The White House immigration framework offers Americans too little while granting illegal aliens too much to be considered a principled, credible approach to curtailing illegal immigration and reducing massive flows of legal immigration.
While campaigning, President Trump energetically reinforced the concept that immigration policies - levels, admission criteria and enforcement - must serve our national interests, not special interests. He made an unwavering pledge to protect American jobs, wages, enhance security and uphold the rule of law. He won because these principles resonated with Americans who hoped that his election would represent a historic opportunity to modernize our immigration system for the realities of the 21st Century. Yet despite all that, the White House yesterday inexplicably presented nothing short of an antiquated retread of the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli Act.
The White House framework for immigration reform does offer a partial list of true reforms widely embraced by the American people, including enhanced border security - backed up by a $25 billion trust fund for wall construction - elimination of the visa lottery, and a scaling back of chain migration.
Upon examination, however, these positives are overshadowed by flawed and missing reforms.
First, the framework audaciously grants amnesty to 1.8 million illegal aliens - 1.1 million more than anyone interested in addressing the status of DACA recipients ever imagined. By any definition, these numbers expose this framework as a massive amnesty vehicle, not a reasonable DACA compromise.
"Second, the framework does not offer any solutions to dangerous sanctuary policies that continue expanding across the country, nor does it address illegal aliens in the workplace by mandating nationwide E-Verify. Without these two reforms, public safety will continue to be compromised and American workers harmed.
Third, while the framework does offer long-term relief for our nation from the effects of chain migration, reforms won't kick in until the admission of all 4 million people on current chain migration waiting lists.
Finally, and perhaps most important, is that the framework fails to put enforcement mechanisms in place prior to any form of legalization. The proper sequencing should be to first put reforms in place that assure the public they're not going to get the short end of the stick, yet again.
We urge the administration to scrap this proposal and proceed toward needed reforms using the Securing America's Future Act, which is currently awaiting consideration in the House.
Dan Stein is the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.