Attempts to close loopholes long exploited by illegal aliens
According to an exclusive report published by the Washington Times Sunday evening, the White House submitted a lengthy new immigration plan to Congress.
“The plans, seen by The Washington Times, include President Trump’s calls for a border wall, more deportation agents, a crackdown on sanctuary cities and stricter limits to chain migration — all issues the White House says need to be part of any bill Congress passes to legalize illegal immigrant “Dreamers” currently protected by the Obama-era deportation amnesty known as DACA,” reports The Times.
Just weeks ago, it appeared as though Trump had bypassed Congressional Republicans and struck a deal with Senate Democrats on these very same immigration issues. Could’ve been smoke and mirrors then, possibly grandstanding now, but at least as far as Twitter is concerned, Sen. Schumer’s communications director ain’t happy:
The @POTUS is going back on his agreement with Schumer and Pelosi. Period. Full stop.
— Matt House (@mattwhouse) October 9, 2017
And it’s easy to see why:
But the plans break serious new ground on the legal front, giving federal agents more leeway to deny illegal immigrants at the border, to arrest and hold them when they’re spotted in the interior, and to deport them more speedily. The goal, the White House said, is to ensure major changes to border security, interior enforcement and the legal immigration system.
“Anything that is done addressing the status of DACA recipients needs to include these three reforms and solve these three problems,” a senior White House official told The Times. “If you don’t solve these problems then you’re not going to have a secure border, you’re not going to have a lawful immigration system and you’re not going to be able to protect American workers.”
They’re not wrong. When DACA was rescinded, the administration made clear their intentions were to push the matter entirely to Congress to find a legal remedy for the extra-legal program created by President Obama.
The rest of the guidance, which the White House indicates was compiled with input from the State, Justice, and Labor departments, walks along the hard line:
The White House said the list was built from the ground up, with input from the Justice, State and Labor Departments and the three main immigration agencies at Homeland Security, each of whom was asked what tools they needed to finally get a handle on illegal immigration.
Ideas poured in, ranging cracking down on sanctuary cities that shield illegal immigrants — a long-running battle — to new proposals, such as doling out assistance to other in the Western Hemisphere, enlisting them as partners in the effort to stop illegal immigrants heading north.
The running theme of the list, though, is closing loopholes that illegal immigrants have exploited:
• Lax asylum standards, which illegal immigrants have learned to game through saying “magic words” that earn them instant protections, would be stiffened.
• The Unaccompanied Alien Children — or UAC — who streamed to the U.S. under President Obama would have to prove they really are without parents and are fleeing abuse, in order to access generous humanitarian protections.
• Visitors who come legally but overstay their visas — perhaps now an even larger group of illegal immigrants than those who jump the border — would, for the first time, face a misdemeanor penalty.
• A 2001 Supreme Court decision that has forced the release of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, including murderers, would be curtailed.
• The ability of federal, state and local authorities to detain illegal immigrants would be fully enshrined in law, helping settle a long-running question that’s fueled some sanctuary cities.
Also on the list are proposals that have been included in past immigration bills that garnered bipartisan support such as canceling the annual visa lottery that doles out 50,000 green cards at random, and requiring all businesses to use E-Verify, the government’s currently voluntary system for checking to make sure new hires are legally eligible to work.
This should be a fun week.
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