By FAIR, Special for USDR
The following statement was released in response to the details of the 2017 budget deal that were made public last night, and should be attributed to Bob Dane, executive director, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR):
“Republican congressional leaders failed to deliver on many of the key immigration enforcement promises that helped propel Donald Trump to the White House and convince voters to entrust them with control of both houses of Congress. The art of this new budget deal is nothing to be “happy about” because it is a sell-out to the American worker and delays much needed border security. If the Trump Administration expects to make good on its immigration promises, this current budget negotiation should be a reality check; without forceful leadership from the president, a clear plan to properly resource enforcement, and an unwavering commitment to do so, Congress will continue to under-fund, obstruct, delay and derail needed immigration reforms for the American public.
“Notably, the late night closed-door budget deal provides no funding for President Trump’s signature promise of a border wall. Other provisions of the budget deal effectively sell out the very people who delivered key swing states to him last November, namely struggling American workers who have seen their jobs and wages decimated by bad immigration policies.”
Specifically, the omnibus budget bill includes:
- Authorization of $1.5 billion for border security, but no funding for construction of a border wall, a cornerstone promise of President Trump’s campaign and integral component of regaining control of illegal immigration, drug smuggling and terrorism. The omnibus spending measure, in fact, rescinds $21 million that had previously been authorized for this purpose.
- Reauthorization of the job-saving E-Verify program, but no funding for expansion of the program nor any move to make its use mandatory for all U.S. employers.
- No restrictions on funding to sanctuary jurisdictions that defy federal law and actively impede immigration enforcement.
- Authorization to increase the H-2B cap for low and unskilled guest workers at the discretion of the Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security. Blue collar American workers have been decimated by immigration, outsourcing, and automation in recent decades. Secretary Alexander Acosta has long been an advocate for business’s unfettered access to low-wage foreign labor.
- Reauthorization of the scandal- and fraud-plagued EB-5 program, which has turned into a source of interest-free capital for some American businesses, but has failed to deliver promised jobs to American workers.
“The budget deal hatched by congressional leaders with the consent of the White House amounts to a betrayal of American workers, taxpayers and the security of the nation. The Democratic minority in Congress got away with holding the operations of the federal government hostage – in the form of a threat to shut the government down – to the interests of illegal aliens and to the business lobby that wants to maintain a steady flow of low-wage labor. It was a hollow threat and the Republican leadership and the Trump administration should have called their bluff.”
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country’s largest immigration reform group. With more than 1.3 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.