The “Gang of Six” amnesty plan is “horrible,” President Donald Trump told Reuters January 17, amid a growing chorus by the D.C. establishment that his immigration goals must be ignored because they cannot be understood.
The amnesty-plus deal pushed January 11 by the gang’s leaders, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic leader Sen. Dick Durbin, “is the opposite of what I campaigned for,” Trump told the Reuters news service in a January 17 Oval Office interview. He continued:
“It’s horrible for the security of our country,” Trump said, noting there was not enough funding for a wall he has promised to build on the U.S.-Mexican border, a project opposed by Democrats.
The proposal was “very, very weak” on curbing visas for extended family members of immigrants, and failed to end a diversity visa lottery program.
Trump has repeatedly described his popular pro-American priorities — a border wall with legal reforms, an end to chain-migration and the visa lottery, combined with some form of amnesty for the 670,000 ‘DACA’ illegals.
But Democrats — and some business-first GOP leaders — are gaslighting Trump by pretending that his priorities are unclear. That can’t-hear-you strategy allows them — and their media allies — to gradually push and pull the President towards a presidency-wrecking amnesty, without having to engage with Trump’s popular, pro-American “Buy American, Hire American” policies.
Many of Trump’s priorities were announced during the presidential election, and all have been described numerous times since his October 8 Immigration Principles were released. They were described multiple times in the January 9 televised negotiation session and repeated time and time again in numerous Tweets.
Thank you to the great Republican Senators who showed up to our mtg on immigration reform. We must BUILD THE WALL, stop illegal immigration, end chain migration & cancel the visa lottery. The current system is unsafe & unfair to the great people of our country – time for change!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2018
Thanks to all of the Republican and Democratic lawmakers for today’s very productive meeting on immigration reform. There was strong agreement to negotiate a bill that deals with border security, chain migration, lottery and DACA. https://t.co/SdqAQ3aL3z pic.twitter.com/8DYHZHspAy
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2018
The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards. Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
….we need to keep America safe, including moving away from a random chain migration and lottery system, to one that is merit-based. https://t.co/7PtoSFK1n2
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2018
But Democratic and GOP leaders are trying to minimize Trump’s role by arguing that his views are confused, shift rapidly, swayed by deputies and will change over time with political pressure.
On Wednesday, for example, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the GOP’s Senate leader, told reporters that he would not yet schedule a floor debate because:
I’m looking for something President Trump supports, and he’s not yet indicated what measure he’s willing to sign. As soon as we figure out what he is for then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels going to this issue on the floor, but deal with a bill that has a chance to become law.
GOP leaders in the House are bottling up a GOP-drafted immigration-reform-and-amnesty bill even though Trump has already endorsed the “Securing America’s Future Act.” On Tuesday, GOP House members at a caucus meeting pressed their leadership to push the bill through the House. “They were nodding yes in conference today, but they have not given any firm commitment,” said GOP Virginia Rep. Dave Brat. He continued:
[Rep. Bob] Goodlatte stood up and spoke, [Rep. Raul] Labrador spoke at the caucus meeting. That bill has widespread support … We think we can get all Republican votes, 218, for real … They need to support it, whip it, and push it.
[Polls show] we have the leverage now, and want to see our leadership take command, not only with the Democrats but with the Senate. It is time for them to take some votes, not us, as always.
Ryan has outlined his own immigration priorities which differ sharply from Trump’s policies by allowing companies to bypass Americans’ demands for higher wages by simply hiring imported cheap workers. But Ryan agrees with Trump’s effort to prevent a recurrence of the illegal-immigrant youth problem, saying January 17 that:
The president is being completely rational in that you want to fix DACA, but you also want to address the root-cause problems so that we don’t have a DACA problem in the future.
Amid the policy differences with the White House, Ryan and McConnell have delegated their immediate deputies to negotiate a deal with the top Democratic deputies, largely cutting the White House out of the conversation. One of those deputies in Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who shot down the Gang of Six bill with a clear summary of Trump’s goals — giving him an opportunity to write a replacement with the three other top Hill leaders.
The “Gang of Six” deal to fix DACA will not get a vote in the House or the Senate because POTUS will not sign it. Let's go back to the drawing board and get this done: Border Security, end Diversity Visa Lottery, limit chain migration, and fix DACA
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) January 17, 2018
The Senate’s Gang of Six pro-amnesty group is still pushing their amnesty-plus bill that makes only token changes to chain-migration and the visa lottery, and only provides one year of wall funding. That amnesty bill would provide citizenship to 3 million young illegals, plus their parents, plus their chain-migration relatives, plus 400,000 people with “Temporary Protected Status” plus their chain-migration relatives.
The group is fronted by liberal GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham — but Trump forcefully rejected their pro-amnesty pitch January 11. That rejection prompted Democratic leader Sen. Dick Durbin to leak the “shithole” comment from the closed-door negotiations, setting off a huge media uproar against Trump. The gang includes one of McConnell’s top deputies, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who is the GOP campaign manager for the 2018 Senate elections.
Amid the Durbin-leak fallout, Durbin blamed Trump’s aides, and Graham argued that Trump is floundering. For example, Graham met with Trump’s chief of staff on January 17, and later announced on the Senate floor that:
What I asked the White House is, find out what you are for — I can’t read your mind.
Graham continued, according to the TheHill.com, saying:
I want to help you but you’ve got to help yourself … So to the president, what I saw Tuesday was a man that understood what America was all about. … What I find today is complete chaos.
Democrats make the same can’t-hear-you gaslighting claim. For example, according to a January 17 Politico article:
“I didn’t get a sense that the administration has a clear bottom line that get us to where we need to be, certainly by [Jan.] 19,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) told reporters.
The former governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, according to a January 14 article TheHill.com, declared that Trump:
is being run by [White House aide] Stephen Miller. The president, what does the president want? He wants a deal to announce. And he wants his approval ratings to go up.
The Democrat-allied media is pushing the same can’t-hear-you claim, even as it rarely posts accurate data on the scale, cost and economic impact of the cheap-labor amnesty policies. For example, on January 9, the Washington Post‘s coverage of the White House meeting boosted Democrats’ effort to paint Trump’s low-key, friendly approach as Presidential incoherence:
President Trump on Tuesday tried to show that he could do his job …
Yet the president’s plans were so nebulous that as the confab wrapped up, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) was still pressing for more specifics. “You want $18 billion for a wall, or else there will be no DACA. Is that still your position?” she asked. “And can you tell us how many miles of wall you’re contemplating? Whether it’s $17 million or $13 million or whatever is — can you tell us?”
The immigration advocate at Vox.com, for example, argued January 16 that Trump’s preferences should be ignored because they are racist, despite the growing benefits for Americans — and their non-immigrant children — of all races:
Trump’s objections [to the amnesty-plus plan] don’t appear to be rooted in specific policy concerns. If Trump blew up a DACA deal over his “shithole countries” remarks, it’s because he revealed his months of (relatively) specific criticism of parts of the US immigration system to be mere pretense for blunt racism, and thus made a deal impossible.
If he’s opened the door to a deal, it’s because his apparent racial animus could free Congress to stop looking to him for leadership — thus producing a compromise that he would ultimately sign anyway …
You can’t negotiate with people who believe that an America that lets in people from “shithole countries” isn’t the America they know or love. Either America is a nation of immigrants or it is a nation of blood and soil. It cannot be both.
Democratic voters are also picking up the theme:
Screw his approval, he doesn't know what he's doing, so just send it to him & make him sign it.
— WMR (@Jinxy_Minxy) January 17, 2018
In contrast, most of the GOP caucus understands and accepts Trump’s popular proposals. For example, four leaders in the House have developed an immigration-and-amnesty plan which has been backed by Trump and by various conservative and immigration-reform groups in Washington D.C. The bill is described in a Tweet from chairwoman Rep. Martha McSally, and is titled the “Securing America’s Future Act”:
#GangofSix Senate deal is a non-starter, doesn't include top priorities & repeats past mistakes. My bill actually secures the border, ends chain migration & visa lottery, closes loopholes, cracks down on sanctuary cities & more. Hit restart on negotiations. We need REAL solutions pic.twitter.com/gzOkL6wYRt
— Martha McSally (@RepMcSally) January 17, 2018
Polls show that Trump’s American-first immigration policy is very popular.
For example, a December poll of likely 2018 voters shows two-to-one voter support for Trump’s pro-American immigration policies, and a lopsided four-to-one opposition against the cheap-labor, mass-immigration, economic policy pushed by bipartisan establishment-backed D.C. interest-groups.
Business groups and Democrats tout the misleading, industry-funded “Nation of Immigrants” polls which pressure Americans to say they welcome migrants, including the roughly 670,000 ‘DACA’ illegals and the roughly 3.25 million ‘dreamer’ illegals.
The alternative “priority or fairness” polls — plus the 2016 election — show that voters in the polling booth put a much higher priority on helping their families, neighbors, and fellow nationals get decent jobs in a high-tech, high-immigration, low-wage economy.
Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.
But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting 1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.
The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.
The cheap-labor policy has also reduced investment and job creation in many interior states because the coastal cities have a surplus of imported labor. For example, almost 27 percent of zip codes in Missouri had fewer jobs or businesses in 2015 than in 2000, according to a new report by the Economic Innovation Group. In Kansas, almost 29 percent of zip codes had fewer jobs and businesses in 2015 compared to 2000, which was a two-decade period of massive cheap-labor immigration.
Because of the successful cheap-labor strategy, wages for men have remained flat since 1973, and a large percentage of the nation’s annual income has shifted to investors and away from employees.