If that bill isn’t passed, the federal government will have to shut down nonessential services. That means national parks, payments to federal contractors, regulatory enforcement, visa processing, that kind of stuff. The military, coast guard, federal prisons, and so on are hardly affected. Some other agencies like the IRS just get slowed down.
If the shutdown went on for weeks, more federal services would be affected. That’s not likely to happen, though. The last shutdown, in October 2013, was just 17 days. The big one, the one everyone remembers, at the end of 1995, was for a total 27 days. It’s kabuki theater; something gets worked out.
There are people on both sides of the congressional aisle willing to go to a shutdown. The central issue in their willingness: the evil and poisonous DACA program that gives Amnesty to a select, but very large, number of illegal aliens.
On the Republican side are conservatives who fear the Trumpists in the GOP base. They want no DACA clauses in the spending deal.
The Democrats have a corresponding group willing to block the spending deal unless there is a DACA clause, on behalf of Hispanic voters and for the millions more future Democrat voters an Amnesty would bring in.
Leadership of both parties in the House of Representatives is talking along with these hardline factions. GOP Speaker Paul Ryan said a few days ago: “I don’t think we should put artificial deadlines in front of the one we already have” [Congress barreling toward explosive immigration fight, By Mike Lillis , The Hill, November 17, 2017] That’s in reference to the March 5th deadline President Trump has set for Congress to do something or other about DACA. Ryan was saying there’s no need to pack Amnesty in with the budget fix, since it’ll have to be dealt with by March anyway.
Rep. Dave Brat—remember him? he’s the guy who wiped out GOP cuckmeister Eric Cantor in a primary three years ago, then went on to win Cantor’s seat in the midterms.—Dave Brat is talking up a deal: “DACA protections,” whatever that means (slow Amnesty would be my guess) in return for ending chain migration, eliminating the diversity visa, and mandatory E-Verify.
That’s nice, Dave. But congressional Democrats would commit mass seppuku on the steps of the Capitol rather than pass anything that might slow down mass immigration.
And politically, the congresscritters—especially in the House—all have those previous government shutdowns in mind. Government shutdowns are not popular with the voting public; and both parties fear being blamed, especially when there’s an election on the horizon—in this case, next fall’s midterms..
It’s not clear to me that these fears are well-founded. Polls showed Republicans being blamed for both those last government shutdowns, in 1995 and 2013. Yet in both the 1996 election and the 2014 midterms, the GOP did okay.
However, investment prospectuses say, however, past performance is no guide to future returns, so the congress folk are fretting.
How this kind of impasse gets resolved depends considerably on the White House. We’re bound to end up with compromise, but the precise nature of the thing depends on how resolutely the President defends his own positions, and how the public responds to them.
I’m a pessimist, so I don’t think the omens there are particularly good. Trump has expressed sympathy for the DACA illegals, and seems unenthusiastic about following through on his campaign promises on border security and birthright citizenship. A Big Cuck—Amnesty for the illegals in return for passing a budget bill, with maybe some worthless cosmetic measures on immigration enforcement—is a definite possibility.
It’s all been so unnecessary. If President Trump had acted forcefully, resolutely to end the DACA program on his first day in office, as he promised, we wouldn’t be facing the possibility of a mass Amnesty now.
Failure on DACA is the worst strike to date against the Trump presidency.
But DACA isn’t the only dubious immigration program the Trump administration seems reluctant to deal with. Here’s another one: TPS—Temporary Protected Status, a designation instituted in 1990 for certain kinds of foreigners. To quote from the government’s immigration website:
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States.
INA: ACT 244 – TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS, Sec. 244. 1/ [8 U.S.C. 1254]
The idea is that if a foreigner is here in the U.S.A. in some capacity when there arises a calamity in his home country—an earthquake, epidemic, civil war, or suchlike—the foreigner can stay here and get a work permit (if he doesn’t already have one) until it’s safe for him to return.
It sounds reasonable enough. But this is immigration policy we’re talking about, so reason has nothing to do with it. “Temporary,” in immigration-speak, means “permanent.”
Case in point: Nearly eight years ago, in January 2010, Haiti was struck by a major earthquake. As a result, 60,000 Haitians living in the U.S.A. were given TPS.
They still have it. Apparently our government has determined that Haiti, after eight years—and untold billions in aid for recovery, much of it from U.S. taxpayers—is still “unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.”
There was an encouraging development back in May, when then-DHS Secretary John Kelly extended TPS for these Haitians for another six months. That doesn’t sound very encouraging, but the statement put out at the time by Kelly’s DHS made it sound like that extension would be the last:
This six-month extension should allow Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States, and should also provide the Haitian government with the time it needs to prepare for the future repatriation of all current TPS recipients …
The Department of Homeland Security urges Haitian TPS recipients who do not have another immigration status to use the time before Jan. 22, 2018 to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States—including proactively seeking travel documentation …
I believe there are indications that Haiti—if its recovery from the 2010 earthquake continues at pace—may not warrant further TPS extension past January 2018. TPS as enacted in law is inherently temporary in nature, and beneficiaries should plan accordingly that this status may finally end after the extension announced today.
That was General Kelly speaking back in May.
Kelly has since then been moved to be White House Chief of Staff. To replace him, President Trump put forward 45-year-old Kirstjen Nielsen who seems., to judge from her testimony at Senate confirmation hearings, to favor Amnesty and Open Borders. The Senate committee confirmed her November 14th, and the full senate will vote sometime soon.
Meanwhile the DHS has had as Acting Secretary a civil-service drone named Elaine Duke. Monday this week, two days before General Kelly’s six-month extension for the Haitians expired, Ms. Duke announced another extension of TPS for Haitians, this one for eighteen months.
What’s the rationale for that? From the DHS press release:
This will provide time for individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible. It will also provide time for Haiti to prepare for the return and reintegration of their citizens.
That’s nice; but weren’t those the same reasons offered for General Kelly’s extension six months ago?
It seems pretty plain to me that these Haitians will never be required to go home. This so-called Temporary Protected Status is just another scam on the American public, like all our other immigration programs.
Michelle Malkin commented some years ago in regards to the adjudication process for illegal aliens: “it ain’t over until the alien wins.” These Haitians aren’t illegal, although many of them were in the first place, before getting TPS, but a similar principle applies: it ain’t over until they get to stay permanently.
As our own correspondent Federale has said in regard to Acting Secretary Duk e, a big part of the problem here is President Trump’s failure to appoint Trump loyalists to positions in the secondary levels of his administration—or even, if the DHS Secretary-in-waiting’s senate testimony is a guide, to positions at the primary levels.
You’d think that the Open-Borders shills, at least, would be happy with Ms. Duke’s magnanimity. Not so. Here’s Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, [Email him] addressing the issue on Wednesday this week, quote:
I’m just beside myself with sadness because our president is a bully, our president is a punk, and he just doesn’t get it. I don’t know where he was raised but his family didn’t do a good job raising that guy.
I wonder what the mayor’s psychic state would be if General Kelly’s six-month extension of TPS back in May had been the last, as Kelly seemed to imply it should.
It’s not just the Philly mayor. There have been street demonstrations against the eighteen-month extension of TPS—against, that is, the possibility that, after the eighteen months are up, it may not be renewed.
In Florida there was a march on President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club by various Leftist and anti-white groups, protesting the horrible cruelty implicit in a mere eighteen-month extension. The Palm Beach Post quoted one participant thus:
It’s inhumane given the conditions where we’re sending these people back to.
Immigrant workers protest Trump’s decision to end TPS, by Carla Trivino, Palm Beach Post, November 22, 2017
Well, yes: Haiti, even after massive aid and rebuilding, is still a godforsaken slum. That’s a consequence of its very low levels of human capital, though; and that’s not the fault of Americans, or of anyone other than Mother Nature. Why are we supposed to pay for other countries’ godforsakenness?
We extended generous hospitality to these people after the earthquake—when, if they’d had any feelings for their own country, you’d think that they’d want to go back and help rebuild it. No: Apparently, it’s up to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild it while the Haitians hang out in Palm Beach.
And what’s the general principle here? That a TPS recipient doesn’t have to return to his home country until that country has the economic and political standards of Switzerland? When does anyone think Haiti will meet that criterion? Some time in the 31st century?
Note, ominously, that those 60,000 Haitian recipients of TPS have, during their eight years in our country, brought forth around 30,000 children—all of them, thanks to our insane policy of birthright citizenship, U.S. citizens.
So when these kiddies attain majority they can anyway petition for their parents to get permanent residence in the U.S.
Thus, for some high proportion of the Haitians, even if, by a political miracle, their Temporary Protected Status were eventually to end, but obliging them to return to their homeland, thanks to their U.S.-citizen children, their exile from America would only be … temporary.
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com:FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.