Is Mass Civil Disobedience Our Future?
Perhaps the greatest manifestation of civil disobedience today is the illegal presence of between 12 million and 20 million immigrants who broke into our country or are breaking the law by being here after their visas expired. PAT BUCHANAN
"Whatever The Motives Underlying Behind-The-Scenes Discussions Of The Feasibility Of A Palace Coup, Such A Conspiracy—Regardless Of Its Success Or Failure—Would Drive The Final Nail Into The Coffin Of American Democracy."
seethes with rumors of an anti-Trump “palace coup”
13 October 2017
Washington is engulfed in a political crisis that is without
precedent in modern American history. Amidst increasingly bitter factional
conflicts at the highest level of the state, there is growing speculation that
there have been secret discussions among cabinet members and high-level staff
about forcing Trump out of office.
The political warfare within the Trump administration and
Republican Party intensified this week after Senator Bob Corker, the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee chairman, declared that Trump’s threats against
North Korea were leading the United States “on the path of World War III.” In a
Twitter post, Corker called the White House “an adult day care center,” with
the president requiring constant supervision.
NBC reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement
describing Trump as a “moron” came after a June meeting between the president
and top military officials, during which the president advocated increasing the
US nuclear arsenal ten-fold. Trump responded to this report by threatening that
NBC should be shut down. He stated that it is “disgusting the way the press is
able to write whatever they want to write.”
In Vanity Fair on
Wednesday, Gabriel Sherman wrote that “a half dozen prominent Republicans and
Trump advisers… all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to
contain a president that seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by
dark moods.” Trump allegedly told his longtime security chief, Keith Schiller:
“I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate
Sherman indicates that high-level White House personnel are
worried that Trump might respond to internal difficulties by exercising his
unilateral authority to launch nuclear weapons against North Korea. “One former
official even speculated that [White House Chief of Staff John] Kelly and
Secretary of Defense James Mattis have discussed what they would do in the
event Trump ordered a nuclear first strike. ‘Would they tackle him?’ the person
Several columnists, likely channeling internal discussion, openly
raised the possibility of removing Trump using the 25th Amendment—which
stipulates that the president may be forced out through a majority vote of his
cabinet if he is mentally or physically incapacitated, thus rendering him
“unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Jennifer Rubin, who produces the
conservative “Right Turn” for the Washington Post, asked in the
headline of her latest column, “When do we reach 25th Amendment territory?”
Soon, she concluded. Paul Waldman, in another Post article
published Wednesday, declared: “Impeachment probably won’t save us from Trump.
But the 25th Amendment might.” Both columns followed the Post’s own
editorial, “What to do with an unfit president,” which raised the possibility
Behind these conflicts are deep divisions within the ruling class
over critical issues relating to both international and domestic policies. In
particular, Trump’s reckless threats against North Korea have unnerved substantial
sections of the State Department and the Pentagon. A war with Korea could
result in the destruction of millions of lives and lead to a direct
confrontation with China and Russia, sparking—as Corker put it—World War III.
But even worse than the loss of lives, as far as Trump’s opponents are
concerned, would be the irreparable damage that a war would cause to the
international standing of the United States.
Whatever the motives underlying behind-the-scenes discussions of
the feasibility of a palace coup, such a conspiracy—regardless of its success
or failure—would drive the final nail into the coffin of American democracy.
Trump would undoubtedly bitterly resist an effort to remove him
from office. In the course of a ferocious conflict, both pro- and anti-Trump
factions would appeal to the military and intelligence agencies for support.
Regardless of which faction won, the military and intelligence agencies would
emerge as the final arbiters of the political destiny of the United States.
Moreover, were Trump to be removed from office, the arch-reactionary vice
president, Mike Pence, would become president.
For their part, the Democrats have responded to the crisis by
escalating their neo-McCarthyite campaign over Russian intervention in US
politics, which is increasingly focused not only on manufactured charges that
Russia aided the election of Trump, but that Moscow is “sowing divisions”
within the United States. Arguments are being developed to justify imposing
censorship and state control over the Internet, and to blackguard all social
and political opposition as a product of the nefarious intervention of a
As the WSWS warned in June, the methods of Trump’s ruling-class
opponents “are fundamentally anti-democratic, involving behind-the-scenes
plotting with elements within the military/intelligence establishment and
Trump’s ruling class critics are desperately seeking some way to
respond to an array of global geopolitical, economic, military and social
crises for which they have no solution. Trump is not the cause, but rather an
extreme symptom of the disorientation and desperation of the ruling class.
Nothing can be more dangerous than to leave the resolution of the
crisis to these rival camps of the ruling elite. All factions of the ruling
oligarchy, however bitter their differences, are determined to prevent the
emergence of the working class as an independent force. They want to resolve the
crisis in a way that does not hurt their global interests or weaken their grip
This state of affairs cannot last. The
crisis of class rule has as its necessary corollary the growth of the class
struggle. As the Socialist Equality Party wrote in its June statement, “Palace coup or class struggle: The
political crisis in Washington and the strategy of the working class”:
The interaction of objective conditions of crisis, both within the
United States and internationally, and the radicalization of mass social
consciousness will find expression in the eruption of class struggle. The
decades-long suppression of the class struggle by the trade union bureaucracy,
the Democratic Party and the affluent sponsors of various forms of identity
politics is coming to an end. The social counterrevolution of the ruling elites
is about to encounter an upsurge of the American working class. The many
different forms of social protest—in work places, communities and entire
cities—will acquire an ever more distinct working class identity,
anti-capitalist orientation and socialistic character. Struggles in individual
work places and communities will draw into unified struggle broader sections of
the working class.
The critical question is to impart to this movement of the working
class a consciousness of its aims, to build a political leadership that can
guide these struggles, in the United States and internationally, to their
logical and necessary end: the overthrow of the capitalist system and the
establishment of socialism.
SHOCKER: Steve Bannon Says An Increasingly Unhinged Trump Risks Not Making It A Full Term
Trump will have to send out Steve Bannon to give a press briefing, in order to dispute this, but if this is true, it’s not like Bannon didn’t warn him.
According to a Vanity Fair report, President Trump is unraveling at a rapid rate.
Basically, everything that Senator Bob Corker has been alluding to is pretty much true, and then some. The picture being painted by those close to the president are of the “old-man-shouts-at-cloud” variety.
In recent days, I spoke with a half dozen prominent Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president who seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods. Trump’s ire is being fueled by his stalled legislative agenda and, to a surprising degree, by his decision last month to back the losing candidate Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican primary. “Alabama was a huge blow to his psyche,” a person close to Trump said. “He saw the cult of personality was broken.”
I had said before the Alabama primary race that the outcome would prove if Trump had the pull or if the real mystique belonged to Steve Bannon.
I guess we know.
According to two sources familiar with the conversation, Trump vented to his longtime security chief, Keith Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!” (A White House official denies this.) Two senior Republican officials said Chief of Staff John Kelly is miserable in his job and is remaining out of a sense of duty to keep Trump from making some sort of disastrous decision. Today, speculation about Kelly’s future increased after Politico reported that Kelly’s deputy Kirstjen Nielsen is likely to be named Homeland Security Secretary—the theory among some Republicans is that Kelly wanted to give her a soft landing before his departure.
Trump is running out of allies. Schiller is gone, John Kelly, as has been reported, is miserable, and even a longtime friend, Thomas Barrack is expressing shock and disappointment with Trump’s behavior.
Kelly is restricting calls and visitors into the Oval Office, and Trump is only doing fluff TV pieces for now, with bootlickers like Sean Hannity and Mike Huckabee.
Most damning, however, are the thoughts of Steve Bannon.
Even before Corker’s remarks, some West Wing advisers were worried that Trump’s behavior could cause the Cabinet to take extraordinary Constitutional measures to remove him from office. Several months ago, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation, former chief strategist Steve Bannon told Trump that the risk to his presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment—the provision by which a majority of the Cabinet can vote to remove the president. When Bannon mentioned the 25th Amendment, Trump said, “What’s that?” According to a source, Bannon has told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term.
Is that because Bannon knows the man is unstable?
He certainly has a glaring lack of knowledge about the Constitution of the nation he was elected to lead.
Either way, only so many of these stories can come out before it becomes difficult to keep blowing them off.
Calif. Democrat Tells HUD Secretary to Get Familiar With Procedure for Removing Trump
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) (Photo: Screen grab from C-SPAN)
(CNSNews.com) - A California Democrat urged Housing Secretary Ben Carson to get familiar with a provision in the U.S. Constitution that allows for the removal of a president who is declared "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."
Unable so far to get rid of a president they despise, some Democrats and liberal activists, including those in the media, have raised the possibility of declaring Trump unfit for office.
"Beyond your responsibilities for Housing and Urban Development, you have other responsibilities under the Constitution, along with other Cabinet secretaries, particularly Section 4 of the 25th Amendment," Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) told Carson on Thursday as the House Financial Services Committee held a HUD oversight hearing.
"And we all live by this Constitution," Sherman continued:
"I -- the -- Section 4 deals with the possibility that a president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Have you taken the time to get legal counsel to brief you on what your responsibility is, as a Cabinet secretary, under the 25th Amendment?" Sherman asked Carson.
"I have not had any in-depth discussions of that," Carson replied.
"I would urge you to do so," Sherman told Carson. "This amendment was written in the early '60s as a result of what we -- life that happens, whether it's the dangers that a president faces, whether it's the health problems a president can face.
"I would urge you first to get legal counsel, to know what your responsibilities are, and second, to discuss with other Cabinet officers how you would implement Section 4 of the 25th Amendment."
Sherman's time was up, and Carson did not reply.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment reads in part:
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Earlier this year, on July 12, Sherman filed Articles of Impeachment against Donald J. Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Sherman argued that Trump committed Obstruction of Justice by pressuring FBI Director James Comey to abandon the investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and by seeking to thwart the Russia Investigation.
political crisis in Washington amidst talk of removal of Trump
12 October 2017
The conflict within the American state apparatus reached a new
level of intensity this week, after a leading Senate Republican, Foreign
Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, warned that President Trump was
risking “World War III,” and Trump responded to media reports about internal
conflict within his administration by suggesting that NBC could have its
broadcast license revoked.
The recriminations between the White House and Congress and within
the Trump administration itself are particularly explosive since they take
place amid rising tensions between the US government and North Korea, in the
wake of Trump’s repeated threats of nuclear war against the regime of Kim
Corker made the warning about Trump’s foreign policy producing
World War III, and he has previously criticized what he called the lack of
stability and competence in the Trump presidency. Trump responded with vulgar
insults on Twitter, while White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders
falsely claimed that Corker was responsible for the US nuclear agreement with
Iran, which Trump appears ready to revoke as early as today.
Insider accounts of seemingly uncontrolled rages and wild mood
swings on the part of the “commander in chief” have fueled a new round of
discussion in the corporate media about the possibility of removing Trump from
office, either through impeachment, which requires a majority vote in the House
and a two-thirds vote in the Senate, or through invoking the 25th Amendment,
under which the vice president and a majority of the cabinet can declare the
president incompetent to continue in office.
An extraordinary editorial published
Tuesday in the Post was run under the headline, “What to do with an
The editorial concluded that impeachment was not likely, and urged
congressional action to counteract Trump’s policies in a range of areas (all
important to corporate interests), including reinforcing US trade deals like
NAFTA, and maintaining foreign aid programs that spread US political influence
That the leading newspaper in the
country’s capital—read by everyone in Congress and the Trump
administration—proclaimed the president “unfit” for office reflects the
extraordinarily sharp divisions within the ruling class, only hinted at in
the Post editorial.
The corporate media has been targeting the Trump White House, in
part because of concerns over his expressions of sympathy for Russian President
Vladimir Putin and professed reluctance to continue the Obama administration’s
campaign of confronting Russia in Syria, Eastern Europe and the Baltic.
But there is a deeper concern that the policies and methods of the
Trump administration, and particularly its increasing appeals to ultra-right,
racist and fascistic forces, such as those which rioted in Charlottesville,
Virginia two months ago, risk destabilizing the United States politically.
There is particular concern in corporate and banking circles that
Trump’s deteriorating relations with top Senate Republicans like Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker may
hamper efforts to push through a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy,
the main item on the agenda of the Republican-controlled Congress this fall.
On Wednesday a group of six right-wing lobbies allied to the White
House, including the Tea Party Patriots, the Senate Conservatives Fund,
FreedomWorks, the Media Research Center and ConservativeHQ.com, called for
McConnell to step down due to the failure to repeal Obamacare or enact other
right-wing measures, and threatened campaigns against incumbent Republicans in
primary elections next year.
They were echoing former White House counselor Steve Bannon, who
is threatening to back anti-McConnell candidates in the Republican primaries,
and who called Tuesday for Corker’s immediate resignation.
NBC triggered the latest round of
internecine warfare with a report last week that Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson had called Trump a “moron” after a high-level discussion of foreign
policy and nuclear strategy on July 20 at the Pentagon. This was followed by a
series of denials by Tillerson and tirades by Trump, culminating in his remark
Tuesday, in an interview with Forbes magazine, that if IQ tests
were administered to the two men, he would come out on top.
On Wednesday the network added further details, reporting that
Tillerson was provoked to an explosion of frustration by Trump’s suggestion
that the US should reverse 50 years of declining numbers in its nuclear weapons
stockpile, and revert to the level of weaponry amassed in the 1960s, which
would require a ten-fold increase.
Trump then launched into a diatribe against NBC, claiming that it
was fabricating “fake news” about his administration, and calling for the
network’s broadcast license to be revoked, apparently ignorant of the fact that
there are no licenses for the networks and the federal government has no such
This was not merely a manifestation of Trump’s authoritarian
proclivities. The White House is in deep internal crisis, with top officials
leaking unflattering and alarmed comments about Trump’s state of mind,
inability to maintain a coherent policy, and tendency to fly off the handle
over any public criticism.
The NBC report was based, according to the network, on three
officials who attended the top-secret Pentagon meeting in the war room, and
heard both Trump’s remarks about nuclear weapons and Tillerson’s “moron”
The Washington Post reported
Tuesday, in a remarkable front-page article, on the president “lashing out,
rupturing alliances and imperiling his legislative agenda,” citing “numerous
White House officials and outside advisers.
“Trump in recent days has shown flashes
of fury and left his aides, including White House chief of staff John F. Kelly,
scrambling to manage his outbursts,” the Post reported.
“One Trump confidant likened the president to a whistling teapot, saying that
when he does not blow off steam, he can turn into a pressure cooker and
explode. ‘I think we are in pressure cooker territory,’ said this person, who spoke
on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly.”
At least one of the “18 White House officials, outside advisers
and other Trump associates” interviewed for this highly unflattering portrait
was identified the following day as Thomas Barrack, a real-estate
multi-millionaire and longtime Trump crony and adviser, who chaired the
fundraising committee for his inauguration, but now describes himself as
“appalled” by the tone of Trump’s tweetstorms.
BOOK: GOP Senators ‘Laughed Out Loud’ at Notion Border Wall Would Get Built
Ingraham reports that her source “was there in the room” when it happened and that the sordid episode is “a reminder that the populist movement that delivered Trump into office must remain vigilant and keep the heat on the GOP Establishment.”
The bestselling author and new Fox News primetime host argues that Republicans will pay an enormous political price if the GOP Establishment succeeds in torpedoing President Trump’s border wall.
“Mark these words: If a wall—a physical wall—is not erected along our southern border, the president and his party will pay a severe political price,” writes Ingraham. She added: “Like George Bush’s promise to ‘Read [his] lips: no new taxes,’ the promise of a border wall was a searing pledge to the American people.”
The notion that Congress can’t find $25 billion—the higher end estimated cost of building the wall—in our nearly $4 trillion annual budget is absurd. Democrats have never met a spending or building project they didn’t like. But now all of a sudden they’re fiscal hawks? Get real. And the Establishment Republicans who cowered in the corner for eight years while Obama nearly doubled the national debt to $19 trillion dollars now expect us to believe they’re courageous penny-pinchers? Spare us.
Ingraham notes that the federal government has blown $25 billion in a single year maintaining vacant and unused buildings—the same higher end cost estimates for the border wall.
“Bottom line: the political fight over the wall is not about money,” writes Ingraham, “it’s about denying Trump and his voters a major victory.”
Coulter’s assertion that current immigration policy brings foreign nationals to the U.S. who end up costing American taxpayers billions in federal dollars has most recently been backed up by a study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which found that illegal aliens, alone, cost the taxpayers $116 billion every year.
Under Trump’s immigration priorities, pro-American reforms would be enacted while 800,000 illegal aliens shielded from federal law by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be allowed to remain in the U.S., while not being allowed to obtain U.S. citizenship, as Breitbart News reported.
A study by Harvard scholar Roberto Gonzales by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), as Breitbart News reported, shows that 73 percent of illegal aliens covered by DACA are living in low-income households, qualifying for free lunch at American public high schools, as well as other federal welfare benefits.
To hear the press tell it, President Trump is making unreasonable demands by asking for a deal to allow the illegal aliens known as DREAMers to stay in the U.S. In fact, he's making tradeoff demands so outrageous that no Democrat could possibly say yes to them. His real aim in asking for tradeoffs must be to scupper the deal.
Now, wait a minute. Hold on. Trump wants tradeoffs for a deal to allow the DREAMers to stay, and somehow asking for tradeoffs, any tradeoffs, is anathema? Are Democrats, the party of smoke-room politics, incapable of making a tradeoff? Or is it they who just don't want one?
Bear in mind that if Democrats feel that strongly about chain migration rights, keeping the border unguarded, avoiding E-Verify, and all the other things they say are deal-breakers from the Trump camp's proposed tradeoffs, they are free to keep those things and let the DREAMers get deported to the countries of their foreign citizenship as the six-month window expires. It's up to them, because a DREAMer deal is hardly something Trump owes them. Their intransigence suggests they may in fact be weighing whether the DREAMers are worth it. Because if Democrats really care as much as they say they do about DREAMers, then it should be a no-brainer for them to cut a deal and to give Trump any tradeoff he wants.
What's unreasonable here is that they think Trump should just give them what they want without any compromises from the. To the press, the Democrats' shibboleths are sacred, while Trump's priorities are expendable. The activists Democrats take their marching orders from are even more adamant and explicit. Here's one just in via email from something called DREAM Action Coalition:
** STATEMENT **
Stephen Miller's Nationalist and White supremacist Agenda Will Not Be A Basis For Any Immigration Deal
Washington, D.C. -On Sunday, Donald Trump unveiled his list of immigration policy demands in exchange for a deal to protect Dreamers who were covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration (DACA). Cesar Vargas, Esq. co-director of the Dream Action Coalition issued the following statement:
" We are always open to a serious discussion with the White House on modernizing our outdated immigration system. However, we will not tolerate a deal that essentially helps one group of immigrants only to persecute another group, specially refugee children from Central America escaping violence. The White House's immigration principles aka Stephen miller's nationalist and white supremacist agenda will not be a basis for any deal. We have the American people on our side, we have the numbers on our side, we have both Republicans and Democrats on our side and we will continue push for a clean Dream Act with no strings attached."
They forget that Trump ran for office on a promise to restore rule of law to the immigration system, and he won the presidency on that platform in a nationwide vote. His obligation to the voters is every bit as immutable as the Democrats' is to their much smaller constituencies. The only way Trump can legitimately sign off on a DREAMer deal is if he can promise the skeptical and previously lied-to voters that the immigration system is restored and the mess will never happen again. That is what the tradeoffs are intended to achieve. The only way the minority-party Democrats should be able get what they want is to give in on other things.
It's called compromise.
And it should be a compromise if all sides are serious. The average voter, recall, doesn't have a dog in this fight. He or she isn't going to benefit in any way from a DREAMer amnesty. On the political spectrum, only Democrats will benefit, because DREAMers, once they achieve citizenship, will pretty much all vote Democrat. So there is nothing in amnestying DREAMers for voters, the GOP, or Trump, unless there are things these voters asked for, too.
Yet the press is shaping the coverage so as to claim that Trump wants to scupper the deal with unreasonable demands. There is no examination of what may be really going on, which is that keeping the status quo may really be the Democrats' plan.
After all, Democrats benefit from illegal immigration. They've gained congressional seats and electoral college votes as illegals have filled districts in parts of Southern California, even though illegals are not permitted to vote. (In some districts along the 710 corridor, the voting rate is about 10% due to high illegal alien counts.) Democrats also benefit from the expansion of government – as illegals fill schools, hospitals, jails, food stamp offices, and Departments of Motor Vehicles offices, and even put wear on highways and infrastructure. And high numbers of illegals in any of these establishments open the door to more federal funding, often a transfer of funds from other parts of the country. More government = more bureaucrats = more federal funding = more Democrats. Democrats also benefit from chain migration – in championing illegal immigrants, they scarf up votes from their legal relatives already in the states.
Now, weighing that, against just giving the DREAMers residency status over all the other people waiting in line to emigrate legally, might be a bridge too far for them. But Democrats should state that openly and make it known that illegal immigration is too good for them as it is to cut a deal on the DREAMers. Since they won't, they pursue a no-compromises policy and expect President Trump to just cave in to everything they demand while giving nothing. Presumably, Trump can avoid bad press and sob stories in return as his reward.
It's not a deal any reasonable president should fall for. Trump probably won't. And the media should look at that issue as it is with honesty.
Text of White House Statement on Immigration Priorities
Here is the full statement on immigration priorities issued by the White House late October 8.
The immigration-priority list is vague on several issues, such as the scale of the border wall. The list also does not include many popular reforms, such as the large-scale repatriation of illegal aliens, or a reduction to the annual inflow of H-1B, OPT and L-1 white-collar outsourcing workers.
The list does include several features that would help Americans, including a reduction in family chain-migration and a legal requirement that companies use the E-verify system to check the eligibility of job applicants.
The Trump Administration is ready to work with Congress to achieve three immigration policy objectives to ensure safe and lawful admissions; defend the safety and security of our country; and protect American workers and taxpayers.
BORDER SECURITY: Build a southern border wall and close legal loopholes that enable illegal immigration and swell the court backlog.
Fund and complete construction of the southern border wall.
Authorize the Department of Homeland Security to raise and collect fees from visa services and border-crossings to fund border security and enforcement activities.
Ensure the safe and expeditious return of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and family units.
End abuse of our asylum system by tightening standards, imposing penalties for fraud, and ensuring detention while claims are verified.
Remove illegal border crossers quickly by hiring an additional 370 Immigration Judges and 1,000 ICE attorneys.
Discourage illegal re-entry by enhancing penalties and expanding categories of inadmissibility.
Improve expedited removal.
Increase northern border security.
INTERIOR ENFORCEMENT: Enforce our immigration laws and return visa overstays.
Protect innocent people in sanctuary cities.
Authorize and incentivize States and localities to help enforce Federal immigration laws.
Strengthen law enforcement by hiring 10,000 more ICE officers and 300 Federal prosecutors.
End visa overstays by establishing reforms to ensure their swift removal.
Stop catch-and-release by correcting judicial actions that prevent ICE from keeping dangerous aliens in custody pending removal and expanding the criteria for expedited removal.
Prevent gang members from receiving immigration benefits.
Protect U.S. workers by requiring E-Verify and strengthening laws to stop employment discrimination against U.S. workers.
Improve visa security by expanding State Department’s authority to combat visa fraud, ensuring funding of the Visa Security Program, and expanding it to high-risk posts.
MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM: Establish reforms that protect American workers and promote financial success.
End extended-family chain migration by limiting family-based green cards to include spouses and minor children.
Establish a points-based system for green cards to protect U.S. workers and taxpayers.
ESTABLISH MERIT-BASED REFORMS TO PROMOTE ASSIMILATION AND FINANCIAL SUCCESS
END CHAIN MIGRATION: Limit family-based green cards to spouses and the minor children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
Pro-worker immigration reforms would end chain migration to begin providing lawful permanent resident status based on merit, not family connections, and would promote assimilation, financial independence, and upward mobility.
Most low-skilled immigration into the United States occurs legally through our immigrant visa system, which prioritizes family-based chain migration.
Each year, the United States permanently grants green cards to more than 1 million people, many of whose sole basis for entering the United States is family ties.
Chain migration has accounted for more than 60 percent of immigration into the United States over the last 35 years.
POINT-BASED SYSTEM FOR MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION: Establish a point-based system for awarding green cards that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers, encourages assimilation, and ensures the financial self-sufficiency of newcomers.
Only 1 out of every 15 immigrants to the United States are admitted on the basis of skills.
More than half of all immigrant households use one or more welfare programs.
Decades of low-skilled immigration has suppressed wages, fueled unemployment, and strained Federal resources.
ELIMINATE THE “DIVERSITY VISA” LOTTERY: Every year, through the “diversity visa” lottery, the United States awards 50,000 green cards at random to foreign nationals, many of whom have absolutely no ties to the United States, no special skills, and limited education.
The “diversity visa” lottery is susceptible to fraud and is costly and time intensive for the State Department to implement.
The lottery initiates new streams of permanent immigration when the lottery winners, many of whom previously had no ties to the United States, are subsequently able to bring over their extended relatives through chain migration.
SET THE NUMBER OF REFUGEES AT AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL: While the United States is a world leader in accepting refugees and recently has gone beyond historic averages, the refugee ceiling needs to be realigned with American priorities.
Historically, the United States has resettled more refugees than has the rest of the world combined.
One study found that for the price of permanently resettling one refugee within the country, the United States can help 12 refugees resettle in safe zones closer to their home regions.
By better focusing U.S. refugee admissions on the most genuine claims and enhancing our screening processes, we will help combat fraud in the program, enhance our Nation’s ability to welcome refugees, and aid in their assimilation to the American way of life.
SECURE THE BORDER BY DETERRING AND SWIFTLY REMOVING ILLEGAL ENTRANTS
COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BORDER WALL: Build a southern border wall and authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to raise fees from the processing of immigration-benefit applications and border-crossings to be used for security and infrastructure.
A meaningful physical barrier on our southern border is vital to prevent infiltration by cartels, criminals, traffickers, smugglers, and threats to both public safety and national security.
In 2006, Congress passed legislation to secure the border with a double-layer fence but the promised barrier was not constructed.
The inability to spend immigration fees on core law enforcement functions impedes security on both the southern and northern borders.
ENSURE PROMPT REMOVAL OF MINORS & RELATIVES CROSSING BORDER ILLEGALY: Ensure the swift return of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and family units by amending current laws that require authorities to release them en masse into the United States.
Every year, tens of thousands of illegal aliens – some traveling with their parents – are caught after illegally crossing the border, only to be quickly released into our country. This is one of the largest loopholes in U.S. border security.
o Approximately 38,500 UACs and 71,500 members of family units have been apprehended at the southern border this fiscal year – the vast majority were released.
Under current law, UACs from countries other than Canada and Mexico are exempt from expedited removal.
Because of these loopholes, few UACs who illegally enter the country are ever returned home.
o The number of UACs removed in FY 2016 represented approximately 4 percent of all UACs released into the country that same year.
END ASYLUM ABUSE:Tighten standards (including the “credible fear” standard), impose penalties for fraud, and ensure applicants are not released while their claims are verified.
Chronic asylum fraud and loopholes allow illegal immigrants to gain quick and easy entry.
Lax legal standards for claiming asylum has led to a backlog of 270,000 affirmative asylum cases with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and 250,000 in the Immigration Courts.
Misguided judicial decisions have prevented the removal of numerous criminal aliens, while also rendering those aliens eligible to apply for asylum and other forms of relief from removal.
REDUCE MASSIVE COURT BACKLOG THAT CRIPPLES BORDER SECURITY: Expand our capabilities to deal with the ongoing crisis of illegal border crossings through expedited removal.
Border security will be impossible as long as we have an immigration court backlog of over 600,000 cases, preventing the removal of illegal border-crossers. It takes an average of 682 days to complete a single immigration case. Proper tools to improve our border security include:
o Expanding and strengthening the expedited removal process;
o Hiring an additional 370 Immigration Judges and 1,000 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorneys;
o Establishing performance metrics for Immigration Judges; and
o Discouraging illegal re-entry by enhancing penalties and expanding categories of inadmissibility. ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
STOP “SANCTUARY CITIES”:States and localities that refuse to cooperate with Federal authorities should be ineligible for funding from certain grants and cooperative agreements.
While Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) values its law enforcement partners at the State and local levels, there are hundreds of jurisdictions across the country that do not honor requests from ICE to hold criminal aliens who already are in state and local custody, threatening public safety.
STRENGTHEN IMMIGRATION LAW ENFORCEMENT:Hiring an additional 10,000 ICE officers and 300 Federal prosecutors to handle immigration cases will allow law enforcement agencies to uphold our laws and protect public safety and national security.
There are nearly one million aliens with final orders of removal across the country.
o Yet ICE has only 6,000 Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers to cover an immigration system that issues tens of millions of temporary visas every year.
In addition, authorizing and incentivizing States and localities to enforce immigration laws would further help ICE with its mission, and make all communities safer.
END VISA OVERSTAYS: Increasing overstay penalties and ICE’s enforcement tools will help ensure that foreign workers, students and visitors respect the terms of their temporary visas.
Visa overstays account for roughly 40 percent of all illegal immigration in the United States. In Fiscal Year 2016, 628,000 aliens overstayed their visas.
END “CATCH-AND-RELEASE”: Correcting judicial interpretations that have eroded ICE’s authority to keep aliens in custody pending removal, and making detentions mandatory for criminal aliens, will end the practice of catch-and-release and improve community safety.
A 2001 Supreme Court decision requires ICE to release certain removable aliens, including violent criminals, within 180 days if they have not been deported and there is no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future.
In Fiscal Year 2017, 1,666 criminal illegal aliens have been released from ICE custody because of the above-mentioned 2001 Supreme Court decision.
PROTECT AMERICAN WORKERS:Preventing employers from hiring illegal alien labor, and displacing U.S. workers, will improve job opportunities and raise wages for Americans.
The failure to enforce our immigration laws has produced lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers.
We can provide relief to the American workforce by requiring the use of E-Verify and by expanding the definition of unlawful employment discrimination to specifically include the displacement of U.S. workers by nonimmigrant workers.
STOP VISA FRAUD: The State Department and Department of Homeland Security need the funding and flexibility to detect and counter rampant visa fraud.
Expand the State Department’s authority to collect and use fraud prevention and detection fees to combat all types of visa fraud and create a fee mechanism to fully fund the Visa Security Program to facilitate its expansion to all high-risk visa-issuing posts.