In the weeks since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell committed to holding a vote on immigration, senators of both parties have been busy piecing together various fixes to a broken immigration system. What the backroom bartering has produced are four proposals that to varying degrees would lead to increased illegal immigration and fail to mitigate the damage done to the nation’s economic, national and environmental security by unmanageable levels of legal and illegal immigration.
After endless talk by Democrats about the urgency of reaching a permanent solution about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Sen. McConnell put the lawmakers on notice that a deal would be reached by Friday or not at all.
Three of the four proposals offer amnesty to DACA beneficiaries, flimsy promises of border security, and virtual silence on ending chain migration and other needed fixes to the legal immigration process. The fourth deals strictly with ending sanctuary cities.
Despite being benignly characterized as a “bipartisan compromise,” Schumer-Rounds-Collins King is an egregious proposal that would create a mass amnesty for more than 10 million illegal aliens, while simultaneously eviscerating immigration law enforcement agencies. It even grants amnesty to future illegals.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, a group of 16 Republicans and Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are proposing to:
- Give initial citizenship to 3 million illegal aliens and pave the way for their 6 million parents;
- Provide safe haven for 11-12 million illegal immigrants already in U.S.;
- Extend protection to anyone who enters the U.S. illegally before June 30, 2018;
- Leave in place loopholes which hamper efforts to remove criminal aliens; and
- Allow sanctuary jurisdictions to survive and thrive
Sponsored by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), the so-called “skinny proposal” is slightly less egregious, but goes down a dangerous path by giving a fast-track path to citizenship to 3.2 million illegal aliens in exchange for the government studying the effectiveness of building a border wall.
McCain-Coons also would:
- Leave in place numerous legal loopholes in our immigration system, such as “catch and release” for family units and unaccompanied alien minors;
- Weaken the education eligibility requirements for applicants;
- Lead to a surge in immigration by failing to end chain migration.
Introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the Secure and Succeed Act most closely mirrors White House Framework on Immigration Reform & Border Security, which means it is the most viable option to send to the House.
Like the others, it would grant amnesty with a path to citizenship to the approximately 1.8 million illegal aliens enrolled in or eligible for DACA. It would create a $25 billion trust fund for construction of a border wall. However, it does not include mandatory E-verify and reforms to the visa and legal immigration system aren’t fully implemented until the 4 million people on the chain migration waiting list are admitted – which could take 15-20 years.
The final amendment, offered by Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey is identical to his “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act,” an effort to hold to prevent sanctuary jurisdictions from defying federal immigration law without consequence. Jurisdictions that impede the enforcement of federal immigration laws would be denied access to federal funding and would be required to repay allocated funds if they continue to provide safe harbor to violators of the law.
It also clarifies that State and local authorities are permitted by law to carry out detainer requests, and includes essential protections for witnesses and victims of crime.