Republican Leadership Must Not Fumble True Immigration Reform

In the immigration playbook, Republicans on Capitol Hill have kicked off their negotiations with a false start.  In typical fashion, their next play will likely be a fumble with a pro-amnesty recovery – negotiating away all of the American peoples’ priorities in their rush to pass something that can make it through the Senate.

Now is not the time to use the old playbook. It’s time for the Republican leadership to seize the opportunity and move past its previously failed tactics.  At Congress’s request, President Trump sent his top immigration reform priorities to the Hill: border security including building the wall, interior enforcement, and the implementation of a merit-based immigration system. These priorities, according to President Trump, put the needs of American families first and must be included in any legislation concerning the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

With 240 Republicans and only 194 Democrats, it seems that it should be relatively easy for Speaker Paul Ryan to marshal his team.  After specifically asking for President Trump’s plan, it is incumbent on the Republican Conference to bring it to the floor and ensure its passage.  The House leadership team has proven that it can move legislation it has deemed a priority, even legislation that will have difficulty reaching the Senate floor.  One thing true immigration reformers will not forgive – Republican leadership bringing an amnesty bill to the floor with only watered-down border security proposals. Especially since Speaker Ryan promised conservative Members he would not bring immigration legislation to the floor that didn’t have a majority Republican backing.

Unsurprisingly, Democrats claim Trump’s plan is a “non-starter.” However, their only plan is one that expands DACA to all 3.4 million illegal aliens who claim to have entered as minors.  They have yet to offer any type of compromise.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have told the American people what they will not accept any compromise, arguing that they want an amnesty bill with no strings attached. It seems Congressional Democrats have short memories.  Congress’s inability to pass the “DREAM Act” on more than 20 occasions and the Gang of Eight bills are the very reason why President Obama issued his executive order and created DACA in the first place.

Growing evidence shows that when open-border advocates are talking about offering amnesty to DACA recipients (the so-called children who came here through no fault of their own) their intentions are actually much broader.  They envision giving amnesty even to those who were not eligible or did not apply for DACA as well as their parents (the ones responsible for bringing their children illegally into the country in the first place). According to a new Center for Immigration Studies Report, each new immigrant brings 3.45 additional immigrants into the country.

However, most Americans support the plan President Trump sent to Congress to put American workers first.  According to a new poll by National Research Inc., and The Polling Company, shows that many of the president’s priorities have 70-80% support. Key findings from the poll include:

  • 71% want companies to offer jobs to American workers before foreign workers.
  • 82% want to increase the sentences for criminal aliens that have been previously deported as well as strengthen the laws against all criminal aliens.
  • By a 2-1 margin, responders favored ending chain migration where immigrants can come to the country because their relatives are here.
  • 76% want more US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.
  • 75% want to target violent gangs including MS-13
  • 64% support a merit-based immigration system that awards points based job skills, ability to speak English, and education.
  • 68% support E-verify to ensure American jobs go to Americans and not illegal aliens.

History has taught us that amnesty begets more amnesty.  It is time for the Republican leadership in Congress to stop always losing yards.  They must tackle our immigration problem. If they can’t stand up for immigration in the national interest, perhaps Republicans should take a knee on amnesty. The only way to truly put Americans first and get across the goal line is to pass a true immigration reform package like the one President Trump sent to Capitol Hill.

About Author


Shari Rendall brings to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) over 15 years of experience in government relations and grassroots advocacy. In her former position, Shari led the legislation department in coordinating lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and briefing congressional and administration staff on a wide range of issues. She has also been responsible for grassroots communications and helping state associations devise their legislative strategies. She began her time in D.C. working on Capitol Hill in the office of former Sen. Bob Smith (R-New Hampshire) as a Legislative Aide.


  1. avatar

    How many times, how many years, did we hear that it would “only” be 800,000 total? But like everything these con artists do, it’s simply a Trojan horse to bring in even more people. You can’t trust them. The Gang of Eight bill a few years ago was little more than a total amnesty with border enforcement nothing more than promises of studies to look at some things that maybe sorta kinda we may do one day, The fact that John McCain was part of the gang of eight is proof it was worthless. He’s the same soft soap artist who gets tough on illegals every election year when he has a primary opponent and then immediately goes back to being as pro amnesty and anti enforcement as Chuck Schumer. Birds of a feather flock together.

    • avatar

      Same back with the indians… we do not own this land forever my little friend……whoever has more kids will in the 1630 where my great had 6 to 10………

      • avatar

        very simple Leland go ahead and make children the only way…wherever I go now I see Asians and hindu Indians…….more than anythings else…n they are having more children you and I together……..