In February, the Senate voted on four bills for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and certain immigration measures. The Secure and Succeed Act of 2018 aimed to provide over $25B in funding for the border wall along the Mexican-American border, enact Kate’s Law to strengthen penalties for entering the United States unlawfully, require the Department of Homeland Security to address the humanitarian crisis for UACs, necessitate an E-verify program for employers, terminate the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, reduce chain migration, and lastly allow a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.
The bill only received 36 out of 51 GOP Senate votes and 3 Democratic votes, failing 39-60. (Note: the bills mentioned REQUIRED 60 votes to seek the President’s signature)
The McCain-Coons Bill offered Dreamers citizenship after five years of contributing to the economy. The goal is to “Improve Infrastructure, Technology, and Strategic Planning, Enhances Efficiency for Immigration Courts, and Supports Addressing Root Causes of Migration in Central America”. It failed 52-47.
The Toomey Amendment “would have penalized so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce federal immigration policy, by withholding federal funding from those municipalities.” This bill failed 54-45.
The Common Sense Plan would have provided a pathway for Dreamers, avert green card holders in distinction to sponsoring their adult children to come to the United States, and provides $25B for a border wall. The con that caught Republicans eyes was that the bill would “tell ICE not to focus on illegal immigrants living in the US without criminal records”.
The bill failed as well, 54-45.
The final bill that was voted on was the Grassley Bill. Its intent was to provide $25B for the border wall and end chain migration as well as the diversity visa lottery program. The bill failed, 39-60.
Here’s the real problem that Democrats acknowledge and ignored. They recognized the stalemate that was President Trump’s tough stance and requirements for his border wall necessity. For that, Democrats proposed to fund the wall as well as ending certain immigration programs to guide a throughway for DACA recipients.
The ignorance was simple. Both Republican and Democratic Senators knew the deadline in which the DACA termination was due for. President Trump gave Congress SIX months to potentially restore a legal measure for the program. Yet, nothing was done.
So, what needs to be done? Is a border wall necessary?
If push comes to shove, the border wall would become necessary under certain circumstances. The fact is, the Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China was an effective tool used to keep certain citizens and armies away for a national security basis.
In the case of the United States, illegal immigration is in fact a threat to national security. No, not everyone that crosses the border is a criminal (unless affiliated with MS-13), but crossing the border unlawfully makes you subject to criminality.
According to DHS, illegal immigration has increased to 160% this April compared to May of 2017. “The number of Family Units increased by 435 percent and the number of unaccompanied children (UAC) increased by 329 percent compared to May 2017”, said DHS in their monthly statistical immigration report.
Chain migration is a completely nonsensical form of immigration. The rationale is that if one family member becomes a naturalized citizen of this country, anyone else related to them can be legalized as well without having to go through certain background checks. In addition, the diversity visa lottery program is what it sounds like. You enter your name into a lottery, and if selected, you are allowed to come here. That was the case for Uzbekistan native Sayfullo Saipov, in which he utilized the system to kill eight and injure 12 in a terrorist attack located in New York City.
However, it is also unnecessary. There have been technological advances in effort to decrease illegal immigration that the Border Patrol maximize their size to use it. On the other hand, it is clearly not enough to prevent unlawful border crossings. In fiscal terms, another $25B would require the recent ‘Omnibus’ to be revised and voted on again, making it less likely for a passage.
President Trump made it clear with his travel ban that no one from a terrorist prone country should be allowed to enter the U.S.
On Thursday evening, the House GOP drafted a bill where a border wall would receive its initial funding and provide visas for Dreamers.
Jorge Velasco is the Founder and CEO of theDailyLead.