Looking for a Solution on Immigration

A Republican Bill...
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)

Jan 10, 2018

Bill Includes Interior Enforcement, Border Security, End to Chain Migration, and DACA Fix

Washington, D.C. – House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), House Judiciary Committee Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-ID), and House Homeland Security Committee Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Martha McSally (R-AZ) today introduced H.R. 4760, the Securing America's Future Act. This bill bolsters enforcement of existing immigration law, makes important reforms to our legal immigration programs, secures the border, and provides a legislative solution for the current beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The Securing America's Future Act includes numerous reforms to ensure the enforcement of our immigration laws in the interior of our country. The legislation aims to reduce the number of individuals who overstay their visas, requires employers to use the E-Verify system to ensure that they hire legal workers, and makes it easier to remove individuals who are gang members and other criminals. Additionally, the legislation cracks down on dangerous sanctuary cities by withholding federal grants and prevents fraud and abuse in the asylum system.

The Securing America's Future Act reforms our legal immigration programs by ending chain migration, ending the Diversity Visa program, increasing the number of green cards available for skilled workers, and creating a new, workable agricultural guestworker program for America’s farmers and ranchers.

The bill strengthens the security of our southern border by authorizing the construction of a border wall, investing in new technology, and improving, modernizing, and expanding ports of entry. The bill also calls for an additional 5,000 Border Patrol Agents and 5,000 Customs and Border Protection Officers and requires the use of a biometric Entry-Exit system at all ports of entry.

Finally, the Securing America’s Future Act allows DACA beneficiaries to receive a 3-year renewable legal status, while ensuring that gang members, individuals who have criminal convictions, or convictions in juvenile court for serious crimes are not eligible for legal status.

Below are statements from Homeland Security Committee and House Judiciary leaders on the introduction of the Securing America's Future Act.

Chairman McCaul: Our current border security and immigration system is failing the American people. For too long drug smugglers, human traffickers, and transnational gang members like MS-13 have exploited our vulnerabilities at our borders. It’s time to end this crisis once and for all. This bill offers common-sense solutions that will finally secure our borders, better support our frontline defenders, strengthen interior enforcement, and get tough on those who break our immigration laws. With this President at the helm, we have the opportunity to provide the security and rule of law our founding fathers intended. I am proud to offer these reasonable solutions with my colleagues and look forward to finally solving these challenges in the near future.”

Chairman Goodlatte: Years of lax enforcement policies have wreaked havoc on our borders. Millions of people have been allowed to flout our immigration laws. We can’t let these dangerous and foolish policies continue. 

“With the introduction of the Securing America’s Future Act we have an historic opportunity to fix our broken immigration system.  The only way to reduce illegal immigration is to address both enforcement of our immigration laws in the interior of our country and to secure our borders.  This carefully crafted legislation, which is aligned with the White Houses’ immigration priorities, combines enforcement measures and increased border security to enhance public safety, ensure the door remains open to law-abiding immigrants, and restore the rule of law.

“I thank Chairman McCaul and Representatives Labrador and McSally for working with me on the Securing America’s Future Act and we look forward to working with the Administration and Members of the House and Senate to see these important reforms implemented."

Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Labrador: “The purpose of our legislation is simple: to help President Trump keep his promise to the American people to fix our broken immigration system. Our bill will modernize America’s immigration system for the next generation, enacting conservative reforms that will make our nation strong. These reforms include authorizing funding for the border wall, stronger interior enforcement, mandatory E-Verify, and ending chain migration and the diversity visa lottery. Our bill will also strengthen our economy and create jobs by transitioning to a merit-based legal immigration system that puts the needs of the American people first.

“I want to thank my colleagues – Chairman Goodlatte, Chairman McCaul, and Representative McSally – for joining me in introducing this bill. Should it become law, it will be one of the most consequential conservative bills of our lifetime.”

Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman McSally: Our unsecure border and broken immigration system threaten our country’s safety and prosperity; no one knows this better than Arizona. As if the most recent terrorist attacks don’t stand as reason enough, sophisticated drug cartels, human traffickers, and an opioid crisis all point to the need for action. Now is the time.

“Our legislation finally strengthens America’s borders. It moves us towards a merit-based immigration system. It includes funds for necessary infrastructure, interior law enforcement, a biometric exit-entry system, and an e-verify system for employers so that our immigration laws are enforced. It cracks down on sanctuary cities and focuses on public safety of our citizens like Kate Steinle who was killed by a man deported 5 times. And it also puts more boots on the border and supports our Border Patrol Agents and CBP officers on the frontlines. America is the most generous and welcoming nation in the world, and that will continue. But we won’t be taken advantage of any longer. This bill delivers on what the American people want and what our President has requested, and I urge my colleagues to join us and support it.”

Original cosponsors of the Securing America’s Future Act also include Judiciary Committee Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and House Appropriations Committee Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter (R-TX).

A Bipartisan Approach...
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Jan. 11, 2018

Bipartisan Senators Reach Agreement On Immigration

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) released the following statement after reaching a bipartisan agreement on immigration:

"President Trump called on Congress to solve the DACA challenge. We have been working for four months and have reached an agreement in principle that addresses border security, the diversity visa lottery, chain migration/family reunification, and the Dream Act—the areas outlined by the President. We are now working to build support for that deal in Congress."

A meeting...
Jan. 11, 2018 - Trump meeting in Oval Office where Graham and Durbin presented their proposal; others including hardliners U.S. Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) and U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) were present.  This is where Trump reportedly made his remarks about "shithole" countries.

Reactions to Reported Trump Comments

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 
January 12, 2018 Tweets

6:59 AM
 The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards. Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime.....

7:09 AM
....countries which are doing badly. I want a merit based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level. I want safety and security for our people. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs. I want to fund our military, not do a Dem defund....

 7:20 AM
....Because of the Democrats not being interested in life and safety, DACA has now taken a big step backwards. The Dems will threaten “shutdown,” but what they are really doing is shutting down our military, at a time we need it most. Get smart, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

7:28 AM
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!

7:50 AM
Sadly, Democrats want to stop paying our troops and government workers in order to give a sweetheart deal, not a fair deal, for DACA. Take care of our Military, and our Country, FIRST!

8:48 AM
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Jan. 12, 2018

Durbin Statement On Trump Remarks, Bipartisan Immigration Deal

CHICAGO—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement on his Thursday meeting at the White House to discuss the bipartisan immigration deal with President Trump:

In the course of his comments, President Trump said things that were hate-filled, vile, and racist. He used those words, and he used them repeatedly. I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.

I have a singular mission—to pass the Dream Act. Our deal is a genuine compromise—it addresses all the areas outlined by the President and represents honest concessions on both sides. That is the nature of compromise, and the President and others trying to derail a bipartisan deal do not have an alternative that can earn bipartisan support. We have seven days and the clock is ticking. Our bipartisan group continues to build support for the only deal in town.


U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
January 12, 2018

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt Tabler

Senator Cotton & Senator Perdue Comment on Yesterday’s White House Meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) comment on yesterday's meeting at the White House on negotiations to fix the legal immigration system:

"President Trump brought everyone to the table this week and listened to both sides. But regrettably, it seems that not everyone is committed to negotiating in good faith. In regards to Senator Durbin's accusation, we do not recall the President saying these comments specifically but what he did call out was the imbalance in our current immigration system, which does not protect American workers and our national interest. We, along with the President, are committed to solving an issue many in Congress have failed to deliver on for decades."

January 12, 2018

CASA Calls on Congress to Show Trump's Comments Do Not Represent Americans

WASHINGTON (January 12, 2018) CASA’s Executive Director Gustavo Torres responds to President Donald Trump referring to countries that receive special visas or immigrants from countries with Temporary Protective Status as “shit hole countries” :
“Time and time again Trump has shown us he is a racist, not only through his comments but also through his actions. His immigration and enforcement proposals single out black, Latino and Muslim immigrants and reflect these same racist tendencies at the heart of this comment. It doesn’t matter whether he denies this now or not. What is not in question is that in his mind, immigrants from Norway are somehow more worthy than those of Africa or Central America.  No matter how you slice it, that kind of thinking is un-American and not worthy of the presidency of the United States.” 
CASA in now calling on members of Congress to pass a clean immigration bill that addresses Dreamers and TPS recipients and thus shows this country and the rest of the world that those principles do not represent us as Americans.

CASA is the largest member-based Latino and immigrant organization in the country. We are a national leader in building power and improving the quality of life in low-income and immigrant communities. Our vision is for a future in which diverse and thriving communities live free from discrimination and fear, and work together with mutual respect to achieve full human rights for all. Over its 30-year history CASA has established itself as a strong national leader in innovations for Latino and immigrant-focused services, and backbone organization for collective impact involving com

United We Dream
Friday, January 12, 2018
Adam Luna
Shin Inouye 

National Civil Rights Leaders Decry Raw Racism of Trump

Amidst Principled Negotiations on the Dream Act, Trump Shows That One Value Drives His Decisions Above All Others: White Supremacy

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the raw racism of Donald Trump and those driving his immigration and other policy making decisions were on full display as he called for fewer Black people to be admitted into the United States in favor of white immigrants. This morning, the President doubled down on his comments offering a weak justification for his racist viewpoint.
Today, civil rights and immigrant rights organization leaders offered their perspectives on Trump’s disturbing comments and their call for a return to a principle-driven negotiations on the Dream Act.
Click here for a recording of the call.
Speakers included Vanita Gupta, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Jonathan Jayes-Green, Co-Founder and Director, UndocuBlack Network; Clarissa Martínez-de-Castro, Deputy Vice President, UnidosUS; Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director, The Advancement Project; Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director and Co-Founder of United We Dream; Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP.
Jonathan Jayes-Green, Co-Founder and Director, Undocublack Network, said:
“This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that Trump blatantly disregards people of African descent. But what this does is that it eliminates the ability of Congress to plead ignorance. There is no other reason to scrap the Diversity visa program and providing protections for TPS holders than blatant racism on his part.
“Congress, you have a choice to make: Either side with this racist agenda or protect immigrant communities now. We need a clean Dream Act NOW. We need to protect the Diversity program and we need a permanent solution for TPS holders including Haitians, Salvadorans, Liberia,  Sierra Leone,  Guinea and the rest of nations.”
Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director, Advancement Project’s national office, said:
“When Trump says something like ‘shithole countries,’ he’s devaluing people of color who have contributed to this country for hundreds of years. Our worth is not in question. We need to put this in perspective: Trump is calling for a racial purge. His policies around TPS and DACA would remove more than a million people from the country—mostly people of color.
“The question for Congress, then, is whose side are you on. Congress must act or be considered complicit. It is not enough to condemn harsh words. They must protect TPS holders, Dreamers, and other immigrants who contribute to our country. As we near the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination, we are reminded that history is watching. The moment calls for courage and radical action, not words.”
Vanita Gupta, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said:
“The President's words were simply racist, repugnant, and reprehensible, and they have no place in our political discourse. Congress must prove that America’s founding values and principles are more than words by repudiating the President’s disgusting remarks and passing bipartisan legislation now to protect Dreamers and families covered by Temporary Protected Status.”
Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director and Co-Founder of United We Dream, said:

“This is a moment of moral reckoning for this country. Every single member of Congress must choose: will you pass the Dream Act and act on values of justice, dignity, and the belief that all of us are created equal, or will you stand with white supremacy.

“By January 19th, Congress must pass the Dream Act to protect immigrant youth from deportation and protect families who are protected by the TPS program. We saw Trump’s racism in action just yesterday when a mob of Trump supporters who shouted “white power” and stalked immigrant youth as they traveled to Republican offices through Southern California.  But in this moment we are leading with courage and love, and nothing is going to stop us from this fight, because we know what is right.”
Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League, said:
“President Trump’s crude comments further reveal the repugnant racial motivations behind his administration’s immigration policies. It is incumbent upon Congress to stand firm for American principles and immediately enact bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers. We in the Urban League’s Movement believe, like most Americans, that this nation must remain ‘Mother of Exiles’ and that the ‘tempest-tost’ may seek refuge here.”
Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP, said:
“As I arrive in Los Angeles to celebrate the 49th annual NAACP Image Award, where we'll honor members of the Memphis Sanitation Workers strike of 1968  who demonstrated courage necessary to make democracy work for all. I recognize the current political landscape, a landscape in which the president of this nation lacks the moral courage necessary to lead. He has demonstrated time and time again that he simply cannot grasp the concept of inclusion, the concept of democracy, the concept of respecting an individual’s humanity.  I’ve spoken to Haitian leaders and individuals across the country who are from African nations and the level of outrage I am hearing is a level read about in the history books and during the civil rights movement when African Americans and African descendants felt a level of persecution that no American citizen or individual should feel. Not only should Congress denounce the president’s statements, they should continue to support our history of inclusion and pass the Dream Act.”
Clarissa Martínez-de-Castro, Deputy Vice President, UnidosUS, said:
“What Latinos have witnessed, first on the campaign trail and now in the policies being advanced by this administration, is an all out assault against our community. The President’s comments yesterday continue to provide proof of what underlies that assault, and to unmask the  underpinnings of proposals floated by Senator Cotton, Rep. Goodlatte and Steve Miller: a strategy to weaken the ties that bind us as Americans, by pitting one community against another and demonizing millions in the process. This is an attempt to undermine what the majority of Americans consider one of our greatest national assets—our country’s diversity.
“For America’s Latino community, 9 out of 10 of whom are United States Citizens, the time for shallow condemnation and cringing is long over. Members of Congress who continue issuing statements to distance themselves from racist comments also need to take action to distance themselves from racist policies. The many who have voiced the need to address the plight of Dreamers have a clear decision to make: they can either support serious bipartisan negotiations happening in good faith and achieve a solution by January 19th, or not. There is no gray area here. A failure to stand for a solution is an embrace of racialized policy-making designed to persecute contributing immigrants based on the color of their skin, and in doing so continue to be complicit in the maligning of Latino and Black communities regardless of immigration status. And there is no amount of hand-wringing or excuses that can cover that up.”