As I wrote yesterday, I was really hoping that Trump wouldn’t sign this terrible border bill that both Republicans and Democrats offered up to Trump. But as we all know, he did.
It reminds me of early 2017, when Trump was offered an Obamacare ‘repeal’ by RINO Republicans that didn’t really repeal Obamacare at all, but yet he was ready to sign it and proclaim the end of Obamacare.
This is much the same way. The bill is terrible, yet Trump signed it anyway just to get the 1.375 billion that was being offered to him. He could have vetoed the bill and still proclaimed a national emergency, forcing legislators to override the veto itself or make it better. But Trump, for all his talk, was done fighting for everything except the money to build the wall (which we desperately need).
Before Trump signed the bill, Daniel Horowitz wrote a summary of several of the most egregious parts of this border bill:
1) Less of a wall than even what Democrats already agreed to: Trump originally demanded $25 billion for the wall. Then he negotiated himself down to $5.6 billion. Democrats balked and only agreed to $1.6 billion. This bill calls it a day at $1.375 billion, enough to construct 55 miles. But it’s worse than that. This bill limits the president’s ability to construct “barriers” to just the Rio Grande Valley sector and only bollard fencing, not concrete walls of any kind. There’s no ability to adapt. Furthermore, section 231 prohibits construction even within the RGV in five locations that are either federal or state lands. Remember, the challenge with building a wall in Texas is that, unlike in other states, the feds need to navigate issues with private lands. The first place you’d construct fencing is on public lands, which are now prohibited. The national parks along the border have gotten so bad that park rangers are scared to travel alone in them.
2) Liberal local officials have veto power over wall: Actually, on second thought, it’s likely that not a single mile of fence will be built. Section 232(a) of this bill states that “prior to use of any funds made available by this Act for the construction of physical barriers” the Department of Homeland Security “shall confer and seek to reach mutual agreement regarding the design and alignment of physical barriers within that city.” With whom must the feds consult? “The local elected officials.” Now you can understand the brilliance of limiting the wall to the Rio Grande Valley. These are the most liberal counties on the border (thanks to demographics of open borders itself!), and there is practically no local official who supports the wall in these counties.
What are the consequences? This bill stipulates that “Such consultations shall continue until September 30, 2019 (or until agreement is reached, if earlier) and may be extended beyond that date by agreement of the parties, and no funds made available in this Act shall be used for such construction while consultations are continuing.” Thus, all the Beto O’Rourke type of politicians in that region have de facto veto power. There’s a reason why they didn’t authorize fencing in conservative counties like Cochise and Yuma in Arizona.
3) This bill contains a blatant amnesty for the worst cartel smugglers: Section 224(a) prohibits the deportation of anyone who is sponsoring an “unaccompanied” minor illegal alien – or who says they might sponsor a UAC, or lives in a household with a UAC, or a household that potentially might sponsor a UAC. It’s truly difficult to understate the betrayal behind this provision. One of the driving factors of the invasion is the misinterpretation of the UAC law. Under current law, Central American teenagers are only treated as refugees if they are A) a victim of “A severe form of trafficking” and B) have no relatives in the country. Yet almost all of them are self-trafficked by these very illegal relatives who are indeed present in the country. Rather than clamping down on this fleecing of the American people, the bill gives amnesty to the very people paying the cartels to invade us!
4) More funding to manage and induce the invasion rather than to deter it: While offering no new funding for ICE deportation agents or immigration judges to speed up asylum claims, as the president requested, this bill adds another $40 million for the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program, which moves asylum seekers to facilities in the interior of the country, where they are usually released. Vaughan, who has studied interior immigration enforcement for decades, warned that “this bill will further expand and institutionalize the catch-and-release policies for those arriving illegally at the border from all over the world.”
What are the effects of the ATD program? “Most of these people have no intention of asking for asylum and know they don’t qualify for it, but are simply joining the illegal population, knowing it’s unlikely that they will be deported. The bill funds ‘case management’ staff to keep tabs on those who don’t abscond immediately, but no money for ICE officers to find and remove them. This is going to saddle the communities that have been forced to absorb these new arrivals with billions of dollars of future costs for schooling, health care, and other welfare services.”
5) Doubling low-skilled workers: This bill (p. 1,161) doubles the number of H-2B non-agricultural, unskilled seasonal workers who will continue to be a public charge on America. This gives you a glimpse of what is driving this amnesty bill on the Republican side.
Horowitz points out that the bill undermines Trump’s own declaration of a national emergency, arguing that the “bill will likely override Trump’s executive powers because of the sneaky limitations on wall construction”.
He also adds that if Trump signs this terrible bill, that he doesn’t deserve reelection.
This is a big reason why we so heartily backed Ted Cruz in the primary of 2016, because it was clear even then Trump didn’t have strong values that he was beholden to and that he would likely govern as a milktoast RINO president.
That’s not to say Trump hasn’t done some great things. And if he does manage to get the wall built, that will be a huge success.
But after hearing him lambaste Democrats for months and months about our terrible border policies and loopholes, and then for him to sign a bill like this that creates more loopholes, only proves that he’s not really serious about fighting Democrats the way they need to be fought in order to defeat them. And clearly, neither are Republicans.