In the immigration playbook, Republicans on Capitol Hill have kicked off their negotiations with a false start.  In typical fashion, their next play will likely be a fumble with a pro-amnesty recovery – negotiating away all of the American peoples’ priorities in their rush to pass something that can make it through the Senate.

Now is not the time to use the old playbook. It’s time for the Republican leadership to seize the opportunity and move past its previously failed tactics.  At Congress’s request, President Trump sent his top immigration reform priorities to the Hill: border security including building the wall, interior enforcement, and the implementation of a merit-based immigration system. These priorities, according to President Trump, put the needs of American families first and must be included in any legislation concerning the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

With 240 Republicans and only 194 Democrats, it seems that it should be relatively easy for Speaker Paul Ryan to marshal his team.  After specifically asking for President Trump’s plan, it is incumbent on the Republican Conference to bring it to the floor and ensure its passage.  The House leadership team has proven that it can move legislation it has deemed a priority, even legislation that will have difficulty reaching the Senate floor.  One thing true immigration reformers will not forgive – Republican leadership bringing an amnesty bill to the floor with only watered-down border security proposals. Especially since Speaker Ryan promised conservative Members he would not bring immigration legislation to the floor that didn’t have a majority Republican backing.

Unsurprisingly, Democrats claim Trump’s plan is a “non-starter.” However, their only plan is one that expands DACA to all 3.4 million illegal aliens who claim to have entered as minors.  They have yet to offer any type of compromise.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have told the American people what they will not accept any compromise, arguing that they want an amnesty bill with no strings attached. It seems Congressional Democrats have short memories.  Congress’s inability to pass the “DREAM Act” on more than 20 occasions and the Gang of Eight bills are the very reason why President Obama issued his executive order and created DACA in the first place.

Growing evidence shows that when open-border advocates are talking about offering amnesty to DACA recipients (the so-called children who came here through no fault of their own) their intentions are actually much broader.  They envision giving amnesty even to those who were not eligible or did not apply for DACA as well as their parents (the ones responsible for bringing their children illegally into the country in the first place). According to a new Center for Immigration Report, each new immigrant brings 3.45 additional immigrants into the country.

However, most Americans support the plan President Trump sent to Congress to put American workers first.  According to a new poll by National Research Inc., and The Polling Company, shows that many of the president’s priorities have 70-80% support. Key findings from the poll include:

  • 71% want companies to offer jobs to American workers before foreign workers.
  • 82% want to increase the sentences for criminal aliens that have been previously deported as well as strengthen the laws against all criminal aliens.
  • By a 2-1 margin, responders favored ending “chain migration” where immigrants can come to the country because their relatives are here.
  • 76% want more US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.
  • 75% want to target violent gangs including MS-13
  • 64% support a merit-based immigration system that awards points based job skills, ability to speak English, and education.
  • 68% support E-verify to ensure American jobs go to Americans and not illegal aliens.

History has taught us that amnesty begets more amnesty.  It is time for the Republican leadership in Congress to stop always losing yards.  They must tackle our immigration problem. If they can’t stand up for immigration in the national interest, perhaps Republicans should take a knee on amnesty. The only way to truly put Americans first and get across the goal line is to pass a true immigration reform package like the one President Trump sent to Capitol Hill.