Congress has once again missed an opportunity to prioritize the safety and the well-being of Americans by passing a bloated omnibus bill that barely addresses border security. The bill does not contain funding for a much-needed 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 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.
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.
Dan Stein is the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.