Did Trump accidentally sign de facto AMNESTY into law with the budget compromise?

So some of the people who want better enforcement against illegal immigration are criticizing Trump for signing the immigration compromise bill because they see “de facto” amnesty in it. De facto, for those who need it, means not formally or specifically implemented, but practically in force.

Here are some examples:

Sooooo is there any truth to this? Well it sounds like there IS a provision for sponsors or potential sponsor of unaccompanied children. That definitely seems like a loophole that some might abuse for very ill ends, to help illegal immigration at best, and child slavery at worst.

Here’s the counterargument – it’s from a DHS official who says this provision is being mis-represented:

That ‘amnesty’ claim is based on section 224 of the budget — which appears, on first glance, to block the deportation of many people who are illegally in the U.S.

That’s because it states that no funds may be used to detain or deport any “sponsor” or “potential sponsor” of an “unaccompanied alien child.” It adds that even any “member of a household” of a “potential sponsor” is now immune from deportation.

But a DHS official told Fox News that terms like “potential sponsor” have precise meanings in Department of Homeland Security regulations — meanings that severely limit the number of people the budget keeps safe from deportation.

For example, to be a “potential sponsor” according to the DHS regulations, one must file significant paperwork — such as showing ID (U.S. or foreign) and proof of residency. The adult applying must also submit documents about the child.

Further, because the bill only applies to kids who are unaccompanied, it does not provide protection for those bringing kids into the US.

That would significantly limit the number of people to whom the no-deportation provision applies.

This is the key explanation:

The section was added to ensure that people coming to pick up kids in custody did not find themselves deported for showing up to pick up the kid.

OK, that kinda makes sense. Whether you think that’s a good idea or not, it doesn’t sound like it would apply to millions.

Here is the counter-argument to the counter-argument:

“We still have some serious concerns about the provision,” Chmielenski told Fox News. “It still protects these sponsors and/or relatives who make it into the US. That’s not a precedent we should be setting.”

He noted that, despite the paperwork DHS demands of someone to become a “potential sponsor,” some might still try to game the system and that it could still encourage “unaccompanied” kids to be sent over the border.

Here’s ANOTHER issue people had with the bill – it has to do with a provision saying local authorities could veto the building of the wall in their jurisdiction. Ann Coulter is especially fond of this argument.

Here’s the counter-argument to that:

But the DHS official told Fox News on background that the exact language in the budget — “confer and seek to reach mutual agreement” – nowhere requires the federal government to actually reach an agreement before building fences.

Rather, it just requires DHS to consult with local governments – something DHS already generally does, the official noted.

Again, here’s a counter-argument to the counter-argument:

Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies, says he remains skeptical.

“I hope DHS is right, I just think it’s wishful thinking,” he told Fox News. “Do you really want to bet that a judge won’t read that differently?”

But Trump allies say that the information from DHS shines light on why Trump ultimately signed the bill after reviewing it. Some warned about “disinformation” on Thursday.

“Just spoke with the White House. There will be NO Amnesty and NO path to citizenship,” Sebastian Gorka, a former deputy assistant to President Trump and a Fox News contributor, tweeted Thursday.

Yeah I dunno, Gorka is not the most trustworthy pundit on this kind of stuff. One of the things that this argument depends on is that Trump is a careful reader of bills and understands the subtle nuances of immigration law. Ahem. I have very little faith in the truth of that premise.

But there you have it, those are the biggest critiques against the immigration legislation that Trump accepted. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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35 thoughts on “Did Trump accidentally sign de facto AMNESTY into law with the budget compromise?

  1. It doesn’t matter how people “think” Section 224 should be interpreted. What matters is that the wording is such that a future Democrat President can use it for UNLIMITED AMNESTY. Trump signed the country’s death warrant.

  2. I am also concerned the bill enables child trafficking. Signing this bill may/will be Trump’s biggest blunder.

  3. If we’re depending on Kirstjen Nielsen‘s DHS to interpret this bill, we are truly in trouble. Another p!ss poor hire from our coin toss POTUS.

  4. Wouldn’t traffickers take a cue from all the misinformation swirling around to think it really does give amnesty to then rev up their business? It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  5. Dems can always find a judge to interpret things the way they want. Our second amendment rights are pretty clear and yet they are always chipping away at it. Not to mention that we have very clear and specific laws on immigration and they are always ignored. Illegals as foreign citizens from other countries are given protection under our constitution that Americans citizens are denied. Now we are being old that illegals can drive drunk and it is not a crime for them. Let a citizen drive drunk and see what happens to their life. You give dems even an inch and they take a mile. Now even a man isn’t a man and a woman isn’t a woman because the dems say so. Trump really screwed up on this one. He had the veto and he could have used it. Let them over ride it or let the government shut down. No one should negotiate with people who are recommending infanticide. If they will go there they do not care about the language of your bill. Trump did not fight and I have lost respect for him over that.

  6. Ah, no wonder. I just spent 2 days looking into this and several hours writing up my findings in the thread aboud the Dems planning a new bill to block use of emergency powers to build the wall.

    First I examined the relative permanence of these provisions
    Bottom line, they aren’t fully part of US Code. So they aren’t necessarily a feature of the law as much as they are considered enforceable as law until the period expires.

    Next, I dealt with the “only 55 miles of barrier and besides, mayors get a veto,” claim…

    Bottom line, it’s not the unbroachable hurdle some are claiming. Trump can just lean on those officials with 2 major levers:
    1) He has pre-authorized funds he can use to go around them and build anyway. Also, his so-called “emergency” funds.
    2) Do you want to be the only place in 50 miles where there’s no barrier?

    Then I dealt with the human traff*ckers…

    Bottom line…

    section 224(b) puts in exceptions for human trafficking. The critical word in there is “pending.” If you read it as including *suspected* traffickers, then it includes them all.

    So Republicans still stink for letting this garbage bill sail through, but it’s not nearly as bad as people are shrieking about.

  7. Please, can we stop on the “it gives amnesty” argument already. Read the language in the bill. As I posted yesterday, the section says that DHS may not “place in detention, remove, refer for a decision whether to initiate removal proceedings against a sponsor, potential sponsor or member of a household of a sponsor or a potential sponsor of an unaccompanied alien child (as defined in Section 462 (g) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 279(g) based on information shared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.” (emphasis added).

    The section only applies if the knowledge/information that the “sponsor, potential sponsor or member of household” was illegal came from HHS. If it came from any other source, this section does not apply.
    The background about this provision is because DHS took over collecting fingerprints from potential sponsors from HHS, and then issued a notice in the federal register that those fingerprints would be shared with ICE and be used for immigration purposes. https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/dhs-hhs-information-sharing-and-ice-enforcement-against-potential-sponsors-detained.

    Even Kirkorian’s Center for Immigration Studies grudgingly admits that this only applies for information supplied to DHS by HHS. “Under its strict terms, ICE could still place “a sponsor, potential sponsor, or member of a household of a sponsor or potential sponsor” of a UAC into removal proceedings if ICE were to obtain information about the removability of that alien from some other source other than HHS,” https://cis.org/Arthur/Worst-Provision-Funding-Bill

    CIS then tries to claim that it would be “unusual” for DHS to know somebody was subject to deportation other than from HHS, which is ridiculous. There were only 170 cases where this was even an issue (ie, the info about the person being illegal coming from HHS) in 2018. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/ice-arrested-170-immigrants-seeking-sponsor-migrant-children-n946621

  8. “…depends on is that Trump is a careful reader of bills and understands the subtle nuances of immigration law.” — Soopermexican

    No it doesn’t. You think Trump is sitting in a room by himself reading line by line of all the bills put on his desk? He’s not. He has dozens of lawyers and advisors that give him the ins and outs.

  9. It also says that ICE can’t deport these people based on information provided to DHS. Which is to say it’s primarily an information-sharing provision.

    It’s funny, when I tried to explain this here a few days ago everyone told me that I was an idiot…

  10. It also says nothing can be built while they ‘seek agreement’. The process of trying to get such agreement can go on indefinitely.

  11. What I think? … The law will be manipulated… interpreted… in such a way that proves both Kaus and Krikorian right.

  12. What everyone here is missing, and RS poster Greg brought up several days ago, is that the Senate passed the spending bill 83-16, and the House passed the bill 300-128. Those are veto proof majorities. The Senate would need 66 votes to override a veto, they had 83 yes votes. The House would need 287 yes votes to override a veto, and they had 300 votes. What part of “veto proof majorities” is everyone here missing.

    No doubt some would have loved Trump to veto the bill anyway, just to send a message that he is really serious about border security. He would then have watched the House vote to override his veto, and then the Turtle would have held another vote in the Senate where it would have been a complete embarrassment to Trump to have his veto overturned. Would that outcome have been worth it?

    From what I’ve read, McConnell told Trump that he would support his Emergency Declaration, if he signed the spending bill into law. That is yet to be determined as there are a number of Republican Senators who are opposed to Trump declaring the crisis at the border a National Emergency.

  13. Why do the Ds hate Trump so much for? They’re still dictating everything in Washington, even though they only control 1/3 of government.

    The feckless Rs evidently don’t plan on much for the American worker.

  14. What was successfully planted in that onerous, insane, BS bill were cracks and gray areas. So much so that there can be NO DOUBT that democrats WILL exploit it to their advantage. BANK ON IT!

    Congress in general and the minions of darkness, no longer writes clear, clean legislation. EVERYTHING is hundreds of pages long and laced with pork or enough “wiggle room” to where the bill is either a foot in the door or it has to be interpreted in the courts.

    Trump BLEW IT by signing this crap. Only time will prove just how badly he blew it.

  15. I think it’s pretty clear that the best thing for Trump would be a conservative primary challenge in 2020. He’s moving way too far to the left.

  16. “Gorka is not the most trustworthy pundit on this kind of stuff”. Or ANY kind of stuff. The man is a weasel

  17. “..must file significant paperwork — such as showing ID (U.S. or foreign) and proof of residency.”

    Showing a foreign ID, easily forged by cartels and Jihadis, is significant paperwork?!?!

    Remember, these are the same bureaucrats and leftists who argue showing a photo ID to vote is discriminatory and “too much of a burden” for minorities.

  18. Accidentally? Sorry, it was an accident? The Rinos and Loons close to him who relies on, lied and Trump needs to out them….

  19. Read the actual bill for yourself:

    page 29, https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20190211/CRPT-116hrpt9_u2-.pdf

    SEC. 224. (a) None of the funds provided by this Act or any other Act, or provided from any accounts in the Treasury of the United States derived by the collection of fees available to the components funded by this Act, may be used by the Secretary of Homeland Security to place in detention, remove, refer for a decision whether to initiate removal proceedings, or initiate removal proceedings against a sponsor, potential sponsor, or member of a household of a sponsor or potential sponsor of an unaccompanied alien child ( as defined in section 462 (g) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 279(g))) based on information shared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    “Potential sponsor” is not defined by law (https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/hr_5005_enr.pdf). “Unaccompanied alien children” is not defined by this law either.

    They say “potential sponsor” is defined by regulations. Who writes the regulations? Who interprets them?

    The fact is, today, asylum applicants are coached on exactly what to say and do to gain asylum. This is the same type of loophole. DHS can claim it is narrowly defined even as the law makes it as vague and as broad as possible (really, anybody even in the residence of a UAC?!?!?), however, if MS-13 members and human traffickers know the magic words and have the right documents, they still have an absolute defense against deportation.

  20. Should not have signed the bill, if he wasn’t getting what he wanted as far as wall and funding, he should have simply gotten it removed from the bill and pass a budget on all the other issues. This is like when he signs a bill that funds planned parenthood, but then goes and gives a speech saying he will somehow not actually fund them. If you don’t want to fund them, if you don’t want whatever is in the bill, do not sign the bill. If they override your veto, fine. That is on them, however I can’t see the GOP ever really going for overriding the veto of a “GOP” President.

  21. The President made a statement laying out that the bill contains language that is contravened by his enumerated powers and he will interpret those sections in light of that, in other words the language in the bill is not binding.
    How does no one understand what an appropriations bill is? This is nowhere near the end of anything like some try to make it. It’s not like the constitution got changed by it..

  22. Thanks for providing this clarification, Sooper. I still think he didn’t need to sign it, and I’m still trying to figure out just why he did.

  23. Who should I believe; RINOs and Trumptards or my own eyes.

    I’ll take my “own eyes” for $800 Amnesty Alex!

    The way the law is written (go read it, it’s worse than Gorka will ever tell you), it makes it almost IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to be deported if they are claiming that they are or in the process of sponsoring a child requesting asylum. DHS is no more than spinning for Trump in that regard. The law is horrid. Ann Coulter is correct, it’s the Californication of America.

  24. I’m not buying it. As it is now, one illegal alien child entitles the whole household to food stamps, welfare, housing, medicaid and obamaphones. Illegals have no problem filling out the paperwork for that so why would “potential” sponsors have any qualms about a few more forms…

  25. Look, if I don’t get my wall by this time next year, I’m not going to get re-elected. So shut up. This is what winning looks like idiots. Go back to your moonshine and sister-banging and just trust me.

  26. I distrust the man who claims he can always make a deal. Democrats in congress are different than the landowners who he wanted the property of, etc.

  27. There are so many half truths and outright lies about this bill.
    Yes, it’s another bill from congress that is bad.
    No it hasn’t legalized illegals and nor is it the downfall of Trump(How often did that happen now?)

    It’s an appropriations bill that only pertains to the money in it until september.
    Did anyone read this statement from the WH on all the rumors?
    Most of the language has no consequences.

  28. I find it interesting all this complaining about the constitutionality (particularly from Republicans) of this or that. Whether Trump has the authority or not. Yet were quiet as church mice when Obama ran rip shot over the Constitution 7 or 8 times during his time in office. Let alone the spying scandal committed against Trump.

  29. the meaning of these words will play out in court and defined, just as the word “IS” was…

    In the meantime I’m looking forward to seeing all those combat engineers / Cbee’s and contractor installing miles and miles of BARRIERS!

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