Trump and Graham Tag Team Immigration Reform

Trump and Graham Tag Team Immigration Reform

Trump and Graham Tag Team Immigration Reform

A lazy Congress that refuses to undertake comprehensive immigration reform, balks at Trump’s latest plan, before it is officially shared. Today in a Rose Garden ceremony, President Trump is expected to share details of a plan focused on legal immigration reforms. Applied in conjunction with Lindsey Graham’s latest plan, it is a two pronged approach to correcting our off balance policies. 

The Unbalanced Scales of Legal Immigration

Trump’s immigration plan, formulated by Jared Kushner, focuses on legal immigration in visa policies. The current number of visas will remain set, but reset the percentages in each category. According to NBC,

… the U.S. would award the same number of green cards as it now does. But far more would go to exceptional students so they can remain in the country after graduation, professionals and people with high-level and vocational degrees. Factors such as age, English language ability and employment offers would also be taken into account. Far fewer green cards would be given to people with relatives already in the U.S. and 57% versus the current 12% would be awarded based on merit. The diversity visa lottery, which offers green cards to citizens of countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S., would be eliminated. Officials insisted diversity would be addressed in other ways.”

America has a generous legal immigration policy, annually admitting more than 1,000,000 lawful permanent residents. One million people a year. America admits immigrants who are relatives of current residents, refugees, and recipients of the diversity visa lottery.

The most diverse country in the world has an annual randomized lottery for 50,000 new residents, from areas with low immigration rates. The immigration process allows for the immediate family to accompany the winner of a diversity visa. The family members are not counted in the 50,000 total visas.

A Government Shell Game

“But CC, the USA grants a MILLION visas, and you cited 50,000!” I’m so glad you asked. The 810,000 visas are granted to relatives of lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders), and refugees. The only requirement for this visa is an eligible relative legally residing in the United Sates.

Oh, but wait, there are still 140,000 visa slots! Yes, these visas are reserved for people who meet the the following qualifications , “Persons with extraordinary ability”, “Outstanding professors and researchers”, “Multinational managers or executives.”

Realigning the visas in each category is an excellent way to ensure that America’s newest legal residents are in a position to succeed on their own merits. It also serves to maintain a positive balance of educated citizens, who will continue to propel America to the forefront of innovation and technology.

Democrats… Resist!

In ways we have come to expect, some Democrat lawmakers are preemptively waving their “RESIST!!” banner. Senator Chuck Schumer said,

“If they want to get bipartisan legislation, do what we did with the Gang of Eight. Don’t come up with a plan that Stephen Miller rubber stamps and say, now pass it. It’s not going to happen.”

Immigration advocates raised both banners, and outright detest the plan. Lisa Koop of the National Immigrant Justice Center says,

“A plan that forces families apart, limits access to asylum and other humanitarian relief, and doesn’t contemplate a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other undocumented community members is clearly a political stunt intended to posture rather than problem-solve,”

“Clearly” because the plan came from Trump’s White House, and doesn’t address the illegal immigrants (including  DACA) already in America, it is entirely terrible. Let’s recognize that part of “comprehensive immigration reform” is fixing the legal loopholes that allow for massive chain migration at the cost of truly exceptional immigrants.

Trump’s plan will likely call for a reduction, not elimination, of the family based immigrant visa path. By eliminating the “lottery” pathway, there are an additional 50,000 slots to offset the changes to the current program. It’s inconceivable that increasing the number of highly desirable legal immigrants is a point of contention in the Democrats caucus.

Lindsey Focuses on the Central American Influx

Lindsey Graham is focusing on the illegal immigration from Central America. Highlights of his plan include:

  • Asylum applications from residents of the Northern Triangle and contiguous countries would be filed at refugee processing centers – not in the United States. These centers would be established in the Northern Triangle and Mexico.
  • Modify U.S. law to allow families to be held together up to 100 days in the United States while making their asylum claims – up from the current 20 day limit.
  • 500 new immigration judges to reduce the backlog of cases.
  • Unaccompanied minors (UAC) from Central America would be treated the same as minors from Canada and Mexico. This allows the United States to return all UAC to their country of origin after screening.

Bringing the Kids on a Family Trip

Current policy for unaccompanied minors (UAC), and family units encourages a dangerous journey. As Senator Graham states in his press release, “Word is out on the streets in Central America that if you bring a child with you – regardless of whether or not it is actually your child – America’s laws can be manipulated to allow you to stay in the United States.”

This means a “family unit” is held in detention, given a date years away for an immigration hearing, and then released into the USA.

The Center for Immigration Studies compiled the data from the DOJ over the last decade and reached some startling observations.

Pending Unaccompanied Minor cases have rapidly increased:

The number of verdicts issued In Absentia is climbing. Meaning, people are not showing up to hear their case disposition:

 

 

Revisiting Flores

Senator Graham’s plan to increase family unit holding time will undoubtedly meet challenges in the courts. Especially if DHS wants to change their policy,

In 2014, DHS increased detention facilities for arriving alien families and held families pending the outcome of immigration proceedings. However, a federal judge ruled in 2016 that under the Flores Settlement Agreement, minors detained as part of a family unit cannot be detained in unlicensed facilities for longer than a presumptively reasonable period of 20 days, at which point, such minors must be released or transferred to a licensed facility. Because most jurisdictions do not offer licensure for family residential centers, DHS rarely holds family units for longer than 20 days. The judge’s ruling made it much more difficult for the Federal government to use the detention authorities Congress gave it.

If they can clear the likely Judicial hurdle, popular opinion may be in favor of Graham’s plan. The massive influx of migrants is throwing border communities into chaos, and they are unable to manage the unrelenting waves of migrants. The public is increasingly aware that human trafficking often includes sexual violence against the migrants, and increased risk of forced sex work to “pay off debts.” UAC are at the highest risk from the smugglers. By returning the UAC to their home country, it will discourage the risky practice of sending children over thousands of miles with predators.

Meanwhile, DHS is maximizing their social media presence to their advantage by sharing pictures of the illegal cargo coming across our borders. Hopefully the obstinate Democrats will open their eyes long enough to end the suffering of the migrants, and stop the increased boldness of the smugglers.

 

Featured Image Credit: John Hood, Caltrans graphic artist   Licensed Under: Free Public Domain  Image cropped 400×400, altered by author

Written by

"CC" to her friends, she's dreaming of warm weather and open spaces. She's lived all over the USA and overseas. These opportunities are great, but she believes that the USA is the most amazing country, and we are so fortunate to have our Constitution and Bill of Rights. She's always happy to have a debate, so long as the participants understand "Feelings are NOT facts". Bring a fact based viewpoint, a good dose of courtesy (Respect is earned, Courtesy is given freely), a bit of thick skin, and fluency in sarcasm. She's happy to chat about anything from Ron Paul, to Ronald Regan. A bit of warning, she has a dedication to General Jim Mattis, and a low threshold for BS. Professionally, she spent almost a decade working in the Defense Contracting industry.

2 Comments
  • GWB says:

    A plan that forces families apart, limits access to asylum and other humanitarian relief, and doesn’t contemplate a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other undocumented community members is clearly
    …focused on America.
    (The lobbyist group has “justice” in their name, so you can be almost assured it has nothing to do with such and likely perverts it.)

    doesn’t address the immigrants illegal aliens already in America
    FIFY. It doesn’t have to address the legal immigrants already here, since they’re … well, legally already here. The only people who are already here that need addressing are those who didn’t enter properly (including asylum seekers).

    massive chain migration
    I’ve advocated for years now that we place “immediate family members” into a special category that prevents THEM bringing THEIR immediate family members. If you qualify on your own, I have no problem allowing parents (maybe) and spouse and children to accompany you. But the spouse can’t bring her parents (unless she qualifies on her own merits for immigration), etc. I also wouldn’t allow adult siblings as “immediate family members”.

    500 new immigration judges to reduce the backlog of cases.
    As long as they’re not bleeding heart liberals (or full-on progs) that will interpret every rule as basically allowing a free pass into El Norte. They MUST be hard-nosed a**holes who strictly interpret laws and regulation. We need a higher threshold of immigration than “I got here!”
    But, this is one of the biggest selling points for Grahamnesty’s plan.

    This means a “family unit” is held in detention, given a date years away for an immigration hearing, and then released into the USA.
    When the policy should be that if our facilities are full up, then you need to GO HOME until there’s an opening. We should NEVER default to letting them stay for ANY period of time.

    people are not showing up to hear their case disposition
    And only stupid people and liberals/progs (BIRM) would EVER believe that they would. I’m shocked that ANY would. (Actually showing up for your case would be an indicator to me that you at least grasp the concept of Rule Of Law.)

    a federal judge ruled in 2016
    And that needs to be voided – most easily by licensing the dang facilities (and make licensing easy). But also by writing law that directly counters it (like Grahamnesty’s bill).

    Hopefully the obstinate Democrats will open their eyes long enough to end the suffering of the migrants, and stop the increased boldness of the smugglers.
    Sadly, “hope” is not a plan, CC. American voters have been indoctrinated into all sorts of idiotic beliefs, especially ones that make illegal entry into our country prefectly okie-dokie. We have to break that propaganda before we can actually vote to fix it.

    Quite simply, we need to shut down the southern border – meaning we disallow ANY and ALL asylum claims that aren’t made according to international “law”*, we place all those who illegally cross the border into tent cities (in the desert), and we line up the buses to return them home immediately.
    The only adjudication is whether any children are actually the children of those accompanying them – if they aren’t, then they should be detained until their parents can be identified and they can be returned to them, and those claiming to be their parents should be thrown into a dark hole for a while before being returned to their country of origin. (If they are found to have hurt the child, then we should simply drop them in the dark hole and never worry about returning them.)

    Then, we shut off legal immigration until we figure out how to ensure those coming here actually want to become Americans. Then we establish numbers for each and every country, along with criteria (like muslims from a muslim country that persecutes Christians wouldn’t qualify), that would allow the President to flex immigration as a minor foreign policy tool and that would reward the sorts of places whose people make good citizens.

    And, we cut chain migration, as noted above.

    (* I put “law” in quotes because I’m not sure if it’s an actual treaty, or just some UN ruling or policy that it’s assumed we all accept, or perhaps a treaty to which we aren’t signatory. But it says you have to stop in the nearest safe place and apply for asylum there. Marching hundreds of miles across Mexico does NOT qualify.)

    • I agree. Sadly, “hope” is the only word that comes to mind when talking about action by Democrats. They “hope” to do something, while I “hope” they don’t. 😉

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