Immigration reform

Build KindnessOn 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.


About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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6 Responses to Immigration reform

  1. josephurban says:

    Smart border security is essential. While the original wall proposed by Trump is pure theater, I say let them build it. A gigantic waste of tax dollars but it will have a psychological impact on the alt-right. They can ignore data and pretend it works. Of course, a 20 foot wall will be defeated by a 21 foot ladder, but so be it. A make work project that will be built by non-union (largely illegal immigrant) labor. A $25,000,000,000 slush fund for scam artists.
    The DACA folks deserve citizenship. They have already proven themsleves more worthy of being citizens than many folks who are citizens simply becasue they happen to be born here ! They are law abiding. Highly educated. Part of the workforce. Taxpayers. I would like to see them on a fast track of 5 years to citizenship since they have already proven themselves to be of superior character.
    Immigration of family members should be on a case by case basis. No one should be automatically allowed in or automatically excluded. It depends.
    Immigration by merit. How do they decide what “merit ” is? That is the rub. Do we need more computer programmers from India (when many US citizens cannot find work) ? Or do we need more peope willing to do the crummy jobs that US citizens refuse to do? I would be more in favor of bringing in “unskilled” hard working immigrants than the elites from other countries who may have not had to work a day in their lives. The key is bringing in folks who will not compete with US citizens for jobs. And, of course, we need to continue to accept legitimate refugees who are fleeing oppression.
    The framework in the memo is not great, but not awful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. whungerford says:

    If the “framework” were no more than points for discussion, it might be ok. But it is more than that. The first two bullets are ok, but the last two are not points for discussion but concrete demands.


  3. josephurban says:

    Once you get into real discussions there are no “non-negotiable” terms. Especially if Trump and the GOP want that $25,000,000,000 wall slush fund.


  4. whungerford says:

    I believe the Administration hopes to “win” before discussing. One might compare the immigration framework with President Trump’s argument that he facilitated a peace agreement by “taking Jerusalem off the table.”


  5. josephurban says:

    Bill. You may be right. But there is one difference. The Palestinians could not vote on Trump’s wall. The Dems can. Trump needs the wall more than the Dems need to protect DACA . His xenophobic base has put just about all their chips on the wall. The wall is what they live for. For them, support for Trump is based on that Mexico wall. After all, Trump and the GOP have already caved on the CHIP program, giving the Dems what they want and getting i nreturn a 3 week CR extension. I think Schumer outmaneuvered Trump on that one.


  6. whungerford says:

    Reportedly, Senator Schumer rejects the framework for reasons similar to those I gave. Rep. Michael Capuano writes that it isn’t only about immigration, but also about a bad budget. I wish Congress would do justice rather than merely offer to trade bad ideas for good ones.


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