Dead on arrival.
That's what happened Friday to a so-called "landmark" immigration bill that finds itself nearly killed off by a single Donald Trump morning tweet: "Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solve this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!"
The "compromise bill" being led by House speaker Paul Ryan intends to grant young "Dreamer" immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children a chance for citizenship — a move that is being ripped by hardline Republicans as the biggest amnesty in America's history and is probably a big reason why Trump is walking away from the bill, although it's not the only one.
This also means US based foreign workers who are waiting to see their issues of long Green Card waits and protections for children who are aging out on temporary visas handled in this omnibus bill are in for yet another disappointment. Ever since Trump pulled the plug on temporary protections given by the Obama government to illegals - popularly called Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) - the immigration storm in America has revolved around illegals although the stuffing in the bill itself contains issues of multiple cohorts including legal immigrants.
Every time the immigration bill gets shot by a Trump tweet, multiple groups (including perfectly legal cohorts who have gone through years of due diligence processes) suffer because of the dominant narrative of illegal immigration being the poison pill.
Just as high level background, here's what's inside the many hundred pages of the compromise bill:
- It allows some Dreamers a meandering pathway to citizenship by allowing them to apply for a six-year work authorisation and then for green cards.
- It allows the government to lock up kids but with their parents, rather than separately.
- It promises more than $16 billion for Trump’s border wall.
- It eliminates the diversity visa lottery and limits certain family-based visas - which hard-liners call “chain migration” and claim, wrongly, that it allows unlimited number of family members to migrate to the US.
- It rolls back protections for asylum seekers and narrows the application criteria.
- It would also allow the children of temporary foreign guest workers and “anyone who has a ‘contingent nonimmigrant status'” to apply for a pathway to a more permanent status in the US.
- Children of E1, E2, H1B and L workers who have come into the country legally and been here for 10 years and on a legal status at the time of applying are eligible, from what we gather so far.
Of all the above, the first provision (DACA) is turning out to be the deepest cut for hardliners. To them, the mechanics are both simple and ridiculous: They believe the Obama government went horribly wrong in providing temporary protections for illegals under the DACA executive order and if these same DACA folks are given a pathway to citizenship, it amounts to open borders and implicitly a greater threat to white identity.
This is where Trump comes in. He is running on extreme vetting, merit based immigration, tough borders and a "big, beautiful wall" along the US-Mexico border. For him to sign off on a Republican bill that grants a path to citizenship to people who were sneaked into America just doesn't cut it.
Even more crucial in an election year: If the immigration issue is 'fixed', then how do you keep the base fired up?
Midterm elections are due November this year. Despite Trump's prediction of a "Red wave", Republicans are facing an uphill battle this November as they seek to hold control of the House and Senate.
Headwinds from a chaotic presidency and a wave of retirements in the House have put the GOP majority at risk in both the House and Senate. Democrats face a more challenging map to retaking control in the Senate, with the GOP eyeing pick-ups of seats in states Trump carried in 2016.
Calling Democrats "obstructionists" and accusing them of not caring about border security, Trump tweeted Friday that voters need to elect more Republicans.
"Even if we get 100% Republican votes in the Senate, we need 10 Democrat votes to get a much needed Immigration Bill," he said referring to the supermajority rule for any lawmaking effort to find closure.
Speaking to news networks, Newt Gingrich foretold the failure of the immigration legislation effort more than 24 hours ago: "There's no way a comprehensive bill will pass. By its very nature, the multiple demands weigh it down. Piecemeal is the only way to do this."
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Updated Date: Jun 23, 2018 02:42:23 IST