Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, offered seven recommendations to President Donald Trump to further the president’s agenda on border security and immigration.
Vaughan offered her remarks on Monday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Patrick Courrielche.
1 – TAKE ON REMITTANCES
Given the billions of dollars sent annually to Mexico and other countries south of the border from aliens working illegally in the country, Vaughan advised the Trump administration to consider options against this outflow of money. She speculated that this would offer the Trump administration leverage in pressuring Mexico and other Central and South American countries to assist in halting the flow of migration to the United States.
“[Migrants] are sending money home to help support their families that they separated themselves from,” said Vaughan.
Vaughan said, “One of the main reasons that these other countries — Mexico included, but also Central America — have really not lifted a finger to interfere with this movement of people to the United States is because they send so much money home, billions a year. Some of it from legal immigrants, but a lot of this money is, frankly, ill-gotten gains of illegal workers, and money and wages that have been denied to American workers and money that is flowing out of our economy and circulating through it to boost our economy.”
Vaughan added, “This is a substitute for an economic policy in some of these countries, and it’s a lame economic policy. Let your citizens go to another country to work so they can send money back. iIt doesn’t help the countries, ultimately, and it’s just a poor excuse for true economic development and improving the quality of life for their own people. Unless we put some pressure on them to try to slow down these remittances, they’re not going to change. They’re not going to lift a finger to stop it. They have no incentive to.”
“We also need to make it Mexico’s problem to the extent that we possibly can, forcing Mexico to deal with this,” continued Vaughan. “They can no longer just look the other way as people stream north, and Mexico never cared. I’ve been told this by Mexican immigration officials before. They don’t care as long as they know the final destination of these migrants is the United States. So we’ve got to make them care. Putting some pressure on remittances is one way.”
2 – FORCE MEXICO TO SIGN A SAFE THIRD COUNTRY AGREEMENT
Vaughan explained in April of 2018 how the Safe Third Country Agreement — a Canada-U.S. treaty — allows America to return asylum-seeking migrants to Canada who entered the country via Canada:
The agreement we have with Canada, it’s called the Safe Third Country Agreement. People can’t asylum shop. We’ll return people that are trying to gain asylum and were turned down in another country. People can’t come through Canada to get to the United States. We’re allowed to send them back to Canada. If somebody from Pakistan tries to come to the United States via Canada, claiming asylum, we can return them to Canada and vice versa. We do need that kind of arrangement with Mexico. … If they come to the legal port of entry, we do not have to grant them admission. We can give them a fair hearing, but if we determine that their claim is not credible, then we’re under no obligation to let them into the country.
Vaughan recommended seeking avenues of political pressure to incentivize Mexico to sign a treaty similar to the aforementioned agreement.
“It’s just a matter of finding the right leverage,” said Vaughan, “and if that is tariffs, go for it. If that is squeezing remittances, go for it. If there are some other levers that we have with Mexico, we should use them. It’s that important to our country at this point in time to stop this and change the dynamic.”
3 – HIRE OFFICIALS UNAFRAID OF LEFT-WING MEDIA
“I think [Donald Trump] does have the tools [to implement his immigration and border security agendas],” determined Vaughan. “I think he needs to get people in place who are going to use them, and not be afraid of what the New York Times writes about them.”
Vaughan’s comments came in the context of a discussion about former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen’s Saturday resignation. Nielsen, determined Vaughan, was “actively working against the presiden,t” along with her closest staffers who were similarly “trying to undermine” Trump’s immigration and border security agendas.
In October of 2018, Vaughan also advised Trump against worrying about political pressure from left-wing and partisan news media outlets: “The president is going to have to do what is necessary, and not worry about what the New York Times thinks.”
4 – MAKE E-VERIFY MANDATORY FOR EMPLOYERS
Vaughan said, “E-Verify is growing every single week with more and more employers enrolling in it. I think it’s growing by about a 1,000 employers signing up every single week. It’s a great system, It’s free. It’s effective. It’s not perfect by itself, but it really does a good job at helping employers avoid hiring illegal workers and detecting illegal workers. It also has a deterrent effect when illegal workers know that an employer uses E-Verify. A lot of time they just don’t even apply there. They try to find somewhere else. It works, but it’s never going to work up to its potential unless it’s mandatory for all employers to use it.”
Vaughan added, “There’s some debate as to whether this can be implemented by executive action because of the authority the president has to set up a system of verification of authorization to work, or whether it would require congressional action. If the president can’t require everyone to use it, he can certainly require an expansion of the number of employers that have to use it, and that should be done.”
5 – STOP ISSUING WORK PERMITS TO MIGRANTS WITH PENDING ASYLUM APPLICATIONS
Vaughan explained how migrants with pending asylum applications are often issued work permits.
“All these people who lie — they say they have a fear of return and then just join the illegal population, never submit an asylum application, and never show up at their hearing — are working illegally,” stated Vaughan. “A lot of these asylum applicants get a work permit. Once their asylum application has been pending for 180 days, they’re entitled to apply for a work permit, and most of them get it.”
Vaughan remarked, “Half of them will pursue an asylum application because they know they can get a work permit. The work permits are the shadow immigration system. It is one huge back window into [America]. It’s not legal status, but it gives you the ability to live here as if you’re here illegally because you have the work permit. Once you have the work permit, you get the Social Security number, and then, at that point, you’re home free, because the Social Security number, that unlocks everything.”
6 – KEEP DETAINED FAMILIES TOGETHER TO PREVENT ABSCONDING
Vaughan said Trump should issue a directive to DHS to keep detained migrant families together in order to comply with a a federal court order prohibiting separation of migrants claiming familial relations.
Trump should further deploy military resources to provide accommodation for detained migrants who have exceeded detention facilities’ holding capacities, advised Vaughan. She noted how the “catch and release” policy is partly a function of overloaded detention facilities for migrants.
“First, dust off the mass migration plan and get the tents from the Army and set it up on the border,” stated Vaughan. “Second, issue the regulation that is somewhere stuck in the bowels of DHS that gives the administration the ability to detain families with their children to get around this judge’s ruling that says they can’t.”
Vaughan added, “All they need to do is issue this regulation that says, ‘We’re not going to separate families. We’re going to detain families together while their asylum applications are pending, because otherwise we know they’re going to abscond.’”
7 – Start Removing Illegal Aliens
Vaughan deduced that removing illegal aliens — returning them to either their home countries or a safe alternative — will serve as a deterrent to foreigners aspiring to illegally enter the country or falsely claim asylum.
Vaughan advised, “Start removing some of the thousands and thousands of people who have absconded on their proceedings, who never filed their asylum applications, or they failed to appear in immigration court, or they failed to show up for removal so that anyone thinking about coming sees that those who got away with it for a little while are no longer getting away with it and they’re being sent home.”
Vaughan went on, “There are all kinds of grounds for removal that you would have to get rid of these individuals who got away with it for awhile, whether it’s failing to appear in court, which is a felony, whether it’s using some kind of identity theft to get a job.”
Vaughan continued, “I understand from talking to some of the contractors to ICE that a lot of them have been arrested for shoplifting or ID theft or driving without a license or all manner of petty crimes that haven’t caught up with them yet, or even just because they’re here illegally. Imagine that.”
“Start removing people, and that’s going to starting getting people to think differently about this,” concluded Vaughan.
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