President Trump Invites 23 Hill Leaders To Argue Amnesty on Tuesday
President Donald Trump has invited 23 rival Hill politicians to a Tuesday meeting on the proposed amnesty, allowing him to play the consensus-building peacemaker while Democrats struggle to moderate their angry pro-amnesty base in an election year.
Observers don’t expect any immediate agreements from the 11.30 AM meeting.
“I don’t expect anything to come from this meeting — this is to show the public that they are talking,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies. She continued:
It will take 60 votes to get something through the Senate, so this is still a giant game of chicken where the Democrats think they can make Trump swerve, and the President thinks that the Democrats are eventually going to have to swerve …
Everyone is sill posturing … neither side has the numbers [in Congress] they need to win. Probably not until after [the] 2018 [elections], unless the Democratic leadership decides they are willing to accept a limited amnesty in exchange for the president’s proposals to save the people with DACA [work permits] from losing their status.
Trump has made his preferences clear in a repeated announcement on the campaign trail and since October 8, when he released his popular immigration principles. Basically, he is willing to offer an amnesty to a small percentage of illegals if Democrats fund his border wall, agree to end the chain-migration and visa-lottery wage-cutting immigration programs and also revamp laws to help immigration enforcement along the border and in sanctuary cities.
If Democrats refuse to compromise and insist that an amnesty is included in the 2018 budget due for completion January 19, Trump may be willing to ignore business demands for a quick fix and allow 1,000 DACA work permits to expire each day after March 5. That decision will ensure his popular immigration-reform agenda will be front-and-center in the November midterm election.
But first, Trump has to fend off a stealthy campaign by establishment GOP figures — including Vice President Mike Pence — to persuade Trump to OK a giveaway amnesty deal before the 2018 election starts.
The list of invitees includes advocates from at least five factions.
The list includes GOP Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue who are pushing the RAISE Act which would raise Americans’ wages by halving the supply of imported immigrant labor. Trump supports their economic plan.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley is also invited, allowing him to pith his SECURE Act, which includes the RAISE Act and a minor amnesty-style offer of three-year work permits for the roughly 670,000 younger illegals enrolled in the so-called DACA amnesty. Grassley chairs the Senate’s judiciary committee and has been supported by Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell.
The invitees also include Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. He is pushing a modified version of the huge and expensive DREAM Act for roughly 3 million illegals plus their future chain-immigration relatives. Durbin is modifying his amnesty by adding a package of token border-security measures. His group includes establishment GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, and Cory Gardner, plus Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet.
Trump has also invited GOP Sens. Thom Tillis and James Lankford, who filed the SUCCEED Act amnesty. However, the two pro-amnesty GOP senators recently split from Durbin’s group, saying Durbin has refused to talk about popular border security upgrades sought by Trump.
Sen. Bob Menendez is also invited, perhaps because he was a founding member of the 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty disaster which cost the Democrats nine seats and their Senate majority in 2014. Durbin, Graham, Bennet and Flake also were part of the gang, which would have shifted more of the nation’s annual income from workers to investors, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Two senior GOP House members are also invited. Judiciary chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte and homeland security chairman Mike McCaul have reportedly worked with several other GOP legislators to draft an ambitious plan that would pair some modest amnesty with extensive improvements, including an end to chain migration and the visa lottery. The measure is reportedly more ambitious that Grassley’s SECURE Act, and may be announced this week. If the Goodlatte/McCaul bill is passed by the House, it will set a standard for reform that is far more popular than the no-safeguards, wage-cutting DREAM Act amnesty offered by Durbin and the Democrats.
The meeting includes House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He is part of an immigration task force set up by House Speaker Paul Ryan. So far, this task force has failed to produce a draft, and in fact has split into at least two groups — the Goodlatte/McCaul group and a solo group of GOP Rep. Will Hurd. Hurd has joined with Democrat Pete Aguilar, a leader in the Democrats’ Hispanic Caucus to offer another variety of amnesty, but neither are on the list of guests.
BREAKING IN THE HOUSE: “Pair of lawmakers unveil bipartisan DACA plan.” This is a BIG breakthrough from @HurdOnTheHill (who has more border than any Member) and @RepPeteAguilar (CHC whip) https://t.co/hUVnnErOMQ
— Todd Schulte (@TheToddSchulte) January 8, 2018
The meeting will include Democratic leaders Rep. Steny Hoyer and Rep. Bernie Thompson, who will champion the pro-migrant demands of the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her pro-amnesty caucus. His task is complicated by the reality that Democrats in the House and Senate must fend off growing pressure from Latino and progressive groups to reject any compromise — even though the Democratic leaders seem to recognize that their amnesty agenda is deeply unpopular with the voters, who instead prefer economic policies that help Americans.
However, many Democrats also think that many GOP legislators do not have the nerve to win the amnesty-or-not game of political chicken.
This is the squeeze you’re going to see in the coming weeks. Yes — many Republicans want a DACA deal. But there is a healthy pocket — i’d goes between 30-50 House Rs — who want nothing to do with a deal. https://t.co/shaMWPpMn7
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 7, 2018
Latest White House demand on immigration: $18 billion for a border wall. Outrageous. President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall. With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction.
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) January 5, 2018
But some GOP leaders are staring the Democrats down. In December, for example, Trump called the Democrats’ bluff to shut down the budget unless the GOP submitted to the Democrats’ demand for amnesty.
In recent days, Sens. Grassley and other GOP legislators are highlighting the Democrats’ inability to negotiate over the deal, despite the amnesty-powered defeats they suffered in 2014 and 2016.
“We’re going to be meeting again in the White House tomorrow”-@SenThomTillis from Senate floor on DACA. “Hopefully we’ll be joined by our Democratic colleagues who have been invited to the meeting & we’ll negotiate something that makes sense”
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) January 8, 2018
I spoke on the Senate floor today on the need to end chain migration. WATCH: https://t.co/7TcNrYJvD5
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) January 9, 2018
Cotton also slammed Durbin’s group for rejecting any compromise:
The only thing that’s not serious is the Gang of Amnesty’s ridiculous proposal: amnesty in the millions, no end to chain migration, use diversity-lottery green cards for TPS aliens (T = temporary!), & pittance for phony border security. Get real! https://t.co/Tm7LXrnjSx
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) January 5, 2018
The disparate variety of advocates at the meeting also excludes some factions, including the “Gang of 33” Republicans who asked for an amnesty bill in December. Also, the meeting excludes any direct lobbyist for the business community, which basically wants the federal government to import more people to serve as cheap workers and welfare-aided consumers.
The full list was announced via Twitter:
— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) January 8, 2018
Most of the attendees would sell out pro-America reformers, says Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
There’s maybe 4 people on this list who wouldn’t sell us out in a heartbeat. https://t.co/UM25lRNPaq
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) January 8, 2018
One of the most-pro-American legislators at the event is Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a trump ally who noted on Sunday that Trump’s immigration policies are helping raise wages for working Americans.
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.