When the republican President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff General John Kelly recently attended a meeting with the US Congressional Spanish Caucus members, he said something that raised my hackles. He advised them to work with the republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue instead of the senators who had been working on a bipartisan plan for democrats to sign onto the republicans’ budget proposal. This included an extension of protections for the Daca program (the program that protects young peoples from deportation who came to the USA as children with undocumented parents and who know no other country) as well as funding for CHIP (a health insurance program for poor children) and aid for Puerto Rico where a large number of American citizens still do not have power after 2 major hurricanes.
This was like asking the sheep to negotiate with the wolves. It can be argued that General Kelly’s anti-immigration bias has been coloring his judgment to where he has been an impediment to a resolution between the republicans and the democrats. The two senators Cotton and Perdue, also with strong anti-immigration sentiments have worked on a bill to cut back on LEGAL IMMIGRATION. (See below article.)
This tells me that the chaotic reality TV show that we have been watching with the President Trump, his staffers, republicans in the US Congress in the starring roles, leading democrats into the abyss of a government shut down, has really been about the White House and others wanting to cut back big time on legal immigration.
Pay attention to the republicans latest demands which is to end chain immigration, which translates into certain family members being NO LONGER reunified with those living in the USA; and to end the Diversity Visa Lottery, a cut back on immigrants from certain parts of the world.
What this really means, is that the hard-line anti immigrant proponents who have the president’s ear like the president’s Chief of Staff General John Kelly, the president’s senior adviser Stephen Miller and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) want to limit legal immigration bigly to where they may very well have fantasies of using the DACA dreamers as pawns to further passage of their anti-legal immigration legislation.
An indication of the republicans duplicitous intent occurred when the republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut down a motion by Senator Claire McCaskill to make sure our military heroes were paid during this shutdown as was done during the 2013 US government shut down.
There is no better time than right now to pass DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program). Democrats remember that the Hispanic base will be motivated to come out to vote in 2018 (See: Hispanic Voting Power Swells to Record for 2016, Pew Study /Bloomberg)
Why should the democrats be forced to sign off on the US House’s republicans’ short term one month CR bill which includes the republicans’ arbitrary Sophie’s choice option with it, the funding for CHIP (healthcare for children of working parents) when Democrats had also been asking for at a minimum, funding/ fix for DACA, (protections from deportation for young peoples who came to US as young children with undocumented parents but who know no other country); CHIP; and emergency aid to Puerto Rico? Instead , the democrats are being forced to decide which children should be saved.
Democrats need to stand firm on DACA while getting their message out to the public. The facts are on the side of the democrats who want to base immigration policy on facts, credible empirical data to counter republicans hard-line anti-legal immigration sentiments. (See:Fact check: Immigration doesn’t bring crime into U.S., data say | PBS …/ or See:Trump’s claim that immigrants bring ‘tremendous crime’ is still wrong …/ Washington Post
Here’s the rest of the story…
On January 18, 2018, Ronald Brownstein of the Atlantic penned the following report, ‘The Purpose of This From the Beginning Has Been to Cut Legal Immigration’ (Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue claim their bill would increase the number of high-skilled immigrants in the United States. But it would do the opposite.)
“President Trump and his Senate allies are now presenting their goal for immigration reform as increasing the number of high-skilled immigrants allowed into the United States. But the immigration legislation from Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia that Trump has endorsed would almost certainly reduce the total number of high-skilled immigrants.” (See: 3 Reasons Why Immigrants Are Key To Economic Growth – Forbes or Immigrants Are Making the U.S. Economy Stronger – Bloomberg
“That stark contradiction has been overshadowed by reports that Trump used a vulgarity to describe immigrants from Africa and Haiti during a private White House meeting last week—and by the widely disputed accusation from Cotton and Perdue, who attended, that their colleague Dick Durbin lied when he recounted the president’s language.”
“But by trumpeting high-skilled immigration, Trump, Cotton, and Perdue are also obscuring the most significant impact of their proposal: a 50 percent cut in legal immigration. Within that smaller pool of immigrants, high-skilled workers could very well comprise a larger share than they do now. But if that shift were to happen, it would only be because immigration levels would fall even faster for those who are lower-skilled.”
“They are not talking about immigrating 1 million scientists and engineers,” said Stuart Anderson, the executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy and a former immigration aide to two Republican senators. “It’s completely untrue that it would bring in more skilled immigrants. The purpose of this from the beginning has been to cut legal immigration.”
“Cotton has signaled he might agree to transfer some of the family-based slots he would eliminate into skills-based immigration. But as long as he’s attempting to slash overall legal-immigration levels—at a time when the country will need more workers to fund Social Security and Medicare for its growing senior population—he’s unlikely to find many takers among Democrats or even centrist Republicans. The 2013 precedent shows there’s a path to bipartisan agreement on shifting the balance of new immigrants more toward those with high skills—but not if the real goal remains locking out as many future immigrants as possible.”