Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: Ryan-Led Budget Deal Sells Out Public Interest on Immigration

"Thus far, the Republican leadership in Congress has failed to fulfill its promises to the American people to hold the administration accountable on immigration policy" -Dan Stein, president of FAIR

Dec 17, 2015, 15:37 ET from FAIR

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In his first go-round on budget negotiations as Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) proved just as ineffectual in promoting and protecting the public interest in the area of immigration as his predecessor, John Boehner, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The $1.1 trillion omnibus budget deal, finalized on Wednesday, leaves intact dangerous and illegal Obama immigration policies that the Republican leadership has claimed to oppose, while selling out on essential protections for American workers.

Among the provisions of the omnibus bill that compromise the interests of the American people:

  • The bill fails to incorporate language previously approved by the House to close loopholes in the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008 that allow minors and adults with children from Central America to enter and remain in the U.S. indefinitely. These loopholes have resulted in a sustained surge of illegal immigration across our Southern border.
  • The bill does not cut off funding for large-scale resettlement of Syrian refugees, despite testimony from intelligence officials and empirical evidence after the San Bernardino attack that there are serious and dangerous deficiencies in the screening process.
  • The omnibus omits language that would defund DAPA and expanded DACA. President Obama's unconstitutional executive amnesty programs. Despite strong rhetoric that the president has no authority to implement these programs, and a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding an injunction barring the programs' implementation, the omnibus fully funds these programs should the Supreme Court lift the injunction.
  • The bill maintains funding for an office within the Department of Justice to provide legal defense for illegal aliens fighting their removal from the U.S.
  • The omnibus does not include language withholding certain funds from sanctuary jurisdictions that obstruct federal immigration enforcement. The House approved legislation to defund sanctuary jurisdictions in July, after the murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco.
  • The bill triples the number of low- and unskilled guest workers by exempting returning H-2B workers from counting against the annual cap. Slipping this language into the omnibus is a clear breach of Speaker Ryan's pledge to run the House through "regular order."
  • The legislation fails to make the highly effective E-Verify program permanent. E-Verify is a vital protection against American workers losing job opportunities to illegal aliens.
  • The bill continues to authorize the fraud-ridden EB-5 program, which allows foreign nationals to buy their way into the United States.
  • While the bill increases funding for immigration enforcement, it does nothing to compel the executive branch to carry out countless laws enacted by Congress.

"Republicans were given a mandate by the voters last year to serve as a bulwark against the excesses and the lawlessness of the Obama administration. Immigration was at the forefront of the public's distrust of the administration. Thus far, the Republican leadership in Congress has failed to fulfill its promises to the American people to hold the administration accountable on immigration policy. The omnibus bill is yet another glaring example of their failure to deliver on the promises they made," charged Dan Stein, president of FAIR.

"As we enter the 2016 campaign, in which immigration is certain to be a central issue, strong rhetoric followed by quiet capitulation will not suffice. On vital issues that affect national security and core economic interests of the American people, the congressional leadership must act to correct the glaring weaknesses in the omnibus budget deal," concluded Stein.

ABOUT FAIR                  
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group.  With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.

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