Why accommodate all the extended family members on the waiting list for visas by giving them visas as part of a compromise at the same time that chain migration is ended? That issue was dealt with by the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (USCIR) – the last non-partisan national commission studying immigration reform in the mid-1990s – and its recommendation was to simply terminate those approved applications as no longer valid under the proposed new policy.
Why exclude from a compromise the issue of expanding the E-Verify system that allows employers to verify their new hires are legal workers? The recommendation of the USCIR was the establishment of a national system to more effectively deny job opportunities to illegal migrants. That recommendation has been languishing as a voluntary – rather than mandatory – system for more than two decades. Making the system wholly operational has had bipartisan support in the past.
If the immigration negotiation adopts an amnesty for the DACA beneficiaries, as President Trump unwisely seems prepared to do, it will advertise that sneaking into the country continues to be a viable way to gain permanent residence. If that happens, much more than expanding fencing on the border will be necessary to discourage acting on that incentive. That is the reasoning behind the action of Congress in 1986 to deny jobs to those who come illegally by making it illegal to hire an illegal worker. And, that is why the USCIR tried to put teeth in that job denial system by mandating the identity checking system.
Why object to including the termination of the visa lottery in a compromise deal? That reform has in the past had bipartisan support in legislation and was in the reform legislation approved by the Senate in the last reform negotiations. The lottery serves no obvious purpose other than to increase the number of immigrants who otherwise would not qualify for a visa.
Unfortunately the Democrat leadership and some Republicans are taking the position that illegal aliens and millions of prospective immigrants are a constituency to be served, while ignoring long-term national interests. The issue is not – as critics of immigration limits like to characterize it – an effort to exclude non-white foreigners, but rather an effort to continue the historic open door immigration policy while moderating the level of immigrants so that they do not overwhelm the absorptive capacity of the current residents, create unfair competition to the workforce, and unnecessarily burden the social welfare system.