Not Looking Good—Trump Attacks Coulter, Congressional GOP Cucking On Immigration
March 10, 2019, 10:12 PM
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See, earlier by Ann Coulter: Trump's Failing On Immigration. Don't Ask Me To Lie About It

Three weeks ago, after Donald J. Trump abandoned the government shutdown and declared a national emergency to get some funding for his border wall, I asked: Did Trump Save His Presidency? Maybe—IF He Doesn’t INCREASE Legal Immigration. Unfortunately, and incredibly given his campaign promises, Trump has repeatedly said since then that he has indeed pivoted to increasing legal immigration—reportedly under the influence of his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka and Jared Kushner. Trump may still be saved by the Party of Hysterical Screeching’s inability to accept even victory (because increasing legal immigration would be demographic victory for them) at his hands. But in the interim, without Presidential leadership, it appears likely that the Congressional Stupid Party will not take up the various measures that could stem America’s immigration disaster—above all, the Merkel-type catastrophe now unfolding on the southern border.

Weirdly, Trump abruptly attacked Ann Coulter, one of his earliest and most eloquent backers, on Twitter Saturday night, perhaps signaling he is repudiating the immigration patriotism he won on—or perhaps that he knows Ann is right:

In reality of course, “major sections of the wall” have not been built. And the administration suffered yet another defeat in the courts last week over its attempts to enforce immigration law. [In another blow to Trump, judge rules in favor of ACLU in family separations case, by Maria Sacchetti, The Washington Post, March 8, 2019] Trump is fighting, to his credit, but he simply is not winning on the border.

Coulter has consistently demanded the president implement the immigration platform he campaigned on and her recent (admittedly savage) criticism isn’t much different from what she has said since the beginning of Trump’s tenure. See, recently Ann Coulter To Donald Trump: Hey, Commander! Start Commanding!

The difference lies in Trump himself. [Anti-Immigration Groups See Trump’s Calls for More Legal Immigrants as a Betrayal, by Michael D. Shear, The New York Times, March 8, 2019]

Jared Kushner is currently leading negotiations with the Cheap Labor Lobby to craft a bill that will likely increase guest worker visas. It’s unclear what exactly will end up in this legislation, but it is guaranteed to enrage immigration patriots. [Globalist Business Groups with Koch, Bush Ties Dominate Immigration Talks at White House, by John Binder, Breitbart, February 26, 2019]

Congressional Republicans also seem uninterested in immigration patriotism.

Many Republicans want to block President Trump’s national emergency declaration on the border—the one good thing Trump has recently done on immigration--because it goes against their “principles.” Thirteen House Republicans voted to block the executive order last month. “The president doesn't get to just declare an emergency for something that Congress has deliberated many times over the past several years,” Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, a libertarian, said of why he sponsored legislation to stifle the national emergency. [Rep. Justin Amash: 'The President Doesn't Get To Just Declare an Emergency', by Joe Seyton, Reason, February 26, 2019]. Amash was joined by a group primarily made up of squishy Republicans. [Meet the 13 Republicans who rebuked Trump over his national emergency, by Bridget Bowman, Roll Call, February 26, 2019]

Trump’s executive order is receiving even more pushback from Senate Republicans. Senators such as Shelly Moore-Capito (R-West Virginia) and Susan Collins think the national emergency is “concerning” and believe Trump already has enough wall money without the declaration. [GOP wants Trump to back off on emergency, by Alexander Bolton, The Hill, March 6, 2019]

Four Republican Senators have announced their intention to vote for legislation to block the national emergency: Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Thom Tillis, and usual Trump ally Rand Paul. More are likely to announce their support for this measure as the vote approaches this week. Pat Toomey and Todd Young, both who are close with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, want to propose resolutions to give cucky Republicans a way to voice their disapproval without voting with the Democrats.

The resolutions would convey the message that Republicans want border security, but don’t want to take the necessary actions to fund said border security. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah wants to pass a resolution that would restrict the president’s emergency powers and place a 30-day or 60-day time limit on how long they can be in effect without congressional approval.

McConnell announced Monday that he could not prevent passage of legislation blocking Trump’s national emergency declaration. The New York Times declared this announcement as proof that Trump has lost influence within his own party. [Trump’s Grip Shows Signs of Slipping as Senate Prepares to Block Wall Emergency, By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Emily Cochrane, The New York Times, March 4, 2019]

The good news is that Trump will most likely veto this legislation and Congress doesn’t have enough votes to override the veto. The President is also threatening senators who vote for the block with stiff consequences. [Senate Republicans divided ahead of vote on disapproval of national emergency, by Ted Barrett, CNN, March 7, 2019] There is little chance the President will sign a bill that overrides his own action, even if his close advisers tell him to do so. Trump’s instincts would never allow such behavior.

The bad news: it’s a sign congressional Republicans have no will to support immigration patriotism at the moment. This is very bad considering the immigration bills that may come before them in the near future, including the possible White House measure on guest worker visas. House Democrats are set to introduce a new DREAM Act that will legalize at least 1.8 million illegals and extend Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals.

Congressional Republicans need to get their act together to kill these pieces of legislation. But they may be at the forefront in support of them. Last fall, multiple Republican senators, including the appalling Thom Tillis, proposed a bill that would double the number of H-2b visas and screw over low-skilled American workers. And last month, several Republicans—alas, including supposed immigration patriot Tom Cotton—championed the easement of some regulations on H-1b visas.

The better hope for killing a guest worker expansion lies with the Democrats. Anyone with a brain realizes this would be bad for American workers and benefits greedy corporations. Democrats have never been too fond of this plan, as evidenced by their skepticism about its expansion in the Gang of Eight Amnesty. [Gang of 8 defends guest worker plan, by Seung Min Kim, Politico, May 13, 2013]. What better way to portray Trump as a phony populist in 2020 than to skewer him for this gift to the cheap labor lobby?

The House Democrats’ proposed DREAM Act will probably go nowhere--unless Trump includes that idea in his immigration package. There are some positive signs that the White House won’t do this; and that Republicans would block its passage. Kushner floated the idea of giving green cards for Dreamers in exchange for wall funding during shutdown negotiations earlier this year. That plan was firmly opposed by conservative senators who thought it was insanity [A "go big" idea to end the shutdown, by Jonathan Swan, Axios, January 23, 2019]

Though Congress and the White House seem set on terrible immigration ideas, it’s worth remembering there are alternative patriotic immigration proposals they could push. All of these ideas would not likely pass the current Congress, but they would shape the immigration debate in a positive direction ahead of the 2020 election.

  • El Chapo Act:

This bill proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz would confiscate the money of drug lords like Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and allocate it to building the wall. Cruz reintroduced the proposal in February and believes the government could obtain $14 billion out of El Chapo’s drug profits through this law [Sen. Ted Cruz’s solution to border wall impasse: Make El Chapo pay for it, by Deanna Paul, The Washington Post, February 13, 2019]. This would be more money than Trump currently has for wall construction and would send a strong message to the cartels. The president himself has said Sen. Cruz’s idea is “interesting.” There is no reason Republicans shouldn’t hold a vote on this bill and make Democrats stand up for drug cartels.

  • Kate’s Law:

This bill, named after Kate Steinle who was murdered by an illegal alien, would institute harsher penalties for illegals caught re-entering the country. This measure passed the House in 2017, but it died in the (n.b. GOP-controlled)Senate [Senate Has Not Voted On Kate’s Law Five Months After It Passed The House With Bipartisan Support, by Will Racke, The Daily Caller, December 1, 2017].

Trump should resurrect the bill. Yes, it’s passage is less likely with a Democrat-controlled House. That doesn’t matter. The president needs to convey he still wants to crack down on illegal immigration and that his opponents favor criminal aliens over American citizens.

Along with the El Chapo Act, probably has the best chance at passage among the ideas the Trump admin could push as multiple Democrats voted for it back in 2017. There is still a chance enough Democrats would vote for it again to achieve passage.

  • No Sanctuary for Criminals Act:

This act would cut Sanctuary Cities off from federal law enforcement funds and it was also passed by the House in 2017, albeit by a smaller margin than Kate’s Law. It also went nowhere in the (GOP-controlled) Senate. If Republicans want to highlight the chaos created by Democrat policies, they should revive this bill and remind Americans that Trump stands up for law and order. This act, however, does have less chance of passage as it was more strongly opposed by Democrats [Dems block Senate vote on sanctuary cities, by Alexander Bolton, The Hill, February 13, 2018]

  • Mandatory e-Verify:

Requiring all American companies to use e-verify seems almost too good of an idea for Republicans. The bill explicitly protects American workers and puts the onus on employers to make sure they only hire those who are here legally. This should receive bipartisan support as both parties want to portray themselves as the true protectors of American workers.

House Republicans included the measure in their DACA deal last year, so they are aware of this proposal [Goodlatte offers E-Verify mandate, farm worker fix for immigration bill, by John Bresnahan, Politico, June 26, 2018]. We just need one patriot Republican to stand up and offer mandatory e-Verify. This proposal also has a decent chance of passage.

  • Override the Flores Settlement:

This 1997 court decision has handcuffed the Trump administration’s ability to enforce immigration law and is directly responsible for the current border collapse. It has allowed liberal judges to deem it unlawful for the government to detain illegal alien minors for more than 20 days. It also has allowed for these minors to have better access to asylum as they remain in America undetained. Some Republican lawmakers, including Ted Cruz, suggested legislative action in the last congressional session to correct this loophole [The History of the Flores Settlement, by Matt Sussis, Center for Immigration Studies, February 11, 2019].

A bill to end this policy would not likely pass as many Republicans shrank from the Trump’s family detention policies last summer [Here Are the Republicans Opposing Migrant Family Separation, by Jeff Cirillo, Roll Call, June 19, 2018]. That doesn’t change the fact that the Trump administration needs this legislation to avoid further court losses and to shift public discussion on family detention to focus on Democratic preference for illegal immigrants.

  • Eliminating birthright citizenship:

There is no way that this idea would pass Congress, but it does have the backing of the President and one prominent Republican senator. Trump said he may eliminate birthright citizenship by executive order and Sen. Lindsey Graham proposed a bill to do so right before the 2018 election. [Lindsey Graham Seconds Trump Proposal to End Birthright Citizenship, by Niels Lesniewski, Roll Call, October 30, 2018]

Those plans, however, seem to have disappeared since then. But Trump still seems interested in the issue—he mentioned it in his speech to CPAC—and events may prompt the president to revisit the topic. A bill would cause an uproar within Congress and among the Republican caucus, let alone an executive order. And that’s good. If Trump wants to have a serious discussion on citizenship and reduce the negative effects of mass immigration, then he must force this issue into the public square.

Javanka would likely oppose any such effort, so perhaps their White House influence would have to be minimalized from what it is today for this to happen.

  • The RAISE Act:

The RAISE Act would halve America’s yearly immigration intake and structure our system to be more “merit-based.” It would also cap annual refugee numbers at 50,000 and eliminate the diversity visa lottery. The bill was introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue with Trump’s backing in August 2017. But (again, despite GOP control of Congress) nothing happened.

If Trump wants to show he still puts America first ahead of 2020, he could resurrect the RAISE Act. There is no chance it would pass, but it would force Republicans to run on the plan and win the seats necessary to pass it in Trump’s second term.

These are some positive things Trump and Republicans can do. Whether they choose to do them is up to them.

It’s not looking good.

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

 

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