#1 Text of White House Statement on Immigration Priorities by algernonpj 09.10.2017 18:54


Text of White House Statement on Immigration Priorities
by Neil Munro
9 Oct 2017

Here is the full statement on immigration priorities issued by the White House late October 8.

The immigration-priority list is vague on several issues, such as the scale of the border wall. The list also does not include many popular reforms, such as the large-scale repatriation of illegal aliens, or a reduction to the annual inflow of H-1B, OPT and L-1 white-collar outsourcing workers.

The list does include several features that would help Americans, including a reduction in family chain-migration and a legal requirement that companies use the E-verify system to check the eligibility of job applicants.


Executive Summary

The Trump Administration is ready to work with Congress to achieve three immigration policy objectives to ensure safe and lawful admissions; defend the safety and security of our country; and protect American workers and taxpayers.

BORDER SECURITY: Build a southern border wall and close legal loopholes that enable illegal immigration and swell the court backlog.

Fund and complete construction of the southern border wall.
Authorize the Department of Homeland Security to raise and collect fees from visa services and border-crossings to fund border security and enforcement activities.
Ensure the safe and expeditious return of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and family units.
End abuse of our asylum system by tightening standards, imposing penalties for fraud, and ensuring detention while claims are verified.
Remove illegal border crossers quickly by hiring an additional 370 Immigration Judges and 1,000 ICE attorneys.
Discourage illegal re-entry by enhancing penalties and expanding categories of inadmissibility.
Improve expedited removal.
Increase northern border security.

INTERIOR ENFORCEMENT: Enforce our immigration laws and return visa overstays.

Protect innocent people in sanctuary cities.
Authorize and incentivize States and localities to help enforce Federal immigration laws.
Strengthen law enforcement by hiring 10,000 more ICE officers and 300 Federal prosecutors.
End visa overstays by establishing reforms to ensure their swift removal.
Stop catch-and-release by correcting judicial actions that prevent ICE from keeping dangerous aliens in custody pending removal and expanding the criteria for expedited removal.
Prevent gang members from receiving immigration benefits.
Protect U.S. workers by requiring E-Verify and strengthening laws to stop employment discrimination against U.S. workers.
Improve visa security by expanding State Department’s authority to combat visa fraud, ensuring funding of the Visa Security Program, and expanding it to high-risk posts.

MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM: Establish reforms that protect American workers and promote financial success.

End extended-family chain migration by limiting family-based green cards to include spouses and minor children.
Establish a points-based system for green cards to protect U.S. workers and taxpayers.


END CHAIN MIGRATION: Limit family-based green cards to spouses and the minor children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

Pro-worker immigration reforms would end chain migration to begin providing lawful permanent resident status based on merit, not family connections, and would promote assimilation, financial independence, and upward mobility.
Most low-skilled immigration into the United States occurs legally through our immigrant visa system, which prioritizes family-based chain migration.
Each year, the United States permanently grants green cards to more than 1 million people, many of whose sole basis for entering the United States is family ties.
Chain migration has accounted for more than 60 percent of immigration into the United States over the last 35 years.

POINT-BASED SYSTEM FOR MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION: Establish a point-based system for awarding green cards that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers, encourages assimilation, and ensures the financial self-sufficiency of newcomers.

Only 1 out of every 15 immigrants to the United States are admitted on the basis of skills.
More than half of all immigrant households use one or more welfare programs.
Decades of low-skilled immigration has suppressed wages, fueled unemployment, and strained Federal resources.

ELIMINATE THE “DIVERSITY VISA” LOTTERY: Every year, through the “diversity visa” lottery, the United States awards 50,000 green cards at random to foreign nationals, many of whom have absolutely no ties to the United States, no special skills, and limited education.

The “diversity visa” lottery is susceptible to fraud and is costly and time intensive for the State Department to implement.
The lottery initiates new streams of permanent immigration when the lottery winners, many of whom previously had no ties to the United States, are subsequently able to bring over their extended relatives through chain migration.

SET THE NUMBER OF REFUGEES AT AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL: While the United States is a world leader in accepting refugees and recently has gone beyond historic averages, the refugee ceiling needs to be realigned with American priorities.

Historically, the United States has resettled more refugees than has the rest of the world combined.
One study found that for the price of permanently resettling one refugee within the country, the United States can help 12 refugees resettle in safe zones closer to their home regions.
By better focusing U.S. refugee admissions on the most genuine claims and enhancing our screening processes, we will help combat fraud in the program, enhance our Nation’s ability to welcome refugees, and aid in their assimilation to the American way of life.


COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BORDER WALL: Build a southern border wall and authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to raise fees from the processing of immigration-benefit applications and border-crossings to be used for security and infrastructure.

A meaningful physical barrier on our southern border is vital to prevent infiltration by cartels, criminals, traffickers, smugglers, and threats to both public safety and national security.
In 2006, Congress passed legislation to secure the border with a double-layer fence but the promised barrier was not constructed.
The inability to spend immigration fees on core law enforcement functions impedes security on both the southern and northern borders.

ENSURE PROMPT REMOVAL OF MINORS & RELATIVES CROSSING BORDER ILLEGALY: Ensure the swift return of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and family units by amending current laws that require authorities to release them en masse into the United States.

Every year, tens of thousands of illegal aliens – some traveling with their parents – are caught after illegally crossing the border, only to be quickly released into our country. This is one of the largest loopholes in U.S. border security.

o Approximately 38,500 UACs and 71,500 members of family units have been apprehended at the southern border this fiscal year – the vast majority were released.

Under current law, UACs from countries other than Canada and Mexico are exempt from expedited removal.
Because of these loopholes, few UACs who illegally enter the country are ever returned home.

o The number of UACs removed in FY 2016 represented approximately 4 percent of all UACs released into the country that same year.

END ASYLUM ABUSE: Tighten standards (including the “credible fear” standard), impose penalties for fraud, and ensure applicants are not released while their claims are verified.

Chronic asylum fraud and loopholes allow illegal immigrants to gain quick and easy entry.
Lax legal standards for claiming asylum has led to a backlog of 270,000 affirmative asylum cases with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and 250,000 in the Immigration Courts.
Misguided judicial decisions have prevented the removal of numerous criminal aliens, while also rendering those aliens eligible to apply for asylum and other forms of relief from removal.

REDUCE MASSIVE COURT BACKLOG THAT CRIPPLES BORDER SECURITY: Expand our capabilities to deal with the ongoing crisis of illegal border crossings through expedited removal.

Border security will be impossible as long as we have an immigration court backlog of over 600,000 cases, preventing the removal of illegal border-crossers. It takes an average of 682 days to complete a single immigration case. Proper tools to improve our border security include:

o Expanding and strengthening the expedited removal process;

o Hiring an additional 370 Immigration Judges and 1,000 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorneys;

o Establishing performance metrics for Immigration Judges; and

o Discouraging illegal re-entry by enhancing penalties and expanding categories of inadmissibility.

STOP “SANCTUARY CITIES”: States and localities that refuse to cooperate with Federal authorities should be ineligible for funding from certain grants and cooperative agreements.

While Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) values its law enforcement partners at the State and local levels, there are hundreds of jurisdictions across the country that do not honor requests from ICE to hold criminal aliens who already are in state and local custody, threatening public safety.

STRENGTHEN IMMIGRATION LAW ENFORCEMENT: Hiring an additional 10,000 ICE officers and 300 Federal prosecutors to handle immigration cases will allow law enforcement agencies to uphold our laws and protect public safety and national security.

There are nearly one million aliens with final orders of removal across the country.

o Yet ICE has only 6,000 Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers to cover an immigration system that issues tens of millions of temporary visas every year.

In addition, authorizing and incentivizing States and localities to enforce immigration laws would further help ICE with its mission, and make all communities safer.

END VISA OVERSTAYS: Increasing overstay penalties and ICE’s enforcement tools will help ensure that foreign workers, students and visitors respect the terms of their temporary visas.

Visa overstays account for roughly 40 percent of all illegal immigration in the United States. In Fiscal Year 2016, 628,000 aliens overstayed their visas.

END “CATCH-AND-RELEASE”: Correcting judicial interpretations that have eroded ICE’s authority to keep aliens in custody pending removal, and making detentions mandatory for criminal aliens, will end the practice of catch-and-release and improve community safety.

A 2001 Supreme Court decision requires ICE to release certain removable aliens, including violent criminals, within 180 days if they have not been deported and there is no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future.
In Fiscal Year 2017, 1,666 criminal illegal aliens have been released from ICE custody because of the above-mentioned 2001 Supreme Court decision.

PROTECT AMERICAN WORKERS: Preventing employers from hiring illegal alien labor, and displacing U.S. workers, will improve job opportunities and raise wages for Americans.

The failure to enforce our immigration laws has produced lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers.
We can provide relief to the American workforce by requiring the use of E-Verify and by expanding the definition of unlawful employment discrimination to specifically include the displacement of U.S. workers by nonimmigrant workers.

STOP VISA FRAUD: The State Department and Department of Homeland Security need the funding and flexibility to detect and counter rampant visa fraud.

Expand the State Department’s authority to collect and use fraud prevention and detection fees to combat all types of visa fraud and create a fee mechanism to fully fund the Visa Security Program to facilitate its expansion to all high-risk visa-issuing posts.


#2 RE: Text of White House Statement on Immigration Priorities by algernonpj 09.10.2017 19:04


As expected:

Democrats and Media Sing Together: Pro-American Immigration Reforms Are ‘Poison Pill’
by Neil Munro
9 Oct 2017

Democratic legislators, progressive advocacy groups, and the established media are singing in harmony: President Donald Trump’s list of pro-American immigration reform priorities are an illegitimate “poison pill” created by White House adviser Steven Miller who is eager to sabotage a bipartisan, popular and noble welcome for a modest number of child “dreamers.”

The tone was set by top Democratic leaders, who issued a statement placing the interests of illegal immigrants ahead of Americans, and rejecting the legitimacy of Trump’s call for Congress to implement his election-winning immigration platform:

The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans. The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations. If the president was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so.

The reference to “his staff” is aimed at Miller, whose populist, American-first, advice helped steer Trump to victory in the GOP primaries in early 2016.

The New York Times adopted the same illegals-before-American perspective and the same ‘dreamer’ term for young illegals, saying:

WASHINGTON — The White House on Sunday demanded that lawmakers harden the border against thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America before President Trump will agree to any deal with Democrats that allows the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers to stay in the United States legally.

The New York Times also targeted Miller, saying:

Taken together, the proposals amount to a wish list for immigration hard-liners inside the White House, including Stephen Miller, the president’s top policy adviser, who has long advocated extremely aggressive efforts to prevent illegal entry into the country and crack down on undocumented immigrants already here …

But conservatives in Mr. Trump’s administration, many of whom were advocates of his hard-line immigration rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, are clearly maneuvering to ensure that any deal on the Dreamers also results in passage of the tough immigration enforcement measures and border security enhancements that they have been seeking in Congress for decades.

Politico’s headline, “Trump lists immigration demands that could derail ‘Dreamers’ deal” was followed by the text saying:

President Donald Trump laid out his immigration principles for Capitol Hill on Sunday — a list of hardline policies that could seriously complicate the prospects of striking a deal with Democrats over the future of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants.

Contrary to the Democrats’ tune, Trump’s immigration policies are popular, mainstream and a long way from hardline, according to multiple polls taking before and after his shocking election victory in November 2016.

The pro-amnesty Washington Post used a Politico-style headline — “Trump administration releases hard-line immigration principles, threatening deal on ‘dreamers'” — above a similar article, which began:

The Trump administration released a list of hard-line immigration principles late Sunday that threaten to derail a deal in Congress to allow hundreds of thousands of younger undocumented immigrants to remain in the country legally.

The articles mostly ignored and low-balled the number of illegals who might be given amnesty under the Democrats’ Dream Act plan, as merely “hundreds of thousands.” In fact, the act would offer citizenship to at least three million illegals, and eventually their parents and foreign beneficiaries of chain migration.

The Post buried the administration’s core demand in the last two paragraphs, saying:

“We would expect Congress to include all the reforms in any package that addresses the status of the DACA recipients,” said one White House aide on the conference call who was not authorized to speak on the record. “Other views had their fair day in the democratic process.”

Noting that the Republicans swept the White House and both chambers of Congress in November, the aide added: “The American public voted for the reforms included in this package.”

TV networks followed the same tune:

Washington (CNN) The White House on Sunday night released an aggressive list of priorities for any deal to protect young undocumented immigrants in limbo — a list that could make a deal almost impossible to reach if it is strictly followed …

In the days leading up to the release, there was frustration that demands by top White House policy adviser Stephen Miller during the process could derail congressional efforts to find a legislative solution, a source familiar with the matter told CNN. The source said Miller injected himself into talks between lawmakers and made the issue more difficult by coming to the table with unreasonable demands on behalf of the White House.

As usual, the media outlets ignored the economic impact of illegal and legal immigration, despite multiple economic studies showing that the government-arranged boost in the labor supply reduces the price of Americans’ labor, and shifts a huge amount of the nation’s annual income from employees to employers.

NBC sang along:

The Trump administration Sunday sent Congress a list of tough immigration reforms it would require to be included in any legislation that would allow immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children, known as Dreamers, to remain. The proposals include funding for a southern border wall and are likely to be rebuked by Democrats …

One source familiar with the deliberations described the policies last week as a “wish list” of Trump’s senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, an immigration hard-liner and former Senate staffer for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The pro-amnesty advocacy group, America’s Voice, claimed:

Tonight, President Trump signed off on a long list of poison pill measures that threatens to kill the chances of enacting the Dream Act this year. In doing so, Trump seems to be following the lead of White House advisor Stephen Miller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, both of whom are ardent opponents of anything that would result in legal status for Dreamers …

Trump and the Republican Party are headed towards an ugly outcome. They will go down in history as the architects of one of the cruelest moves in American history: exposing 800,000 American young people to deportation from the country they love to countries they barely remember …

Our nationhood rests on the integration of pluralism, freedom and self-government. And it is because the vast majority of Americans still hold these values dear that we are optimistic that we will overcome whatever obstacles we encounter on our way to becoming the nation we are meant to be.

In the end, we are confident that America will recognize Dreamers as the Americans they already are. The question is whether Trump and the GOP are going to do this the hard way or the easy way.

The ACLU emphasized Miller’s role:

The White House ‘principles’ amount to nothing more than Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller’s Dreamer deportation outline. Miller’s wishlist of anti-immigrant policies is designed to scuttle progress for Dreamers and is afoul with unconstitutional ‘reforms.’

Members of Congress of both parties who want to resolve the status of undocumented immigrant youth should recognize that these policies are a non-starter and get back to work on behalf of the vast majority of Americans who want to get something constructive done instead.

The focus on Miller shifts the debate away from the public’s support for Trump’s 2016 campaign, and it also gives a helping hand to the business-first, cheap-lobby faction which dominates Trump’s economic team. That faction also plays a leading in big-city Democratic politics, including in Schumer’s hometown of New York.

Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.

But business groups have used their political power to tilt the labor market in their favor, via the federal policy of importing 1 million consumers and workers each year. The government also hands out almost 3 million short-term work permits to foreign workers. These permits include roughly 330,000 one-year OPT permits for foreign graduates of U.S. colleges, roughly 200,000 three-year H-1B visas for foreign white-collar professionals, and 400,000 two-year permits to DACA illegals. Universities employ roughly 100,000 foreign guest workers.

That Washington-imposed economic policy of 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.

Americans tell pollsters that they strongly oppose amnesties and cheap-labor immigration, even as most Americans also want to favor legal immigrants, and many sympathize with illegals.

Because of the successful cheap-labor strategy, wages for men have remained flat since 1973, and a growing percentage of the nation’s annual income is shifting to investors and away from employees. The business-funded Hamilton Project suggests that the shift is transferring $1 trillion per year from 160 million employees to the nation’s investors.


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