Amnesty supporters in Congress desperately want to pass some type of reward for illegal aliens before the GOP takes over the House in January. They offer two proposals. One will legalize illegal farm workers; another will legalize illegals who came to the U.S. as minors (the so-called “DREAMers”). What makes these bills a threat is that some traitorous Republicans support them. Indeed, the new DREAMer Amnesty was crafted specifically to win that support. But these efforts to accelerate the Great Replacement might be the last chance the Treason Lobby and its backers in Congress have to achieve Amnesty for the next two years. If Republican immigration patriots can kill these bills now, Amnesty is likely dead until the 2024 elections.
The first Amnesty: the “Farm Workforce Modernization Act,” which gives legal residence to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who work in agriculture. In effect, it would turn them into indentured servants. An illegal alien who has been in the U.S. at least 10 years can gain a green card if he works in agriculture for another four years. Those here less than 10 years must work in the industry for eight to gain a Green Card. In other words, the bill ties cheap foreign laborers to the whims of Big Ag by dangling the possibility of legal residence. The bill would also increase the time an H-2B visa holder can stay in the country, and sets a floor of 200,000 such visas annually. The only concession to immigration patriots is the bill’s mandate that agricultural employers use E-Verify.
Updated from a version that passed in 2019, the current bill passed the House in 2021 and received support from 30 Republicans. Some who voted for it, such as Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, will be gone next year. But plenty of Republicans want to vote for it.
Thus, Republican Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, along with Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, is pushing for the Senate to pass its companion before the new Congress begins.
Crapo is not one of the Senate’s worst GOP immigration boosters. He has a respectable B+ rating from NumbersUSA. His immigration views, outlined in a 2021 op-ed [Sound Immigration Reform, by Mike Crapo, Senate.gov, April 5, 2021], are mostly solid. He pledged No Amnesty, securing the border, prohibiting non-citizens from government assistance, and prioritizing American workers over foreigners. But one of the principles listed was encouraging more guest workers. After outlining his principles, he contradicted his “no Amnesty” pledge by endorsing the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. “The Farm Workforce Modernization Act aims to provide needed improvements to the agriculture-labor component of our nation’s immigration system to provide a more reliable supply of labor to our nation’s agriculture producers and an improved process for immigrants seeking to work in American agriculture,” he claimed.
Now Crapo aims to make his wish come true before a GOP-controlled House can derail it. The Senate version will be altered to appease employer concerns that the House bill gives too many privileges to the illegals at the expense of Big Ag. The House bill, for instance, would permit myriad migrant lawsuits against employers. So any fixes would not address border security or enforcement, but just please the cheap labor lobby. Big Ag is pressuring the Senate to pass the legislation. The industry knows this might be their last chance to get it done [Backers of Farmworker Visa Overhaul Make Year-End Push for Immigrant Labor Deal, by Kristina Peterson and Michelle Hackman, Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2022].
The second Amnesty is a “bipartisan” agreement to legalize two million DREAMers. It would also accelerate asylum applications. Crafted by Republican Sen. Thom Tillis (arguably the worst Senate Republican on immigration) and Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the bill aims to win GOP support with concessions on border security.
Unlike the DREAMer Amnesty passed by the House last year, this bill would provide more funding for border security and immigration enforcement. Every Democrat Amnesty promoted during the last two years offered nothing in terms of border security or immigration enforcement. So Tillis and Sinema know that support from GOP immigration boosters requires concessions [Finally, a Bipartisan Deal to Help the ‘Dreamers’ Is Within Reach, by Greg Sargent, Washington Post, December 5, 2022].
The Tillis bill is far more generous to the Treason Lobby than previously proposed DREAMer Amnesties. When President Trump ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in 2018, Congress tried to legalize DREAMers. Proposals offered much more to immigration skeptics than this latest bill. One would have legalized nearly 2 million illegals in exchange for full funding for a border wall, eliminating chain migration, and ending the diversity visa lottery. Another offered legal status—not citizenship—to the 600,000 illegals signed up for DACA, while including the above-mentioned patriotic immigration reforms along with mandatory e-Verify.
The latest iteration also legalizes far more illegals than Tillis’s previous attempt. Last year, he and Texas Sen. John Cornyn proposed an Amnesty just for the migrants who signed up for DACA. Democrats rejected it as insufficient. Now, Tillis offers, again, a path to citizenship to two million in exchange for unspecified increases in border security and proper immigration enforcement. It’s no deal at all.
Of course, both bills must be killed. At least with the proposed DACA deals in 2018, immigration patriots could hope for some positive changes. But these bills offer nothing of the kind. More funding for border security, expediting the asylum process, and actually enforcing immigration laws are basic functions of the government. Republicans would accept the absolute bare minimum if they find these “concessions” worthy of a deal. The Big Ag Amnesty rewards the Cheap Labor Lobby while America is on the precipice of a recession. Millions of Americans could be out of work while illegal aliens steal jobs and get a pathway to citizenship to boot.
The bill with the best chance of passage is the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. It needs just 10 Republicans. Only one House Democrat opposes it and voted against it. Question is, will 10 Republicans vote for it?
The five retiring GOP senators—all squishes—might. And chances are, the two squishiest Republicans, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, will support it. If all seven voted with Crapo, the bill would be just two votes short of passing. Notorious immigration boosters like Tillis, Cornyn, and Lindsey Graham might then cast the deciding votes. But all this is uncertain, and the clock is ticking. The Senate only has two weeks to pass this bill.
That same deadline affects the DREAMer Amnesty. Tillis’ bill faces the additional hurdle of winning Democrat support. As I’ve argued several times, Democrats oppose any type of border security measure—even if it’s part of an Amnesty. The Treason Lobby is grumbling about the deal’s framework. Plus, Democrats seem greatly hostile toward Sinema because she refuses to support other leftist legislation. So the DREAMer Amnesty could be undone by both Republicans and Democrats, while the Big Ag Amnesty just needs Republican support.
Republicans may be swayed to oppose both bills by the promises of the incoming House GOP leadership. Kevin McCarthy, who is expected to become House Speaker, has pledged more than once that no immigration deal will pass his chamber until the border is secure [Kevin McCarthy Pledges as Speaker He Will Not Consider Amnesty or Gun Control Legislation, by Matthew Boyle, Breitbart, January 10, 2022]. The border is clearly not secure, no matter how much Biden pretends otherwise [Joe Biden Refuses to Visit the Border During Trip to Arizona: ‘More Important Things Going On’, by Charlie Spiering, Breitbart, December 6, 2022]. Senate Republicans defying that promise would weaken McCarthy’s position and possibly jeopardize his ability to be House Speaker. Republicans might not want to shaft colleagues in the lower chamber by supporting an Amnesty.
When I sat down with @GOPLeader in D.C., he told me if he is Speaker of Republican controlled House, he would not accept ANY form of amnesty, including for Dreamers, in any immigration deal.— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) December 5, 2022
This *Senate* deal framework reportedly includes path to citizenship for 2 mil Dreamers. https://t.co/NFl5HzqCNj pic.twitter.com/jfWHQ63jkS
The border crisis itself could convince enough Senate Republicans to oppose these Amnesty attempts. It’s a terrible look to rail against the border crisis while rewarding illegal immigration. Republicans surely understand the bad optics, and could well shy away from the legislation.
These bills present a crucial test for Republicans. If they block the Amnesties, there is a very good chance Amnesty will be dead until after the next election. And if Republicans take back the White House and Senate in 2024, that will further diminish Amnesty’s prospects. That’s why Amnesty advocates are desperate for something now, before the new Congress. This might be their last chance.
It’s up to Republicans to crush their hopes for the sake of America.