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Tancredo: Hurricane DACA Targeting Washington Swampland: Are Republicans Prepared?

President Trump’s six-month reprieve for Obama’s “Deferred Acton on Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program could be a lifeline to the Republican party, but it can turn out to be a death sentence if Republicans swallow the Democrats’ amnesty plan.

The early signs are not good, as it appears we are looking at a replay of the 2013 “Gang-of-Eight” fiasco in the Senate. Remember that circus? Four Republican pro-amnesty “moderates” — Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake — joined four Democrats to sponsor a very ambitious amnesty bill. That bill passed the Senate but with a majority of Republican senators voting “no,” and it was so bad and doomed to failure it was never even introduced in the House.

Well, it looks like that failed Gang-of-Eight game plan is being resurrected for the 2017 campaign to sell a deceptive general amnesty bill as the “replacement” for Obama’s DACA program. One of the four Democrats who sponsored the Gang-of-Eight bill, Robert Menendez, is now on trial for corruption, so he had to be replaced. On the Republican side, John McCain and Marco Rubio have been replaced by Cory Gardner and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — a “RINO” Republican who recently showed her true loyalties by joining McCain in voting to kill the Senate Republican health care bill. It looks like her appetite for sabotage has not yet been satisfied.

So, we now have four pro-amnesty Republican “moderates” –Graham, Flake, Murkowski and Gardner–joining Gang-of-Eight Democrats Charles Schumer, Richard Durbin, and Michael Bennet to cosponsor S.1615, the “Dream Act of 2017,” which is sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Folks, that senate amnesty bill resembles the DACA program about as much as Germany’s Hindenburg resembled Charles Lindberg’s Spirit of St. Louis flight. They were both “aircraft,” but had nothing else in common.

Respected conservative columnist Byron York this past week pointed out the numerous differences between the DACA program and the glaring amnesty provisions of the “Dream Act of 2017.” The DACA program does not grant a path to citizenship, bars to criminal aliens, and does not throw open the floodgates for chain migration under the rubric of “family reunification.”

Yes, the new Schumer-Flake amnesty bill will give legal status to the 780,000 “Dreamers” who have been protected from deportation by the DACA program, but it does far more than that. The Schumer-Flake bill also establishes a generous amnesty program which will give a green card and a path to citizenship to over 5,000,000 migrants once its “family unity” and “humanitarian” loopholes are fully implemented.

This is “bait and switch” legislation at its worst.

News bulletin for the amnesty lobby: 2017 is not 2013: There’s a new sheriff in town.

In 2013, when the Gang-of-Eight amnesty bill passed the Senate, both the Senate and the White House were under Democrat control. Today, both are under Republican control. So, why are Republicans allowing pro-amnesty Democrats Durbin and Schumer to set the terms of the DACA debate? Is it because the Republican leadership of the Senate agrees with the open border principles of the US Chamber of Commerce and not the Rule of Law principles of Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump and the US Constitution?

OK, let’s admit that the new sheriff in town, our independent-minded President, is not popular among Republicans or Democrats in the Washington establishment. In fact, there is a danger that a shared hatred of the Trump presidency might be enough to bring Republican and Democrat leaders together in support of a new amnesty bill. However, since it is widely believed that Trump will sign any DACA-related bill put on his desk, passing an amnesty bill loathed by both the Republican grassroots and Trump loyalists might be too high a price to pay among most Republicans for the fun of poking the President in the eye.

But wait. Is it Donald Trump’s and Jeff Sessions’ principles that being challenged by the blatant amnesty provisions of the “Dream Act of 2017” — or is it the Republican Party’s principles? Let’s do something seldom done in swampland: let’s look at the 2016 Republican Party Platform.” There we find this statement in the section on Immigration and the Rule of Law:

We stand with the victims of [Obama’s] policies, especially the families of murdered innocents. Illegal immigration endangers everyone, exploits the taxpayers, and insults all who aspire to enter America legally. We oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by breaking the law, have disadvantaged those who have obeyed. . . . The executive amnesties of 2012 and 2014 are a direct violation of federal law and usurp the powers of Congress as outlined in Article I of the Constitution. These unlawful amnesties must be immediately rescinded by a Republican president.

Why are so many congressional Republicans expressing anger and angst at the President and Attorney General for keeping a Trump campaign promise and conscientiously implementing the principles and promises made to the voters in the official 2016 GOP Platform? Amazing, isn’t it, how quickly so many Republican lawmakers forget the principles that got them elected in the first place?

Is there a Republican alternative to jumping on board another amnesty bill and generating a massive revolt by grassroots Republicans and Trump’s own loyalists? Yes, and the alternative is so simple even the RNC staff can understand it.

Republicans can legislate legal status for the 780,000 DACA beneficiaries who have qualified under the 2012 conditions set forth in the 2012 administrative rules — and no one else– not the individuals who did not apply before September 5, 2017, not individuals who came here on their own and were not brought by their parents, not the petty criminals and additional millions of arrivals since 2007 who would qualify under the new rules and timetables in S.1615. In short, Republicans can write a bill that draws a line in the sand and welcomes the “DACA kids” but does not open the floodgates for a new wave of illegal entries. Oh, and as the price for this generosity, Republicans can follow the suggestion of Senator Tom Cotton and add mandatory E-Verify for all employers to the bill.

Do that and the “DACA mess” is fixed without a general amnesty for millions. Of course, there are Republicans in Congress who answer not to promises and principles that got them elected but to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and donors like the Koch Brothers. Those Republicans can choose money over principles, amnesty over the rule of law, and then suffer the consequences — a Republican shipwreck in 2018.

Tom Tancredo

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