Establishment leader Sen. John Cornyn is elbowing a core group of GOP immigration reformers out of the critical closed-door negotiations with Democrats, setting the stage for a huge political failure, say pro-American reformers.
“I’m alarmed,” said Rosemary Jenks, policy director at NumbersUSA. “Obviously [Democrats] don’t want to reduce immigration at all, and I don’t think Cornyn does either … He was for amnesty when he was in the House, and he’s for amnesty in the Senate.”
“What this shows is … people who share the presidents’ views on immigration are not well represented among Republican leaders in the Congress, and that’s a problem,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies.
The power shift came as a group of four top legislators met in the Capitol to begin four-part talks about the planned amnesty for 670,000 to 3.25 million illegals, and the various safeguards, protections and benefits for Americans that would be tied into the amnesty.
The meeting included Cornyn plus House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is a California Republican with little history of immigration expertise. The two top Democrats at the meeting were Sen Dick Durbin — a hard-line immigration-booster who has been pushing for an amnesty since 2001 — and Rep. Steny Hoyer, a former moderate who has moved left with the Democratic Party.
From colleague Jason Donner: Cornyn asked aides to put together DACA proposal after mtg. When asked if there was a deal, Cornyn replied “Oh no..we’re just talking.” Says they need to get Trump & DHS Sec Nielsen involved.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 10, 2018
Cornyn’s role was highlighted on Thursday news that the group of four leaders is also negotiating with Trump’s deputies.
Pelosi on Hoyer, McCarthy, Durbin and Cornyn negotiating with White House CoS Kelly on DACA:
“The five white guys as I call them…what are they going to do next? Open a hamburger stand?”
— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) January 11, 2018
The Gang of Four group sidelines the GOP’s immigration experts, including the two judiciary chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Sen. Chuck Grassley.
Cornyn is the second-ranking GOP Senator and serves as the vote-counting whip to Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell. He also is chairman of the immigration subcommittee under Grassley, but has a record of supporting cheap-labor, loose-immigration policies which have cut Americans’ salaries, and have allowed Democrats to gain a steady influx of government-dependent voters in Texas and other states.
For example, in early 2017, Cornyn drafted a border security bill that did very little to improve border security. Also, one of Cornyn’s former top aides, Rob Jesmer, is now the deputy chief at Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us lobbying group, which is seeking to raise the inflow of cheap white-collar labor for jobs sought by Americans.
Cornyn’s lead role is “is alarming,” said Vaughan, adding:
What worries me about having Sen. Cornyn and Majority Leader McCarthy is that they are likely to make a deal for the sake of making a deal, rather than trying to accomplish the president’s agenda or accomplish provisions to do damage control after the amnesty. Neither one of them has a record of trying to rein in immigration and improvement enforcement.
Cornyn’s move comes as Democrats also try to exclude Grassley from the talks.
On January 10, for example, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to scare Republicans Senators from working with Grassley, the chairman of the judiciary committee, which oversees immigration laws. According to Schumer, Grassley is one of “the most conservative voices on immigration.”
Schumer was also providing cover to an effort by his deputy, Sen. Dick Durbin, to develop an amnesty bill with several pro-amnesty GOP Senators, including Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, plus Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake.
Democrats have used that Durbin bill — which is aided by much favorable media coverage — to downplay the balanced SECURE Act bill develop by Grassley and several GOP Senators.
Democrats can bully the GOP majority because many GOP Senators try to make deals instead of good policies, said Jenks.
GOP Senators tend to negotiate first with themselves to develop compromise offers even before sitting down with Democrats, she said. “They move to the left before they ever get started, and the Democrats see that and say ‘We want more, we want more’ … You don’t have the real core of conservative pulling things to the right like you do in the House.”
In the televised White House meeting on immigration, Cornyn kept a low profile but did emphasize his role as a dealmaker, saying:
Part of my job is to count votes in the Senate. And as you know when you hosted us, the leadership, at Camp David this weekend, I believe both the Speaker and Majority Leader McConnell made crystal clear that they would not proceed with a bill on the floor of the Senate or the House unless it had your support, unless you would sign it.
So that’s, I think, the picture we need to be looking through — the lens we need to be looking through is not only what could we agree to among ourselves on a bipartisan basis, but what will you sign into law. Because we all want to get to a solution here, and we realize the clock is ticking.
Cornyn’s office did not respond to questions from Breitbart News.
Democrats are also trying to narrow the border security talks to exclude vital questions about current laws which allow migrants to walk freely through the existing walls and fences, pick up work permits and disappear into American cities. For example, two laws allow people who claim to be children easy access to federal courtrooms and also allow older migrants to claim asylum by declaring they seek refuge from a “credible fear” of gangs. Because of those laws, the number of migrants being allowed to cross the U.S. Mexico border has no climbed back to the levels seen during President Barack Obama’s easy-migration policies.
In February 2017, Cornyn ignored the role of legal changes when he talked about requirements for border security. He told reporters:
I believe that successful border security is composed of three components. One is infrastructure, which you could call that a physical barrier, wall, or fencing. Secondly, technology, and third, personnel. Because if you don’t have the people there to detain people trying to illegally enter the country when they come over the wall or around the wall or under the wall or through the wall, it doesn’t make much sense. So I really believe that successful border security entails a combination of all three, and each of those will vary a little bit depending on where you are along the border.
The Democratic effort to downplay legal changes were exposed at the Jan. 9 White House meeting when Sen Diane Feinstein asked Trump to endorse a quick, no-strings amnesty and later negotiate border security measures. She asked:
What about a clean DACA bill now, with a commitment that [later] we go into a comprehensive immigration reform procedure? … I think if we have some meaningful comprehensive immigration reform, that’s really where the security goes.
To the surprise of immigration reformers, McCarthy pushed back, saying:
But, let’s be honest. Security was voted on just a few years ago, and, no disrespect, there’s people in the room on the other side of the aisle who voted for it. If I recall, Senator Clinton voted for it. So I don’t think that’s comprehensive; I think that’s dealing with DACA at the same time. I think that’s really what the President is making. It’s kind of like three pillars: DACA, because we’re all in the room want to do it; border security, so we’re not back out here; and chain migration. It’s just three items, and then everything else that’s comprehensive is kind of moved to the side … And the lottery.
McCarthy’s quick and detailed support for Trump’s popular priorities was a huge surprise to immigration reformers. “That blew me away,” said Jenks.
“I was impressed, and it led me to hope that Republicans had come to an agreement among themselves for what have to be the minimum requirements are for a deal to give the DACAs amnesty,” Vaughan said. If so, Cornyn and McCarthy may fight for a deal which includes Trump’s election-winning goals, she said.
After McCarthy shut down Feinstein, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House judiciary committee also pushed back, saying:
I just want to reemphasize what [DHS] Secretary Nielsen said. It is so important they understand when you talk about border security, if you apprehend somebody at the border, but then you cannot send them back outside the United States, even though they’re unlawfully present in the United States, you have not solved this problem, because they’re then released into the interior of the country and the problem persists. And that sends a message back to wherever they come from.
In response, Trump sided with Goodlatte, saying:
I agree, Bob. And you know what? We’re going to negotiate that. I agree, and I think a lot of people agree on both sides.
Goodlatte and three other GOP chairmen and chairwomen have introduced an ambitious immigration reform bill which would offer a partial amnesty to the 670,000 DACA illegals in exchange for approval of many goals which would help curb illegal immigration and chain-migration mass-immigration. Trump effectively endorsed their bill in a statement on Wednesday evening.
On Wednesday, Grassley, and the two other top GOP reformers — Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Tom Cotton — issued a statement urging negotiators to recognize that legal changes are part of the border-wall security talks. Their statement said:
We applaud the president’s effort to foster an open dialogue on immigration between both houses of Congress and both political parties, as he did yesterday. With the President’s guidance, this diverse group agreed to four key items. The current negotiations will focus on a solution to the DACA situation, increased border security, ending chain migration, and eliminating the outdated Diversity Visa Lottery.
We feel it’s important to recognize that border security is more than just infrastructure. Enforcement authorities must be improved so that federal law officers can protect law abiding American citizens and immigrants. Ultimately, these things must be addressed simultaneously in order to solve the underlying problem from reoccurring in the future.
Cornyn’s leading role in the negotiations is alarming, said Jenks. “The real experts on policy are Chairman Goodlatte, Chairman Grassley,” she said. “Sens. Cotton and Perdue have made themselves experts, and those are the people we should send.”She continued:
The only way this turns out OK for the American people, President Trump and for the Republicans to keep their majority, is for the House to vote on the Goodlatte bill, as it is, pass it and send it to the Senate, and the Senate needs to vote on it. If they can’t pass it, we don’t have a DACA deal.
“There is no way that the Senate is going to come out with a good bill,” she added.
Polls show that Trump’s American-first immigration policy is very popular. For example, a poll of likely 2018 voters shows two-to-one voter support for Trump’s pro-American immigration policies, and a lopsided four-to-one opposition against the cheap-labor, mass-immigration, economic policy pushed by bipartisan establishment-backed D.C. interest-groups.
Business groups and Democrats tout the misleading, industry-funded “Nation of Immigrants” polls because they which pressure Americans to say they welcome migrants, including the roughly 670,000 ‘DACA’ illegals and the roughly 3.25 million ‘dreamer’ illegals.