This week, Congress planned to vote on two immigration-related bills. One was the “compromise” immigration bill, which is based on a complex pathway-to-citizenship plan for DACA recipients that might make it even harder to enforce existing immigration law. The other, termed the Goodlatte bill, was the more conservative alternative to the compromise bill. It took steps to fund the border wall and limited the amnesty options for DACA recipients. While the compromise bill has been pushed to next week, Congress voted down the Goodlatte bill last Thursday, thus closing a door for conservative reform in immigration.
Heritage experts have been voicing their concerns about Congress’s actions and made it clear that, if there is to be any solution to our immigration issue in America, there must be legislation that respects the rule of law.
Heritage expert David Inserra rightly criticized Congress in a commentary this week, saying they are pushing “one big amnesty scheme.” It sets a dangerous precedent, and Congress failed to offer more resources to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is critical to positive reform.
According to Inserra, the immigration courts have 700,000 asylum cases on the docket alone. He noted that 95% of illegal immigrants with expired Visas do not show up to their court hearing, which means that an additional 262,000 illegals would be roaming about in your backyard every year.
Heritage’s Director of Congressional and Executive Branch Relations Tommy Binion agrees. In a commentary, he points to ineffective enforcement as a major problem in America and one that Congress needs to address immediately—but Congress seems to have no interest in coming to agreement on that solution.
Heritage experts gave Congress many prudent and sensible solutions, many of which involved making improvements in internal enforcement. Instead, Congress focused on one small piece of a very complicated puzzle: amnesty. This choice neglected to strengthen the agencies that protect us.
America’s hardworking civil servants in ICE can only do so much to secure our safety. With your support, Heritage is helping them in the fight to secure our great nation.
To learn more about the truth of immigration, listen to Heritage’s podcast on immigration enforcement, featuring David Inserra.
What do you think are the best next steps for enforcing immigration?