FAIR on DACA Negotiations: Democrats Operating in Bad Faith, Republican Leadership Lacks Commitment to the Immigration Reform Agenda Voters Were Promised
Rewarding one group of lawbreakers after another is not an immigration policy.
Dan Stein, President of FAIR
(September 13, 2017 — Washington, D.C.) — The following statement by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), was issued in response to growing demands by the Democratic leadership for passage of a so-called “clean” DREAM Act — a broad amnesty that would include millions of illegal aliens — or a legislative solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
“The congressional Democratic leadership has used the DACA class — the so-called “Dreamer” amnesty group — as a political football for fifteen years. In order to pass this bill, the Democrats have to be prepared to accept real tradeoffs that respond to the demands of the American people to see our immigration laws enforced and immigration levels reduced.
Once more we see bad faith: By demanding unconditional amnesty for DACA recipients as well as millions of other illegal aliens who did not even qualify for DACA — while being unwilling to accept anything other than funding for a few more border agents — the Democrats are demonstrating once more that they are happy to just use the DACA class as a political football for partisan advantage. They do this while also demanding immunity from deportation for virtually all other illegal aliens in the United States, otherwise known as de facto amnesty.
“Since the September 5 announcement about DACA by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, congressional Democratic leaders have given lip service to working with Republicans to find a legislative solution, while at the same time making clear that they will reject any proposal that includes building a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border, protection for American workers in the form of mandatory E-Verify, measures designed to prevent or deter future illegal immigration, defunding sanctuary cities, and reducing immigration via the RAISE Act. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin has gone so far as to demand immunity from enforcement for the parents and other relatives of DACA recipients and allow sanctuary cities to continue endangering local communities in violation of federal law.
“These repeated demonstrations of bad faith in negotiations are consistent with a long pattern of such duplicity. Current Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with then-Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden, all voted eleven years ago in favor of constructing border fencing to combat illegal immigration and terrorism. Senator Schumer now threatens to shut down the government to prevent that wall from being constructed. Senator Durbin claims to want to negotiate with Republicans, yet completely dismisses the willingness to consider key aspects of immigration enforcement, including the wall and E-Verify. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has parroted many of the same sentiments. This is ‘let us reason together and do it my way.’
“It is clear that the Democratic Party has become the party of amnesty-only, and has abandoned any pretense of support for sound immigration management. Rewarding one group of lawbreakers after another is not an immigration policy.
“President Trump was elected on a mandate from the American people to put forth a multi-pronged plan for immigration enforcement and legal immigration reform, which includes:
- Passage of the RAISE Act, which will move the nation to a merit-based legal immigration system;
- Senate passage of Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, already passed in the House with strong bi-partisan support;
- Construction of the border wall;
- Increased interior immigration enforcement;
- Mandatory, nationwide E-Verify.
We trust that President Trump will not be so inept as to concede his one area of bargaining leverage — a DACA adjustment program — without gaining major legislative progress on what was a core issue of his entire presidential campaign.
The Republican leadership and President Trump — who was elected on the promise of real immigration enforcement — must now make clear that the price for any consideration of the future status of DACA beneficiaries, and only those who had DACA, is the passage and full funding of decades of broken immigration enforcement promises made to the American people.
“The Democrats have a clear and unified mass immigration agenda. The Republicans — who continue to claim to be the party that supports immigration enforcement — have yet to demonstrate any real commitment to the policy goals laid out by the president.