Congress

Who's Who Among the OregonCandidates

Oregonians frustrated with what’s happening in the Oregon now and in the State Legislature and Congress can learn more about candidates in the November election, and get involved with a campaign.

Oregon’s Congressional delegation has a dismal record on protecting the interests of U.S. citizens in immigration policy.  Most of the delegation has been in office for many years, and have consistently voted for lax to no controls on immigration.  We see the results in unsustainable population growth, overcrowding, degradation of the environment and multiple other ill effects.  Oregon’s State Legislature, Governor, and Attorney General have also opposed reasonable controls over immigration.

Here’s how to find Oregon candidates who do support the best interests of citizens in immigration policy: 

 

The Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project has already begun posting information on candidates in the 2020 election, with links to their websites.  You can check there to see what’s available now for your districts.  If you don’t know which your districts are, you can enter your address on the form here and find out.

As of mid-August, it’s still fairly early in this year’s election calendar, and the OAAVEP is continuously adding more data to its site.  In the past they have posted very useful comparison charts on some issues, including immigration.  See their postings thus far for the 2020 election at https://oregonabigailadams.wordpress.com/2020-general-election , and for the 2018 election here.

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The national immigration reform organization, NumbersUSA, is posting and constantly updating facts about candidates’ views.  NumbersUSA is particularly helpful about the positions of candidates for Congress, while they also cover state campaigns.  NumbersUSA has been in existence for many years and has an invaluable record of votes by Congresspersons on immigration bills, scoring the records of each member with a letter grade, A-plus to F-minus.  They offer a questionnaire to candidates, and Alex Skarlatos, running for CD 4 against long-time incumbent Peter DeFazio, is the only Oregon candidate for Congress who has made any replies so far.  

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In earlier years, OFIR’s website included key facts about candidates in state and federal elections.  See https://www.oregonir.org/immigration-topics/elections.  This information is still useful because many candidates have been in office for years.

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The questions asked in the OAAVEP’s questionnaire vary slightly according to the office sought.  Here are the questions for U.S. House of Representatives candidates:

24         Do you support requiring all employers to use the Federal E-Verify system to determine the employee's work eligibility status to work in the United States?

25        Do you support requiring proof that immigration laws are being enforced before laws granting amnesty are considered?

26         Do you support withholding federal funds to sanctuary cities that do not cooperate in federal immigration law enforcement?                                      

27         Do you support blocking ICE from state records when investigating criminal immigrants?       

28         Do you support stronger border security to prevent illegal aliens and illegal drugs from entering the U.S.?   

29         Do you support requiring aliens counted in the census to not be used for purposes of redistricting?

30         Do you support ending DACA?                                        

31         Do you support automatic citizenship to children born in the U.S. when both parents are not legal residents?

The Impact of Legal and Illegal Immigration on the Apportionment of Seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020

Under current policy all persons — not just citizens — are included in the population count when apportioning seats to states in the U.S. House of Representatives and for votes in the Electoral College, which is based on House seats. Although we focus on the next census in 2020, the impact of immigration has been building for decades as the number of people settling in the country has increased dramatically. This report examines the cumulative impact of immigration, both legal and illegal, on the apportionment of House seats; this is not an analysis of the impact of immigration only since the previous census. Apportionment is a zero-sum system; by adding more population to some states rather than others, immigration will continue to significantly redistribute political power in Washington.. .

Apparently Washington is Never Too Divided to Capitulate to the Demands of Big Ag

At a time when lawmakers from our two political parties can barely stomach being under the same rotunda with each other, House members have managed to come together to approve a regressive labor and illegal alien amnesty bill, ironically labeled the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038). Owing to the chaos swirling around the nation’s capital, this massive giveaway to the powerful agricultural industry lobby is largely escaping notice from the American people.

Under H.R. 5038, an estimated 1.5 million illegal aliens would be eligible for amnesty, but not before having to serve a decade or more in indentured servitude to their employers before achieving full legal status. “Granting amnesty to illegal aliens is always a bad idea, and merely attracts more illegal immigration,” stated Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

“The only thing worse than another large-scale amnesty is one that then forces people to continue to toil for poor wages and under poor working conditions for the same unscrupulous employers who hired them illegally in the first place,” said Stein.

Far from modernizing our agricultural workforce, the legislation ensures that the American agricultural industry will remain mired in the 17th century. “The foundation of a modern agricultural industry must be increased reliance on technology and mechanization to ensure that we can feed our population and export our surplus. Instead of offering incentives or subsidies for farmers to invest in real modernization, this bill incentivizes a continued reliance on inefficient, low-wage immigrant labor,” Stein charged.

H.R. 5038 is, at best, a short-term fix for an industry that relies on easily exploitable labor. The bill, which would designate current illegal farmworkers as Certified Agricultural Workers (CAW), is almost an exact replicate of the failed 1986 Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) amnesty. Under that fraud-ridden amnesty program, some 1.1 million illegal aliens received legal status prompting them to leave that industry in pursuit of better wages and working conditions in other sectors of the economy, and leading Big Agriculture to hire the next wave of illegal aliens.

“Mark Twain quipped that ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.’ Congress, in attempting to create a CAW amnesty after the massive failure of the SAW amnesty, seems intent on proving that history can repeat itself and rhyme at the same time,” Stein observed.

“While Congress continues to do nothing to secure our borders, passing a bill that rewards both illegal aliens and their employers, and calling it ‘modernization,’ is a slap in the face to the plurality of Americans who consider immigration to be the nation’s most pressing domestic issue,” concluded Stein.

Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004 or mtragesser@fairus.org

House passes farm bill that critics say grants 'large-scale amnesty' to illegal immigrants

The House on Wednesday passed a contentious agricultural bill that would likely put more than a million illegal immigrants on a pathway to legal status as part of what supporters say is a vital modernization of the industry’s workforce -- but that immigration hawks blasted as a “large-scale amnesty.”

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed 260-165, with support from both Democrats and Republicans. The bill provides a process for undocumented farmworkers to seek a temporary five-and-a-half-year “Certified Agricultural Worker” status if they have worked for approximately six months in the industry in the last two years.

That status can either be renewed indefinitely, or workers (along with their spouses and children) can begin a path to permanent legal status in the form of a green card. That path, according to the legislation, includes background checks and $1,000 fine.

To secure the green card, those who have worked in agriculture for 10 years or more must work for four more years, while those who've spent less than a decade in the sector would have to work eight more years. Once workers receive a green card, they are then free to pursue work in fields outside of agriculture.

The bill also streamlines the H-2A agriculture visa program, cutting processing time and costs for visa petitions. And it calls for the Department of Homeland Security to set up a pilot program that would give H-2A workers the ability to change jobs within the sector if they find work within two months.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the bill’s sponsor, said that it was a “historic” compromise and example of bipartisanship.

“This bill is a compromise, it’s not exactly what I would have written but it does stabilize the workforce,” she said on the House floor. “We have farmworkers who have been here for a very long time without their papers, living in fear and in some cases being arrested and deported.”

“We need to allow them to get an agricultural visa that is temporary and renewable so they can do the work we need them to do and their employers need them to do,” she said. “We need to stabilize the H-2A program, which this bill does. It simplifies it and also stabilizes wages.”

The bill had support from a number of farm groups, but has faced fierce opposition from immigration restrictionists, who claim that the amnesty component is similar to one in the 1980s that was rife with fraud ...

“The only thing worse than another large-scale amnesty is one that then forces people to continue to toil for poor wages and under poor working conditions for the same unscrupulous employers who hired them illegally in the first place,” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), said in a statement.

“While Congress continues to do nothing to secure our borders, passing a bill that rewards both illegal aliens and their employers, and calling it ‘modernization,’ is a slap in the face to the plurality of Americans who consider immigration to be the nation’s most pressing domestic issue,” Stein said.

The Heritage Foundation described the bill as a “clear cut example of amnesty,” warning that it "threatens the legal immigration system’s legitimacy and incentivizes aliens and farmers to ignore the legal immigration system in the future if it best serves their needs."

The bill's Republican support, with a number co-sponsoring the measure, raises the possibility that a form of such a bill could have a shot in the Republican-controlled Senate.

But while the bill has bipartisan support, it has also faced criticism from other Republicans lawmakers. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., cited estimates from liberal groups that there are as many as 2.7 million farmworkers in the country, with more than half estimated to be in the country illegally, meaning that more than a million and a half could get a pathway to legal status.

“While the 224 pages of H.R. 5038 make many more changes to the H-2A program — some good and some bad — one need look no further than the first few pages to figure out the real point of this bill: a path to citizenship ...

He also said the bill’s document standards are low and could allow illegal immigrants with multiple DUI convictions and a history of Social Security fraud to get legal status.

As with most bills that include a path to legalization for those in the country illegally, there are some enforcement parts of the bill as well, but they come with major caveats.

While the bill would establish mandatory E-Verify (a DHS-run verification system for employers that has been seen as the holy grail for employment enforcement) for all agricultural employment, Lofgren’s office notes that that would be “phased in" and only "after all legalization and H-2A reforms have been implemented and included necessary due process protections for authorized workers who are incorrectly rejected by the system.” This fuels concerns from immigration hawks that it follows a trend of bills that go "amnesty first, enforcement later."

Adam Shaw is a reporter covering U.S. and European politics for Fox News.. He can be reached here.

Media ignore rampant fraud in visa programs

More details are emerging about how businesses hire cheaper foreign labor in technical fields, undercutting Americans’ chances of employment and putting national security at risk.  However, many major media misrepresent the situation either intentionally or through ignorance. In Neil Munro’s article cited below, we get a fuller picture of what’s happening.  Unfortunately, Oregon’s Congressional delegation has done nothing to help U.S. citizens in this situation.  Better candidates may be on Oregon’s ballot in the May primary, and do-nothing incumbents could be retired.

ICE Sting Triggers Outrage from Progressives, by Neil Munro, Breitbart.com, Nov. 30, 2019

Excerpts only.  Read the full article here.

“A skewed news report triggered many progressive politicians, activists, and journalists to declare outrage towards the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) deportation of more than 200 Indian students — even though the ICE operation was launched under former President Barack Obama to block commonplace fraud against U.S. college graduates. …

“Many Indian visa workers are ready to participate in fraudulent tactics because fraud is endemic in India.

“Once in the United States, fraud is rational because it helps many — not all — Indian temporary workers win the hugely valuable prizes of Americans’ white-collar jobs and of American citizenship …

“Americans’ professional codes of ethics have minimized domestic fraud in U.S. workplaces.

“But those codes blind Americans to the diversity of tactics used by many of the Indian graduates, such as inflating resumes, trading bribes for jobs, hiring relatives, and excluding unsuspecting Americans from job interviews. Some Indian workers readily provide anecdotal evidence of these practices to American reporters who want to listen.

“But there is little legal enforcement of workplace laws.

“The result is that some Indian managers can run U.S. offices where the vast majority of new hires are Indians, apparently without any fear that American officials will investigate the obviously skewed hiring patterns for racial, sexual, and anti-American discrimination.

“Alongside the Democrat politicians, many progressive journalists rushed to condemn ICE’s successful operation.

“The denunciations came from Politico’s Natasha Bertrand, Mark Bergen at Bloomberg, Matt Pearce at the Los Angeles Times, and Kyle Griffin at MSNBC. ‘Abolish ICE,’ reacted Farhad Manjoo, an immigrant columnist at the New York Times. ‘Leave it to the Trump administration to use a fake university. … How is this anything but entrapment?’ said a tweet from Jamil Smith at Rolling Stone.

“Radley Balko at the Washington Post declared ICE’s success as ‘so goddamned evil.’ Matthew Chapman of The Raw Story tweeted, ‘How have these students even committed a crime?’ …

“The ICE sting at the fake Farmington University worked because many Indian visa workers have become complacent about the enforcement of U.S. workplace laws.

“Obama’s deputies created the fake university to target the Indians who use fraud to get work permits via the Occupational Practical Training (OPT) program for foreign graduates and the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program for foreign students.

“Those work permits were created and expanded by U.S. presidents seeking to placate high-tech investors, such as Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. The OPT and CPT work permits allow the Indian graduates to fly into the United States, pay their tuition, and then compete for the many low wage jobs offered by Indian managers at many U.S. companies. Those started jobs then allow the Indians to compete for coveted H-1B work permits, which allow them to apply for the hugely valuable prize of citizenship.

“These OPT and CPT jobs are varied and range from starvation wage jobs in Texas software sweatshops to $100,000 prestige jobs in Silicon Valley. The actual wages are difficult to track, partly because employers frequently shortchange their Indian workers and demand kickbacks. Indians are willing to pay the kickbacks because their U.S.-based Indian managers have the legal power to send them home or provide the hugely valuable prize of U.S. citizenship.

“The huge number of Indian visa workers has also ensured that fraud, caste politics, and bribery are increasingly common in workplaces that were once dominated by American white-collar professionals. For example, many U.S. professionals report anonymously that a large number of Indian managers only hire Indians and also refuse to hire Americans who cannot be trusted to stay quiet about kickbacks. Some of these complaints are documented by a growing number of lawsuits against Indian managers in U.S companies.

“The federal government provides some data about the American universities that accept tuition payments in exchange for awarding OPT and CPT work permits to the Chinese, Indian, and other foreign competitors of their American graduates.

“The data also shows the companies where managers are using the programs to hire foreign graduates instead of Americans. … 

“Generally, establishment media outlets have ignored the many OPT and H-1B scandals — even though both have created political problems for President Donald Trump — but this progressive stampede may encourage more attention: …”

HR 5038, indentured labor dressed up as “modernization”

A huge amnesty for farm workers is pending in Congress now.  It’s already passed in the House.

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The Rotten Fruits of America’s ‘Farm Workforce Modernization Act’/, by Bob Dane, Federation for American immigration Reform,  Nov. 25, 2019

Conventional wisdom holds that bipartisan legislation is the best form of law. The “Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019” is a notable exception.

With 49 Republican and Democrat co-sponsors, HR 5038 sailed through the House Judiciary Committee last week. Because the bill was allowed to advance on a voice vote, there’s no official record of who voted which way.

Lawmakers had good reason to duck for cover while cheap-labor lobbyists and immigration enthusiasts exulted. Expanding the H-2A foreign guestworker program, HR 5038 would grant amnesty and a path to citizenship to more than 1 million illegal farm laborers. And contrary to its title, the bill doesn’t do a thing to “modernize” agriculture in this country. …

In essence, the bill tells illegal farm laborers: Work in unchanging conditions with no wage growth for around a decade and maybe you’ll get a green card. …

While illegal aliens account for 47 percent of U.S. farm workers, agriculture employs less than 1 percent of America’s labor force. Clearly, no one is going to starve if the industry’s illegal-alien spigot is turned off and immigration laws are enforced. We doubt anyone would even notice a difference on their grocery bill.

This counterproductive amnesty scheme has nothing to do with “farm workforce modernization” (in fact, it produces the opposite), and America doesn’t need HR 5038. It’s time Congress raised a bipartisan majority to reverse course and stop this cheap-labor combine.

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HR 5038, The Farm Workforce Modernization Act   [analysis and statement of opposition by the Federation for American immigration Reform]

 https://www.fairus.org/legislation/federal-legislation/hr-5038-farm-workforce-modernization-act

Contents. -  Farmworker Amnesty - Minor Changes to H-2A - Expansion of EB-3 Green Cards - E-Verify Only for Agriculture. - FAIR's Position on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038)

New High in U.S. Say Immigration Most Important Problem

Story Highlights

  • 23% mention immigration as most important problem, highest in Gallup trends
  • The government is the most commonly mentioned problem, at 26%
  • Most Americans still say immigration a good thing for the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' concern with immigration continues to be heightened, as 23% name it the most important problem facing the country. This is by one percentage point the highest Gallup has ever measured for the issue since it first began recording mentions of immigration in 1993.

Line graph. Americans’ mentions of immigration as the country’s most important problem reached a high of 23% in June.

The June 3-16 poll was conducted as the U.S. continues to grapple with how to handle a surge of Central American immigrants at the U.S.-Mexican border. Gallup has previously found spikes in mentions of immigration as the most important U.S. problem at other times when the immigration debate intensified, including:

  • 22% in July 2018 amid controversy over a U.S. policy to separate children and parents who were trying to enter the U.S. illegally
  • 17% in July 2014, when a wave of young immigrants from Central American countries crossed the U.S. border illegally
  • 19% in April 2006 as the Senate worked toward passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill it later passed but ultimately was not considered by the House of Representatives

Mentions of immigration have been higher on average in 2019 than in any prior year. The 20% average to date compares with 14% in 2018, and no more than 10% in any other year.

Yet immigration has typically finished behind the government as the nation's top problem over the past three years, and did so again this month, when 26% of Americans named the government. Government has finished ahead of immigration in all but two months since February 2017 (July and November 2018). This included a record 35% naming the government in February.

Concern about the government is broadly distributed across the three major partisan groups, with 32% of Democrats and 23% of both Republicans and independents currently identifying it as the most important problem. In contrast, immigration mentions are far more common among Republicans (42%) than Democrats (7%). Twenty-one percent of independents name it.

One in Three Want Immigration Levels Decreased

Asked their preferences for U.S. immigration levels, 37% of Americans say it should be kept at its present level, while more say it should be decreased (35%) than increased (27%). The percentage wanting immigration reduced is higher than the average 30% holding this view in Gallup's two prior surveys, in January 2019 and July 2018. However, in the past, many more Americans have called for a reduction than do so now, including 41% in June 2014, 58% in October 2001 (after 9/11), and a record 65% in the mid-1990s during a surge of illegal immigration in California.

In recent years, there has been an uptick in the percentage who want immigration to the U.S. increased. Before 2012, the percentage never reached 20%, but it has been above that mark since, including a record 30% in January.

Line graph. Among Americans, 37% want immigration kept at current levels, 35% would prefer it decreased and 27% increased.

As their differences in perceptions of immigration as the most important problem would suggest, partisans have divergent views on U.S. immigration levels. A slim majority of Republicans, 54%, want them decreased, while 31% want them kept the same and 13% increased. Democrats are about equally likely to prefer increased immigration (43%) as to want current levels maintained (42%); just 13% want immigration cut. Independents' views essentially match those of all U.S. adults.

Public Mixed in Assessment of Immigration's Effects

Even as they acknowledge immigration as one of the nation's most pressing problems, Americans still view immigration positively in general, with 76% describing it as a good thing for the country today and 19% as a bad thing. Since Gallup first asked this question in 2001, no fewer than 52% have affirmed immigration's value, with the current year's figure the highest to date by one point.

Line graph. Three-quarters, 76%, of Americans say immigration is good for the country, 19% say it is bad for the U.S.

Notably, two-thirds of Americans who identify immigration as the most important problem still believe it is a good thing for the country.

Democrats (87%) are much more likely than Republicans (62%) to say immigration is a good thing, with 78% of independents holding that view.

Americans' assessments of the effect of immigration on six aspects of U.S. society are mixed. In two areas -- the economy and food, music, and the arts -- more believe immigration has made the situation better than made it worse. The public is divided as to immigration's effects on social and moral values and job opportunities for their family, but more evaluate immigration's effect on crime and taxes negatively than positively.

Americans' Views of Immigration's Impact Mixed
For each of the following areas, please say whether immigrants to the United States are making the situation in the country better or worse, or not having much effect. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

 

Better

Worse

No effect

Net (% Better - % Worse)

 

%

%

%

pct. pts.

Food, music and the arts

The economy in general

Social and moral values

Job opportunities for you and your family

Taxes

The crime situation

Gallup, June 3-16, 2019
57 10 32 +47
43 31 25 +12
31 28 39 +3
19 25 56 -6
20 42 37 -22
7 42 50 -35
 

Americans' opinions on the impact immigration has on these aspects of society have shifted in a more positive direction over the past two decades. Specifically, the public is much more positive today about immigration's effect on the economy and job opportunities than they were in 2001, when Gallup first asked the question. While still negative overall today, Americans are less negative about immigration's effect on taxes and the crime situation than they were 18 years ago.

Probing further on immigration's impact on the economy, the poll asked Americans whether immigrants "mostly help the economy by providing low-cost labor" or "mostly hurt the economy by driving down wages for many Americans." For the first time, a majority of Americans say immigrants mostly help the economy, with 55% holding this view, compared with 37% who see immigrants as harming the economy. In 1993 and 2004 surveys, large majorities of Americans saw immigrants as detrimental to the economy.

Line graph. More than half, 55%, of Americans see immigrants as mostly helping the U.S. economy; 37% see them as hurting it.

Republicans disagree with Democrats and independents on the effect of immigration on the economy. Whereas 60% of Republicans see immigration as hurting the economy, 72% of Democrats and 58% of independents believe it helps.

Implications

At a time when Americans are more likely to name immigration as the most important problem facing the country than any in recent memory, they hold mixed views about it. They still see immigration as a good thing for the country, and more believe it benefits than harms the economy. About one-third want to see immigration levels reduced, but that is a lower proportion than in past surveys, including times when fewer Americans viewed immigration as a pressing U.S. problem.

The issue continues to challenge U.S. lawmakers, as Congress and Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been unable to enact meaningful legislation to stem the flow of illegal immigrants to the country and develop a plan for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. As such, the issue promises to remain a major one in the coming presidential election.

View complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

 

Good News from the Immigration Reform Law Institute

Alert date: 
March 7, 2019
Alert body: 

Finally, the 11th circuit court accurately defined what a so called "DACA" recipient really is - an ILLEGAL ALIEN!

Read the IRLI Press Release.


 

Eleventh Circuit Rules DACA Recipients are Illegal Aliens

WASHINGTON - Today the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued the first opinion by a federal circuit court classifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients as illegal aliens. The court’s opinion, which closely tracks a friend-of-the-court brief that the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) had filed in the case, makes clear that DACA recipients are “inadmissible and thus removable” under federal law. According to the Court, their deportation has merely been “reprieved” by an Obama-era policy that “encouraged” government officials to “exercise prosecutorial discretion and focus on higher-priority cases.”

In 2016, several DACA recipients sued the Georgia higher education system, which bars aliens who are not “lawfully present” from enrolling in selective state colleges and universities, even if they otherwise qualify for admission. The students argued that they were lawfully present under federal law, which preempted state law. They also claimed that the admissions bar violated their right to equal protection, as Georgia treats aliens who are paroled into the U.S. or granted asylum as lawfully present.

The Eleventh Circuit rejected all of the students’ claims. In its brief to the court, IRLI had exhaustively shown that DACA recipients do not have “lawful presence” as defined anywhere in the Immigration and Nationality Act. The court agreed, finding that Georgia’s determination that they lacked lawful presence tracked federal law. And because the court held that DACA recipients are not lawfully present, but are illegal aliens, it did not apply “strict scrutiny” to Georgia’s admissions policy under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Instead, the court upheld the policy as rationally related to a legitimate state interest.

“This is an important decision,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “On many fronts, open borders legal groups have been using DACA recipients to try to blur the distinctions between citizen and noncitizen and between legal aliens and illegal aliens. In blurring those distinctions, they blur the very border of our country, and begin rubbing out the notion that the United States is fully a sovereign nation. Today’s decision is a major check on that effort, and I expect it will reverberate across the national legal landscape.”

The case is Estrada v. Becker, No. 17-12668 (Eleventh Circuit).


 

Trump's veto threat pays off: House approves $5.7B for border wall

The House voted Thursday to give President Trump $5.7 billion for a border wall, hours after Trump warned Republicans that he would veto the spending bill if it didn't boost border security.

The bill passed 217-185, and while Democrats were predicting a GOP split would prevent it from passing the House, only eight Republicans voted against it.

But the victory will likely be short-lived, as Democrats in the Senate are expected to reject the bill. That rejection looks increasingly likely to lead to a partial government shutdown after Friday.


 

After Trump rallied his party on the need for a border wall in a White House meeting, Republicans said the $5.7 billion is needed to secure the border and keep out dangerous migrants.

“It is common sense to secure our borders and know who is entering our country,” said Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, adding that drugs moving across the border has devastated rural Maine. “The greatest Christmas gift for America is securing our borders.”

Democrats objected and said Republicans were setting up a shutdown of several federal agencies just before Christmas.

“House Republicans have caved once again to Trump’s political whims,” said House Appropriations Committee ranking member Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is expected to take up the House-passed bill Friday. Senate Democrats will block it, and House Republican leaders suggested Thursday they will negotiate a compromise with Democrats.

If no agreement is reached, the lack of new spending authority will force several agencies to start furloughing workers after Friday.

But the bill is a win for Trump, who faced pressure from well-known conservatives all week to reject any bill that doesn't include wall funding. Several Republicans warned that Trump would face a difficult re-election in 2020 had he caved in.

Earlier in the week, Republican leaders told House lawmakers they believed Trump would sign a bipartisan bill that excludes wall funding. But Trump, under pressure from his conservative base, called Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Thursday, and summoned Republicans to the White House to tell them he would not sign a bill without the wall money.

The funding bill as passed by the House would keep funds flowing for about 25 percent of the federal government, including the Justice Department and Homeland Security. A temporary measure that's currently in place expires Friday.

The rest of 2019 government funding, including military spending, was signed into law earlier this year and will continue uninterrupted, regardless of how this week's fight ends.

Democrats say they’ll only agree to a fiscal 2018 level of $1.3 billion for border security but nothing for a wall.

The House-passed bill also includes another $7.8 billion in disaster aid to states hurt by wildfires and hurricanes.

 

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