lobby: The emphasis on skills-based visas is touted by corporations. They would prefer to hire cheap foreign labor than American workers. Basically, this plan serves their interests more than the worker.
  • No mention of Birthright Citizenship: Trump could allay the negative effects of more guest worker visas by proposing an end to birthright citizenship. But there appears to be no sign the administration will pursue this policy in the plan. Foreigners with no ties to America can still impact our politics by birthing Anchor Babies.

The Unclear

  • How it affects America’s racial makeup: The merit-based approach will likely mean more Asian immigrants and fewer Hispanics. It could also mean more educated Eastern Europeans are eligible for visas. However, keeping Birthright Citizenship allows for immigrants to continue to lay down roots in America and further advance white demographic decline. Overall, the government is continuing to the post-1965 drive to Elect A New People and displace the Historic American Nation—not to mention the GOP, which seems completely oblivious to this minor detail.

 

Weirdly, the notoriously passive Federation for American Immigration Reform tweeted. “With his plan, the President is making a long-overdue push to modernize immigration. Eliminating chain migration, merit-based immigration, building the wall, stopping asylum fraud—what's not to like?”

However, another Beltway herbivore, Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian was more negative in a press statement:

[blockquote]” This plan represents a very positive effort on immigration, and includes important provisions such as limits to chain migration, closing the loopholes that are allowing the flow of drugs and migrants at the southern border and a crackdown on visa overstays. It is concerning there was no mention of E-Verify. However, it is not likely to become legislation, but is rather a statement of the president's goals. As such, the fact that it does not even call for a modest reduction in total immigration, but instead offsets decreases with increases in 'skills-based' immigration, is very concerning.” [/blockquote]

The good and bad of the deal make it similar to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) deal proposed by then-Congressman Bob Goodlatte. The Goodlatte bill would have given permanent residence to illegal aliens who received DACA in exchange for an end to chain migration, full wall funding, elimination of the diversity visa lottery, and mandatory e-Verify. It wasn’t ideal that those great things came in exchange for amnesty, but it was arguably better than nothing.

Most of the Republicans who have criticized it are squishy immigration boosters. For instance, Maine Sen. Susan Collins demands that it include amnesty for DACA recipients. But most of the immigration patriots in the Senate—such as David Perdue and Tom Cotton—support it. Sources say that the plan is a moderated version of the RAISE Act and was based on that legislation. The fact the Act’s two sponsors approve of the new plan give credence to that claim.

Needless to say, Democrats were hostile, deriding it as “inhumane”. [Trump unveils new (likely doomed) immigration plan, by Maegan Vazquez, Kevin Liptak and Lauren Fox, CNN, May 16, 2019] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said its merit-based approach is “condescending” and it’s “dead on arrival.”

Pretty much everyone is in agreement that the plan won’t pass Congress. It is a plan to campaign on in 2020. The White House moderated the RAISE Act in order to unify the GOP on the issue. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said as much when he told Politico that the Kushner proposal is “not designed to become law.” The real intention, according to Graham, is “to unite the Republican Party around border security and merit-based immigration.” [Trump’s new immigration plan may be DOA — but it’s really about 2020, by Anita Kumar, Politico, May 16, 2019]

Graham is a born-again Trump ally—-AND an immigration booster. His favorable assessment signals the deal unites most Congressional Republicans.

The Kushner plan is better than expected. Only a few months ago, it appeared this plan would increase immigration and offer nothing to immigration patriots. Trump seemed poised to abandon any hint of his old immigration patriotism to become a hero to the Cheap Labor lobby. That assumption was thankfully mistaken.

The imperfect plan does signal that Trump and the Republican Party are committed to serious immigration reform without Amnesty. It’s a major improvement from where Republicans were in 2013.

But, as always, America’s future depends on immigration patriots outside the Beltway keeping up the pressure to end birthright citizenship—and, ultimately, enact an immigration moratorium.

And Trump will certainly find that this tricky effort to square the donor circle and his nationalist base is too complex to sell at his rallies. His rhetoric will shift—so we may see further progress after 2020.

Washington Watcher [email him] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway.

 

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