October 14, 2017

Trump’s Immigration Priorities Are Still Most Americans’ Priorities

The Obama administration chose not to enforce the law as it applies to young people brought to this country illegally as children. Instead, it began a program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. 

Rather than asking Congress to make the program law, President Obama bypassed Congress and unilaterally granted legal status and work permits to people who entered this country illegally.

The “D” in DACA stands for  “deferred,” and President Trump says Congress should not defer doing its job any longer. 

Last month, he gave Congress six months to come up with a solutionthrough the Constitutional legislative process.

Congress has done nothing. 

Now, President Trump has set forth his priorities for immigration reform. 

President Trump’s immigration proposal details what he promised to do during the campaign: secure our borders, protect the wages of working Americans and preserve the rule of law.

These reasonable, common sense proposals have the support of a broad cross section of Americans, according to our recent survey.

The president’s proposal also makes it clear he will not allow the DACA recipients to be used as a Trojan horse for the open-borders immigration policy the American people have rejected.

To secure the border, the president wants Congress to construct a wall on the southern border to stop the illicit flow of people and drugs.  

Congress also needs to hire an additional 370 immigration judges, 1,000 immigration attorneys and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. They would ensure the safe and expeditious return of those who arrive here illegally, and discourage illegal re-entries. 

More border protection is widely popular: According to a recent poll commissioned by America First Policies, 76 percent of Americans support increasing the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to protect public safety and national security.

To protect American workers, we must require employers to verify the legal status of those they hire, and stop employers from discriminating against U.S. workers by abusing guest worker programs such as H-1B visas.

We must also protect the wages of Americans and protect taxpayers by limiting the legal entry of high numbers of low-skill immigrants who often go on welfare or compete with our most vulnerable citizens for jobs.  

The opportunity to immigrate to the United States is a great privilege, and we must carefully consider those to whom we grant that privilege. We must begin by providing lawful permanent resident status and citizenship based on merit, financial independence and upward mobility, not simply family connections, as we do today. 

Americans approve of this common-sense measure. Our polling found 64 percent of those surveyed support legislation that would create a point system based on factors such as English-speaking ability, education levels, and job skills to award the 140,000 employment-based green cards that are granted annually by the United States.

If Democrats in Congress refuse to protect our border and the wages of working Americans, it shows they were never serious when they said they care about the nearly 800,000 DACA recipients.

We recently saw House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) get shouted down by a mob of DACA protesters who demanded Congress legalize “all 11 million” illegal aliens.

It seems these protestors said out loud what Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and others in Congress were planning all along. 

Those who reject the president’s reasonable proposals to secure our border, enforce the law and protect American workers are admitting they really don’t care about fixing the DACA problem. 

They are simply using the DACA recipients as a cynical excuse to legislate wide-open borders and a virtually endless supply of cheap labor. 

That’s what their donors want — and precisely what the American people rejected when they elected Donald J. Trump President of the United States last November.

-- Katrina Pierson, Spokeswoman for America First Policies

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