The following is a statement from Pili Tobar, managing director of America’s Voice, regarding the McConnell-Trump-Miller Senate immigration proposal:
President Trump, aided and abetted by Mitch McConnell and Stephen Miller, is holding the country and 800,000 federal workers and their families hostage. Rather than wasting time with unreasonable, one sided ‘offers,’ Republicans must reopen the government first.
The McConnell-Trump proposal is an anti-immigrant bill, not a compromise. Framed as a bipartisan solution, the bill was negotiated only among Republicans and – per usual – turned out to be just another Stephen Miller special, full of poison pills designed to get Democrats to say no.
Hostage taking and one sided ‘negotiations’ are no way to govern. If the administration wants to have a debate over immigration, they must reopen the government first.
Payday is coming, and American families can’t afford for this shutdown to continue.
While Miller cemented poison pills throughout the legislation, let’s take a look at three prime examples:
- Dreamers: Instead of the 1.8 million Dreamers protected under the BRIDGE Act, this proposal would offer temporary protections to only 700,000 Dreamers and would double the already-paralyzing application fees. In addition, the proposal would put in place new eligibility restrictions that would hurt low-income immigrant youth and change requirements for new applicants.
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS)-holders: The legislation offers temporary protections to only some TPS-holders, excluding several countries (including Nepal, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Syria and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders from Liberia.) In addition, it virtually eliminates the very purpose of the program: under the bill, if an immigrant is undocumented in the U.S. when their home country suffers a natural disaster or armed conflict, they won’t be protected from deportation.
- Children seeking asylum: Children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador will be barred from applying for asylum at the border and quickly returned to dangerous situations, meaning no Central American minors would get protection, until a revived Central Americans Minors (CAM) program is in place. This revived policy, which experts are calling the SHAM CAM program, would allow only 50,000 Central American minors to apply for asylum each year and only 15,000 would be granted. These cases wouldn’t be seen by an immigration judge, wouldn’t be subjected to judicial review, and would be non-reviewable. Plain and simple, it guts asylum for kids fleeing violence, gang recruitment and rape in Central America.