Tags: Barack Obama | Coronavirus | Ebola Outbreak | Immigration | Presidential History | stem | dreamers

Immigration Reform Bogged Down in Budgetary Minutiae

immigration rally or protest

(Joe Sohm/Dreamstime)

By Thursday, 09 April 2020 11:42 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Those residing in the U.S. illegally were granted protections under then-President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are estimated to number between 600- to 800-thousand.

President Trump, who won the 2016 presidential election with support from immigration hardliners. The president has demonstrated a willingness in the past to work with Congress on a long-term solution for these individuals; that is, those whose legal status in America is currently in limbo.

Since its expiration, the question of how to deal with the so-called "Dreamers" post DACA has been a matter of contention down party lines and more recently has effectively been relegated to the back burner as the Coronavirus pandemic dominates the news-cycle.

But with an increasing number of countries shutting down their borders in an effort to contain COVID-19, immigration policy and border security — including finding a permanent solution to the longstanding DACA saga — certainly requires a higher level of priority from a distracted Congress.

Many legislators on the left, who far too often play the "race card" in accusing President Trump of "xenophobia," while unfairly and inaccurately portraying as him having anti-immigrant views, fail to point out that he has actually already shown support for proposals that would grant legalization — and a possibly even a path to — citizenship for Dreamers.

In fact, in January of 2018, the White House unveiled a proposal that would have provided a pathway to citizenship for a whopping 1.8 million illegal residents (2 to 3 times the number of Dreamers) living in the U.S., in exchange for additional restrictions on legal immigration, and $25 billion for improved border security.

The plan was blasted by many conservative activists as "amnesty."

It was also slammed by many Democrats for its price tag, but it had the potential to be a long-term win-win for both parties; conservatives would have gotten the "big beautiful wall," the have long craved.

Liberals could have hit the campaign trail for many elections to come touting their major victory that made the American dream possible for almost 2 million new residents.

With America suffering through what is, and what will remain for a period, a difficult downturn in the economy, some Americans may not be as interested in the fate of the Dreamers. Yet, an incredible opportunity now exists to help restart the economy and solve border security as part of this conundrum, with some slight modifications to the so-called Phase 4 recovery package President Trump has recently been talked up.

As we watch Congress so easily spend trillions of dollars at a record pace, it seems silly to think that the historic 2018-2019 government shutdown occurred due to a dispute over what amounted to less than one-tenth of 1% of the total federal budget.

That was unacceptable.

One thing that all Americans should be learning during the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of border security, and — that political arguments over small sums of money should never compromise national security.

Although President Trump offered a "path to citizenship" for up to 1.8 million illegal residents, I think that number is far too liberal and also think Trump could potentially pacify legislators on both sides with legalization for up to 1 million illegal residents.

The president has the undivided attention of the American people right now.

He can work up public support for this kind of legislation via his daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings.

Regardless of how you may feel about the Dreamers, the 600- to 800-thousand individuals currently falling under such a designation were educated and trained to have the ability to contribute to our society — and workforce — at the expense of the American taxpayer.

Americans have already made this investment, thus, there is really no good argument for deporting them at this juncture.

The extra 200 to 400 thousand can be legalized via a merit lottery, where applicants can apply for legalization based on their special skillset or possible contribution to the country, and be considered to possibly stay in the Unitedd States.

I would additionally propose a merit-based immigration only going forward.

America has been inundated with unskilled South and Central American labor for decades.

This only continues to drive down wages as well as overextend our entitlement system.

I would also offer, that going forward, America should only allow skilled laborers in undermanned fields, particularly in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), to receive temporary work permits and also potentially garner a possible long-term path to citizenship.

Investment-centered citizenship should also be prioritized for those looking to immediately invest in America's private sector.

These remedies, in addition to an increase in ICE agents and other border-centered manpower, will finally solve America's long-standing illegal immigration issue.

Whether legislators, who seem to prioritize bickering and political posturing over minute details and minute sums of money (proportionally) can work this one out remains to be seen.

Julio Rivera is a small business consultant, political activist, writer and Editorial Director for Reactionary Times. He has been a regular contributor to Newsmax TV and columnist for Newsmax.com since 2016. His writing, which is concentrated on politics, cybersecurity and sports, has also been published by websites including The Hill, The Washington Times, LifeZette, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Toronto Sun and PJ Media and many others. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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JulioRivera
Whether legislators, who seem to prioritize bickering and political posturing over minute details and minute sums of money (proportionally) can work this one out remains to be seen.
stem, dreamers, daca
885
2020-42-09
Thursday, 09 April 2020 11:42 AM
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