The omnibus bill that President Donald Trump is reportedly set to sign contains multiple serious flaws that will devastate his agenda on immigration if he signs the bill into law.
The Daily Wire’s Josh Hammer writes that “Trump knows, notwithstanding the fact this amnesty capitulation reveals the shallowness of this White House’s alleged commitment to enacting its immigration priorities, that he will be able to fire off a few tweets blaming Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and thereby keep his base mostly in line.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Thursday that Trump intended to sign the bill and declare a national emergency at the same time, to which Hammer adds: “Even outside an emergency declaration, the President can also simultaneously invoke authority, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 284, to build already-authorized fencing in order to combat the transnational cartels’ drug trafficking.”
Five provisions in the bill, as noted by Conservative Review, provide sufficient reason for Trump to veto the bill.
A key provision in the spending bill being presented to President Trump for signing stipulates that the federal government give specific Texas border counties the opportunity to derail any efforts to build barriers, fencing, or walls by simply opposing the construction of the border security measures–but many of the specified counties have a long and recent history of top officials taking bribes from the Mexican Gulf Cartel. Ultimately, the bill allows county offices with historic ties to the Gulf Cartel to stop U.S. border barriers from being constructed in the region.
Local government officials spoke out against the building of additional border barriers and have relied on the judgment of local law enforcement officials. As Breitbart News reported, the bill being presented to President Trump has a stipulation that would require the approval of local governments in order to move forward with the construction of any border barriers. However, the three counties where the border barriers were expected to be built are Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron–three counties that in the less than 20 years have seen five sheriffs and numerous top law enforcement officials sent to prison for receiving bribes from the Mexican Gulf Cartel, or other acts of public corruption.
Read the full report from Brandon Darby and Ildefonso Ortiz here.
One measure within the bill would prohibit DHS from detaining or deporting a sponsor, potential sponsor, or household member of an unaccompanied minor based on information shared with HHS.
The exemption does not apply to sponsors with felony convictions or charges. Similarly, it does not apply to people linked to businesses that employ minors for less than a legal wage, or that involve prostitution.
Democrats have pushed for such protections to ensure that sponsors who step forward to claim unaccompanied children will not face the threat of arrest and deportation, but immigration hawks say it’s a free pass for undocumented immigrants.
Jessica Vaughan, a policy director with the restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies, said in a tweet Thursday morning that the provision amounted to “de facto sanctuary for anyone near” an unaccompanied minor.
Read the full report from Ted Hesson here.
Unbelievably, the bill also provides largely Left-leaning local public officials in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley with unilateral vetoes over the meager amounts of wall funding that the bill even authorizes. 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.” The bill then specifies that it is “local elected officials” with whom the Department of Homeland Security must consult. Crucially, the bill actually only authorizes fencing for the Customs and Border Protection-designated Rio Grande Valley sector. But the Texas border counties in the Rio Grande Valley sector are generally heavily Democrat-leaning; as Daniel Horowitz laments, “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.”
Read the full report from Josh Hammer here.
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.
Read the full report from Daniel Horowitz here.
5. The Bill Does Not Provide Funding For Needed Hires At ICE And CBP, Limits Detention Ability:
Fox News reports:
But in an attempt to pressure the agency to detain fewer illegal immigrants, Democrats ensured that the bill did not include funding for the 2,000 additional ICE agents requested by the Trump administration, or the 750 Border Patrol agents that were also sought.
Read the full report from Gregg Re here.
The bill includes funding for an average 45,274 detentions beds per day, with the intent to return to 40,520 by the end of the fiscal year, which is the level funded in the last fiscal year, but short of the administration’s request of 52,000 detention beds.
Read the full report from Priscilla Alvarez here.
Here are some of the reactions prominent conservatives are having to the bill: