In a fitting boot out the door, lame duck House Speaker Paul Ryan’s amnesty bill, the one he called a compromise, suffered a humiliating 121-to-301 defeat. To rub salt into Ryan’s wounds, the bill he sponsored with Jeff Denham and Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte received 72 fewer voters than the Secure America’s Future Act that included mandatory E-Verify, a program toxic to Ryan and the donor-dependent GOP contingent.
Ryan’s H.R. 6136 would have amnestied at least 1.8 million illegal immigrants, and rewarded them with lifetime work authorization permits and Social Security numbers, as well as other affirmative benefits. Moreover, no significant chain migration cuts would have been made. A $25 billion fig leaf offer to fund a border wall had no tangible guarantees, and future administrations could have scotched it. Amnesty came first, border security later, if ever. In short, Ryan’s bill would translate into more amnesty, more fraudulent asylum appeals and sharp population growth.
A review of the roll call vote shows the depth of the GOP leadership’s commitment to amnesty, open borders, more jobs for foreign nationals and, correspondingly, lower American employment.
Here’s the rogue’s gallery of Ryan-led “aye” voters: Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader; Steve Scalise, Majority Whip; Mike McCaul, Homeland Security Committee Chair; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, House Republican Conference Chair; Ways and Means Chair, Kevin Brady; Appropriations Chair, Rodney Frelinghuysen; Financial Services Chair, Jeb Hensarling; House Foreign Affairs Chair, Ed Royce, and Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Chair, Tim Walberg. The list is longer, but the point is made.
These and others in the GOP establishment are in cahoots with the most extreme pro-amnesty, “aye” voting radicals that include California’s Judy Chu, Illinois’ Luis Gutiérrez, and Wisconsin’s Mark Pocan.
But good news: Congress is finding it harder and harder to defend immigration legislation that gives the spoils to the investor class and leaves wage-earning Americans with the bill.
As always, during the heated, months-long immigration debates, Congress, by calculation, avoided any mention of citizens’ entrenched resistance to amnesty and their preference for much less immigration, most recently reflected in the Harvard-Harris poll which showed that four in five Americans want reductions.
The poll revealed that most Americans want immigration capped at 500,000 annually, less than the annual 1.3 million total. The most effective way to reach that goal is through dramatic reductions in chain migration. Under existing chain migration categories, the U.S. admits, on average, looking at a 10-year period, more than 250,000 employment authorized immigrants each year.
The breakdown in 2016: Parents of U.S. citizens, unlimited numbers, 173,854; unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens and their children, 22,072; unmarried adult children of lawful permanent residents, 16,523; married children of U.S. citizens and their spouses and children, 27,392, and siblings of adult U.S. citizens and their spouses and children, 67,356. In all, the chain migration total reached 307,197 for 2016.
Congress’ willful refusal to reject population growth as a talking point in its amnesty back and forth is its biggest failure. No American will escape the consequences of 88 percent immigration-driven population increases to 441 million by 2065, a 103 million addition since 2015.
Congress is about to leave town, giving the nation a breather. When it returns, mid-term election stumping will begin in earnest. Incumbents and challengers would do well to take the nation’s temperature about immigration before they hit the road – overt amnesty advocacy could be a losing platform.