The more the rhetoric on immigration and sovereignty heats up on Twitter, the more things stay the same since Obama … or worse.
Following two decades of record immigration from the Middle East without any ability to vet loyalties to America, President Trump campaigned on a moratorium of immigration from countries with a large presence of terrorism. In the end, he only shut it off from Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, and Sudan, and even then, thanks to the administration’s capitulation to the lower courts, it was watered down several times. Yet, the Left still accuses him of an across-the-board ban on Muslim immigration. Beto O’Rourke said as much last night during the Democrat debate.
In reality, not much has changed since Obama. Yesterday, I warned about the abuse of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and how it has turned into an indefinite amnesty program for people who abused our system, allowing criminals to remain in the country. Well, today, the Trump administration agreed to extend TPS for Syrians, not just for the standard six months, but for 18 months, according to the Washington Post’s Nick Miroff.
In other words, despite the promise to be the first president to finally make Temporary Protected Status, um, temporary, it will now likely remain forever like all the others. It’s already been in place for over seven years, and now that Trump has blinked once – and for such a long extension – it will never be revoked. He did the same with El Salvador, Haiti, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen.
Thus, out of the few remaining countries left from his original promise of a moratorium, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen all have the TPS loophole. What’s next? Is he going to grant TPS to Iran?
Ultimately, the DHS secretary is the one who signs off on this decision, and Kevin McAleenan is clearly not in line with Trump’s campaign promises.
Roughly 7,000 Syrians have been given TPS as of early this year. I’m sure we can rest easy that all of them have been properly vetted and that none of them are like Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, a Syrian refugee who was recently arrested by the FBI for attempting to bomb a church in Pittsburgh.
According to the Congressional Research Service, roughly 417,000 foreign nationals from 10 countries remain here with TPS status. Remember, the longer these people remain in the country under a program that was designed to run no longer than 18 months, the more opportunity they have to adjust their status to a green card. Also, either way, any child born to them is erroneously viewed as an American citizen. Temporary, indeed!
Although Syrian TPS was first offered on March 29, 2012, and should only have applied to those who happened to already be in the country at that date, DHS allowed people to come here all the way up to August 2016 – four years after the designation – to take advantage of it.
This comes as hundreds of thousands of patently illegal DACA amnesty work permits have been renewed under this administration. Even the crazy judge who interfered in the process made it clear that Trump could end it if he issued a proper regulatory change through the Administrative Procedure Act process.
Plus, the administration continues granting over 750,000 of work permits to nearly every illegal alien who comes to our border, even though this policy, much like TPS, is only discretionary even for legitimate asylum applicants.
And we are refusing to close the border to a single country, even to nationals of Ebola-ridden Congo, as a third world country like Rwanda is smart enough to do so.
As if that weren’t enough, Trump is signing what is at least the twelfth budget bill of his presidency that doesn’t have the promised border wall and ICE funding, but spends us into oblivion on everything Democrats want.
“Conservative” “figures,” as they remain obsessed with focusing on internal Democrat politics, are missing the point. The president has some good instincts and wants some of the changes he promised. But his administration is full of swamp creatures with the status quo mindset, and certainly nobody in congressional leadership will pull him to the Right. The gravitational pull in Washington is only to the Left. Absent a firestorm from the notorious conservatives on Fox or on radio, the president will inevitably, however reluctantly, maintain swamp creatures like Kevin McAleenan and sign off on the same liberal policies.
The swamp will not be drained on its own. As conservatives in public policy, we are our best advocates – we are our only advocates. The president will hear 101 absurd arguments from the lawyers at the DHS, the DOJ, and in the Office of Legal Counsel about how everything the Left wants is legal and everything we call for is unlawful or unfeasible. This happens every day. There are a few brave souls in the administration who try to push our agenda, but rather than getting air cover from outside “conservative movement” figures respected by the president, the guns lie silent and the swamp machine overwhelms their ragtag forces.
Thus, we do the president no favors by standing down precisely when we need to stand up and be counted. He will follow if conservatives lead, but he will not lead the fight if conservatives are focused on everything but what they can actually influence.
Conservative commentators are focused on the election, even though it’s still just the Democrat primary. But why do we care about elections? Well, presumably, we care because of the policy outcomes achieved by those elections. There is still another year and a half with Republican control of the entire executive branch, where these figures have the opportunity to influence numerous important decisions every day. Let’s live in the here and now.
Moreover, what of the next election and the subsequent four years? If we are now content with Republican presidents gratuitously continuing liberal policies that can be countermanded by simple administrative actions, then the Democrats have already won. There is no greater victory for them than having their policies secured, irrespective of the outcome at the ballot box in November. (For more from the author of “What ‘Travel Ban’? Trump Admin Extends TPS Amnesty for Syrians in Another Missed Opportunity” please click HERE)