Just when you thought the Republican Party couldn’t fail any harder, they go off and surprise you. That’s the story after the details of a tentative immigration deal between Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were released. Lankford has been appointed by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to negotiate the terms.
Fox News put them up on a graphic that hits all the key points, and it’s a horror show of bad policy.
Going through this piece by piece, it’s hard to find one thing that would be constituted as a “win” for anyone who believes in securing the Southern Border. To start, an increase of 50,000 green cards a year represents a large spike in legal immigration amid the worst illegal immigration crisis in the nation’s history. How does that make sense? The goal should be to lower the total number to get the situation under control, not simply provide for more legal immigration.
The second bullet point is also simply another increase in legal immigration. Why do the adult children of H1-B holders need to be automatically granted legal status? If we were talking about minor children, then the policy would at least make sense. Again, why do we need to increase legal immigration during an unprecedented illegal immigration crisis?
Things only get worse from there. Under this deal, every single person who is released from custody into the interior would receive a work permit. That would escalate the number of people rushing to the border because the chances of not only getting in illegally but also being given work authorization would be greatly increased compared to the current situation. Yes, this “deal” would actually have the opposite effect of slowing the crisis at the border. It is literally putting the carrot on the stick and waving it around.
Next, there’s spending for lawyers for mentally incompetent illegal aliens, which you get to pay for, and then we get to the supposed “wins” for border hawks. The administration would be able to release 5,000 illegal immigrants into the interior a day while also giving them work permits as mentioned above. Again, we might as well start running ads in Central America telling people to come cross the border. 5,000 entries a day is 150,000 people a month, which is far more than historical norms without these new limits.
The only possible improvement comes last, which would be restricting parole (i.e. being released into the interior) for those who don’t cross at a port of entry. What does “restrict” mean in this context? We don’t know, and you can bet there are a myriad of loopholes that could be taken advantage of. But it doesn’t really matter when you are already going to let 150,000 people a month in while giving them work permits. Most illegal immigrants would simply start showing up at ports of entry knowing if they wait long enough, they’ll get in.
This is one of the dumbest, most counter-productive immigration deals I’ve ever seen, which means is absolutely a perfect representation of the modern GOP. What is the point of voting for this?