Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is back to his commitment for more immigration and amnesty for whatever number of illegal immigrants are unlawfully present. The estimated illegal alien population ranges from 11 to 30 million. Graham has teamed up with one of the most hardcore amnesty proponents and his one-time ally, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), on prior S. 744 legislation, dubbed the Gang of Eight bill.
The media, as is its practice, refers to the Graham-Durbin alliance as evidence of bipartisanship. In fact, while the two senators represent different political parties, they’re two peas in a pod when amnesty is the end game.
Graham and Durbin recently met with Jared Kushner, senior White House advisor, amnesty supporter and son-in-law to President Trump. The private meeting among the three covered a variety of immigration-related topics, including how to expedite citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA became the DREAM Act that had essentially the same citizenship goal. But in response to intense and unwavering public opposition, Congress has consistently rejected various DREAM Act versions since Durbin first introduced it in 2001. But recently, the never-say-die House Democrats passed the “Dream and Promise Act of 2019,” the party’s latest effort to provide certain young aliens with citizenship.
Durbin and Graham have similar immigration voting records. During his 35-year congressional career, Durbin has consistently voted in favor of more employment-based visas for foreign nationals, and against more effective border security, against ending chain migration, and against tighter scrutiny over refugee and asylee fraud. Graham also has refused to act to end chain migration, and has routinely over his more than 25-year career in Congress voted to expand visas for overseas guest workers.
Recently, a new bad actor has surfaced to get on board with Graham. Acting Department of Homeland Security Director Kevin McAleenan, an Obama administration holdover whose immigration vision is similar to then-DHS secretary Janet Napolitano, agreed with Graham during a Judiciary Committee hearing that if the Gang of Eight bill had passed, the border would be secure, and the Central American surge would never have happened. Baiting McAleenan, Graham asked if the promised additional border agents included as part of the failed 2013 bill wouldn’t have resulted in greater security. McAleenan readily concurred.
But both Graham and McAleenan have selective memories. As with previous amnesties, the Gang of Eight legislation would only have provided security years after aliens were put on a permanent residency path – if then. Security was the last-minute carrot dangled in front of skeptical Republican senators in order to get their vote.
Moreover, Graham and McAleenan have conveniently forgotten about the Congressional Budget Office’s findings regarding S. 744. The CBO estimated that 75 percent of illegal immigration would continue under S. 744. And that, the CBO continued, should the bill pass, by 2023, 4.8 million new illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children would be unlawfully present. CBO further estimated that approximately 3 million illegal aliens present in 2013 would not opt for legalization. The illegal alien population therefore would have remained at or about the same 11 million as when Graham and his gang partners first drew up S. 744.
The Gang of Eight bill, about which Graham and McAleenan waxed poetic, would have been a disaster for U.S. workers. Over its first decade and exclusive of temporary workers, S. 744 would have allowed in 33 million new workers that would have received lifetime valid employment authorizations.
Graham’s awful pro-alien, anti-American worker history is bad enough. But an alliance among Graham, Durbin, McAleenan and Kushner spells trouble for U.S. workers who yearn for a cohesive immigration policy that benefits citizens and existing legal permanent residents.
Another uphill battle against amnesty and a boatload of work permits for foreign nationals awaits Americans who want immigration to work for, and not against, them.