Omnibus: Antithesis of American Interests; No Funding for Wall yet Increase in Foreign Guest Workers
"The bottom line is this: there are no immigration-related provisions in the omnibus that are consistent with what President Trump and congressional Republicans told the American people they would do when they were sent to Washington," said FAIR President Dan Stein.
(March 22, 2018, Washington, D.C.) — The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in response to the details of the FY 2018 omnibus spending bill that were made public last night:
"Nearly halfway into the fiscal year, Congress has already passed five stopgap spending bills to fund the federal government, punctuated by two brief government shutdowns. This intolerable situation should have ended this week with the passage of a clean omnibus spending bill and a commitment by Congress that they would address other pressing issues, including immigration, later through regular order. Congressional leadership and the business lobby had other plans, however, as the omnibus released last night leaves our nation’s security at risk and sets up a betrayal of the most vulnerable American workers who have seen their jobs and wages decimated by bad immigration policies.
"This omnibus was an appropriate vehicle to provide full funding for the construction of a border wall – an essential tool for regaining control of our borders and stopping illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and terrorism. Instead, it contains a paltry $1.6 billion for repairs, drones, and pedestrian fencing – no wall construction. Even worse, the measure explicitly restricts funding for any of President Trump’s border wall prototypes, only allowing spending for designs deployed before the prototypes were constructed. If Congressional leadership told the president he was getting money for his signature campaign promise, he was lied to.
"And while adequate funding for the wall was not included, powerful business interests are inappropriately using the must-pass spending bill to expand their access to cheap foreign labor. Congressional leadership included a provision in the omnibus that allows the Department of Homeland Security to double the number of H-2B visas available in the current fiscal year. Opening the door for a significant increase in guest workers is not only unwarranted, but harmful to the interests of American workers. Moreover, this controversial provision has no place in a spending bill and should instead be debated openly along with other unsettled immigration matters after the government is funded.
"It was also troubling to see the White House push for the inclusion of a DACA 'fix' in the spending bill, especially after Democrats backed away from previous demands to do so. The deal that was pushed by the White House and rejected by Democrats would have traded border wall funding for an extension of the DACA program.
"Any action to resolve status for DACA beneficiaries before long-promised comprehensive enforcement provisions and legal immigration reforms are fully implemented is merely a crude attempt to deceive the American people. We know from long and bitter experience that enforcement promises will not be kept. Worse yet, amnesty will lead to a new and even greater wave of illegal immigration.
"The bottom line is this: there are no immigration-related provisions in the omnibus that are consistent with what President Trump and congressional Republicans told the American people they would do when they were sent to Washington."