Hanging in my office in Washington, D.C., is a famous Charles Schulz cartoon. Once again, Charlie Brown falls for Lucy’s trick, as she pulls away the football and leaves Charlie on his backside. That image captures exactly what happens over and over again in Washington.
Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, tried to fool the American people last week with an immigration bill they claimed would give President Trump $25 billion over 10 years to secure our border in return for legalizing young illegal immigrants who were brought here as children.
The truth is, the Schumer bill was a bad joke. It guaranteed funding for only the first year (so, just 10 percent of what President Trump asked for). Every year after that, funding would be contingent on a report and certification by the Homeland Security Department – a process that is purposefully onerous and difficult to achieve, meaning the money would either be delayed or remain unspent. Furthermore, should a Democrat be elected president in the next 10 years, we know the Homeland Security Department would never seek certification and the money would never be spent.
In return for this pittance, the Schumer bill would legalize 3 to 4 million illegal immigrants -- not just the 690,000 DACA enrollees, but everyone who is eligible for the program, their parents, and many others. So the Schumer bill would legalize a population five times greater than what many Republicans are willing to accept for only about 10 percent of the border money. And Schumer called that a fair deal.
Predictably, the liberal media swallowed Schumer’s talking points, blaming the president for refusing a deal to protect DACA recipients. Once again, conservatives who attempt to compromise are accused of bargaining in bad faith, when the truth is Democrats want porous borders and are using the so-called “Dreamers” as political pawns.
The president has always been clear on the four provisions required to win his signature: border security, ending chain migration, cancelling the visa lottery and a reasonable DACA solution. The Schumer bill only fully addressed DACA, guaranteed just one year of funding for a wall, and completely ignored the other two issues.
The good news is Republicans didn’t fall for the Democrats’ trick. This time, Charlie didn’t let Lucy take the football, to the disappointment of the media.
Even better, there is growing support for a conservative bill that I have been fighting for in the House.
After the Senate failed to advance any bill, the president reiterated his support for the Securing America’s Future Act, which I co-authored with House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Martha McSally, R-Ariz.
In a statement after the Senate theatrics, the president’s press secretary said, “The next step will be for the House to continue advancing the proposal from Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman McCaul.”
Our bill fulfills the promise to fix our broken immigration system and is endorsed by NumbersUSA, the leading advocacy group for conservative immigration reform.
First, we secure our borders, including a southern border wall and other measures. Second, we stop chain migration and eliminate the visa lottery. Third, we boost interior enforcement, including cracking down on “sanctuary cities” and combatting asylum fraud. Finally, we provide legal status for current recipients of the DACA program.
Last week, House leadership took steps to begin moving our bill forward. Nearly 200 House Republicans have committed to support the bill and we’re continuing to work to build additional support.
The next step in this process is clear: We need the House to take action and hold a floor vote on our bill. As my friend, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said: “If the House is going to wait for 60 senators to figure out an immigration bill first, we might as well all go home and take a nap. The House should not wait on the Senate to act. We already have a bill that delivers on the voters' priorities. Let's lead.”
The American people support our approach, according to recent polling. The Harvard-Harris poll found 65 percent support a deal for DACA that ends chain migration, eliminates the visa lottery, and secures the border with a wall. The Securing America's Future Act is the only bill in Congress that does all those things.
We have to get this right; otherwise we put public safety, our economy and billions in taxpayer dollars at risk. I will continue the fight for common sense legislation that protects Idahoans and all Americans. If you’d like to learn more details, click here for a one-page summary of our bill. To read the entire bill click here.