On Jan. 26, 2018, the daily e-mail from the White House includes this:
White House releases framework on immigration
The White House released a framework on immigration reform and border security yesterday to support Congress’ effort in the coming weeks to reach a bipartisan compromise.
The framework lays out in clear detail what President Trump expects for any reform bill to earn his signature:
- Border security: The Department of Homeland Security must have the tools to deter illegal immigration, including physical infrastructure, technology, resources, and personnel.
- DACA legalization: The President hopes for legal status to be extended to DACA recipients and other DACA-eligible illegal immigrants, with a 10-12 year path to citizenship based on requirements for work, education, and character.
- Protect the nuclear family: Congress should promote nuclear family migration by limiting family sponsorships to spouses and minor children.
- Eliminate the lottery and repurpose Visas: The current Visa Lottery system selects individuals at random to come to the United States without consideration of skills, merit, or public safety. Our intake system must better serve the national interest.
Superficially, this sounds reasonable, but there is more to say:
- Undocumented residents and smuggling are nothing new; it is unreasonable to expect to prevent this. Reasonable measures are required, but must be humane and cost effective. Immigration agents destroying water left in the desert to save lives is needlessly cruel. ICE agents arresting harmless people in their homes for no reason other than they are undocumented offends our American value of fair play.
- People brought here as children ought to be eligible for legal status without conditions such as work, education, or character.
- There is no compelling reason to limit family sponsorships to spouses and minor children, no reason to favor a nuclear family over extended families.
- The lottery system does serve the national interest by promoting diversity. Our country needs more than foreign doctors and computer programmers; limiting immigration to those with certain education or skills is unreasonable.
Calling something reform doesn’t make it good–the new thing might well be worse.