Issue Report ● Immigration
For Immediate Release: 
June 19, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
For months, Speaker Ryan has promised to address the DACA crisis created by President Trump and allow the House to take action to protect DREAMers. Instead, Republicans are bringing two partisan proposals to the Floor that they know cannot pass in order to derail a bipartisan process that would have allowed the House to work its will.  The Goodlatte proposal is a partisan bill that will never pass the House and the other measure is the GOP leadership’s so-called “compromise” bill that is really no compromise at all. Here are four things you need to know about the legislation:
  1. The bill wastes $25 billion on President Trump’s ineffective border wall.  Both Republicans in Congress and members of the Trump Administration have spoken out against the wall as an ineffective and wasteful measure.
Then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly: “A physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job…. It has to be really a layered defense” [USA Today, 1/10/17]

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX): “I don't think we're just going to be able to solve border security with a physical barrier because people can come under, around it and through it.” [CNN, 2/6/17]

Senator John McCain (R-AZ): “It's not a viable option. If you only build a wall, only a 'wall,' without using technology, individuals, drones, observations, etc., you're not going to secure the border.” [CNN, 2/6/17]

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ):  “A lot of us have been pushing for additional border security funding for a while, but a solitary, 2,000-mile wall has never been a must-have for anybody in a border state.” [Washington Post, 4/25/17

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “The border wall is probably not a smart investment.” [Politico, 3/28/17]

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI):  “I’ve never thought we needed a 2,000-mile wall. We have to use technology…We have to use boots on the ground in some areas. But as we develop this information, it becomes clear what we need to do.” [Bloomberg, 3/15/17]

Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX):  “Building a wall is the most expensive and least effective way to secure the border…”  [The Hill, 1/31/17]

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX): “You have to understand, too, that a 30-foot concrete wall is a very expensive proposition. And there are a lot of other things we can be doing technology wise to make it a smart border that's more effective and more cost efficient” [NPR, 3/12/17]

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX): “Operational control of the border is more important any day of the week than drawing walls” [Sacramento Bee, 9/28/17]

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM): “Building a wall or increasing the number of Border Patrol agents alone will not fix the faults with our border security. We must enforce the laws we have and create a new strategy that will reform the way we patrol and protect the border. It can be cheated. We communicated that we thought it’s not going to work because we see people going under it, around it and over it.” [The Hill, 1/31/17]
  1. Despite Republican claims, immigration experts have confirmed the bill will not end the Trump Administration’s merciless policy of separating children from their parents at the border.
The Republican bill doesn’t outlaw family separation. It doesn’t stop the Trump administration from choosing to prosecute asylum seekers who enter the US between ports of entry (official border crossings) for illegal entry, which results in parents being sent into criminal custody without their children. And it doesn’t even force the government not to separate parents who do present themselves legally for asylum from their children — something that has also been happening, though isn’t as widespread.” [Vox, 6/15/18]

David Bier, immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity: “This bill would not end family separation…As long as that administration policy continues, there will continue to be family separation at the border.” [NBC News, 6/15/18]

Kate Voigt, Associate Director of Government Relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association: “Overall, the bill would be terrible for the children brought across the border by their parents — they could and would still be separated from the parents, they would have less protections than under current law, and they would be subjected to prolonged detention.” [NBC News, 6/15/18]

Philip Wolgin, Managing Director of Immigration at the Center for American Progress: “Kids will still have to be separated,…The only difference is that that if the parents plead guilty they could be put in immigrant detention facilities with their kids more quickly afterwards, or if they're not prosecuted and given a chance to make a case for asylum, they could be detained with their kids indefinitely.” [NBC News, 6/15/18]
  1. The bill includes harsh limits on legal immigration, including ending the diversity visa program and family reunification, which has already been rejected in the Senate:   
Steve Yale-Loehr, who teaches immigration law at Cornell Law School: “Trump should be pretty happy with this bill because it’s pretty close to what he put forth in his four pillars…It’s really not a compromise…There’s not a lot here that will help immigrants, other than putting DACA recipients on a slow path to a green card.” [USA Today, 6/14/18]
  1. And the bill – along with the Goodlatte legislation  – has no chance of being signed into law. The process for bringing these bills to the Floor guarantees that Congress does not solve the DACA crisis.
Speaker Ryan (R-WI): “We can’t guarantee passage.” [NBC News, 6/14/18]

Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX): “I have and will always believe that the only way to permanently address these challenges is in a bipartisan fashion, and, unfortunately, this is not the path we are on.” [New York Times, 6/15/18]

Rep. Scott Perry, (R-PA): Perry “suggested that Mr. Ryan’s time frame was too short, and that holding a vote next week on the compromise measure would not give lawmakers who had not been part of the negotiations enough of a chance to sift through the bill and debate it.” [New York Times, 6/15/18]

“Mr. Trump does not relish the idea of leading the charge for a bill that might not pass, and his advisers have told him that House Republicans — even those who support the legislation itself — may be reluctant to vote for it if they believe it has no chance of passing the Senate.” [New York Times, 6/13/18]
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