Senate Republicans forged ahead on a funding bill that would have given Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program recipients, or Dreamers, a step up towards citizenship, expand parts of the southern border barrier, and with a wee bit of luck, end the partial government shutdown.
As the bill, a 1,300-page tome of concessions and compromises for both Democrats and President Trump, made the rounds in Chambers, few believed there was a chance of it passing and landing on the President’s desk. Sure enough, it was defeated 50-47.
Political gamesmanship by the left has gone on long enough.
It was the second attempt at negotiation in a matter of days.
Just prior to Trump’s Oval Office address offering a solution to the shutdown, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called the proposal “unacceptable” and claimed it would not pass the House. We can now add psychic to Pelosi’s burgeoning list of talents for knowing the content of the proposal prior to Trump revealing his offer.
Swamp dwellers, of course, called for a repeat snubbing from obstructionist-in-chief Pelosi and her menagerie of mystical defenders on this latest effort, as Democrats, without analyzing the proposed legislation first, labeled the bill dead on arrival.
What is so offensive in this proposal that has pushed Dems into head-in-the-sand mode?
Republican Immigration Bill
It appears the sticking point for Madam Pelosi and company was the lack of permanent amnesty and citizenship for all DACA recipients. The bill proposed 700,000 Dreamers and 300,000 temporary protected status (TPS) — flat out undisputed illegal immigrants — a three-year reprieve of legal documentation as “provisional protected status” refugees. That means they would have 36 months to find a sponsor, gather their paperwork and legal help, and file for citizenship.
The bill would have add two new requirements that both sides should readily agree to – DACA or TPS applicants must earn income 125% above the nation’s poverty line and have a record clean of sexual harassment.
But that’s not enough for the log-jamming Democrats – they are holding out for complete and immediate citizenship for every illegal.
The Senate bill also targeted the asylum process. Hopeful immigrants have been the victims of political gamesmanship by the left, who promise a land of welfare, free food, and healthcare, if they just join optic-laden, treacherous, and misleading caravans organized not by humanitarians, but rather by bad actors with political agendas.
Republicans offered to reinstate the Obama-era program, allowing Central American minors to apply for asylum in centers to be constructed in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. Immigrants would learn if they were accepted before making the dangerous journey.
But no, Democrats find that program reprehensible because it allows the government to decide if the applicant is “consistent with the national interest,” and it would cap the number of accepted applicants at 15,000 per year.
The Department of Homeland Security would also have benefited from the proposed legislation with an additional $70 million – which includes the $5.7 million dedicated to shoring the border with real, tangible barriers. DHS would hire 375 new Customs and Border Protection agents to man the southern ports of entry and 750 new Border Patrol agents who are responsible for securing the borders in between. Add to that, housing to detain illegal immigrants would have increased from space for 44,000 to 52,000.
Beyond the most pressing needs at the southern border, this would have funded an additional 2,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers for use nationwide.
There was a time, not all that long ago, when faced with not getting his way, then-President Obama did what millions of freedom-loving patriots feared: He shoved socialized medicine down the throats of Americans and then fined those who dared stand up to his Executive Order.
Frankly, President Trump could wave the magic wand, incense the Democrats to self-combustion, and attempt the same failed, un-American power grab, only to have it overturned several years from now. Instead, he is attempting to negotiate, to bring a compromise to the table and continue to hash out this country’s disastrous immigration system.
Political gamesmanship by the left has gone on long enough. Americans need their government to represent the people, not the special interests heading into a presidential campaign season. And tell the psychic Pelosi she needs to come to the table and get this government back up and running. Here’s the number to her office in the Swamp: (202) 225-4965.