‘This Is A Mass Amnesty Bill, Full Stop:’ Restrictionists Blast White House DACA Proposal

REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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The White House’s newly released legislative framework addressing DACA, funding for the border wall, and chain migration does not satisfy immigration restrictionist experts.

“This is no longer a DACA fix, this is a mass amnesty bill full stop,” Federation for American Immigration Reform government relations director RJ Hauman told The Daily Caller. A White House description of the legislative framework due to be introduced to the Senate Monday says it will provide a pathway to citizenship for approximately 1.8 million illegal immigrants, requests 25 billion dollars for a southern border wall, ends chain migration, and reforms the diversity visa lottery program.

“We’re 1.1 million more illegal aliens than we ever imagined would be a part of this,” Hauman said, noting that the Trump administration’s original rhetoric indicated it would only allow a legal fix for the 700,000 recipients of the DACA program. Former president Barack Obama created the DACA program in 2012 effectively shielding illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and offering them work permits.

President Donald Trump ended the DACA program in September, citing its likely unconstitutionality, and told Congress it had until March 2018 to codify it into law. The president has consistently said any fix to DACA must include a fix for a southern border wall, an end to chain migration, and an end to the diversity visa lottery program.

“Expanding the amnesty beyond DACA beneficiaries is morally dubious. The reason they have a compelling case for amnesty before all enforcement measures and in place and legal immigration curbed is that not only did they arrive here as minors but they voluntarily came forward and provided their information to the government. Those who chose not to do so should not be granted the same extraordinary act of mercy,” Center for Immigration Studies president Mark Krikorian wrote in National Review Thursday evening.

Other restrictionists however took aim at the frameworks repurposing of the diversity visa lottery program which will “reallocate the visas to reduce the family-based “backlog” and high-skilled employment “backlog.”

“Under the White House framework, young-adult illegal border crossers and visa overstayers would get immediate benefits, including, most importantly, the right to compete with Americans in the permanent job market. But vulnerable American workers would get little or no relief from the competition of chain migration for 15 to 20 years,” Numbers USA president Roy Beck said in a statement, adding “even if new applications for chain migration categories are stopped immediately, the framework would allow chain migration to continue for decades by allowing all of the four million foreigners in the waiting list to continue coming.”

Krikorian made a similar point, saying “to wait almost two decades before there’s any reduction in legal admissions is absurd,” and added, “If we’re going to amnesty close to 2 million illegal aliens (and maybe more, since past estimates have proven so woefully wrong), that needs to be offset by immediate reductions elsewhere.”

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Saagar Enjeti