Capitol Hill Report: Dueling Proposals

January 20, 2018

Immigration has been the talk of the town recently, more specifically on the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) front.  After President Trump cleared the way for Congress to make a decision, two bills emerged.  The first bill, Securing America’s Future Act of 2018 (H.R. 4760) sponsored by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA), has been referred to as a “compromise bill.”  Although it continues the DACA program for current recipients which will give amnesty to potentially 694,000 immigrants, it has a litany of provisions to prevent mass immigration in the future.  This includes an end to chain migration, elimination of the visa lottery, mandatory E-Verify, and expansive measures to secure the border.  Even with Conservative members and grassroots activists rallying around it, the Speaker has yet to make a commitment on bringing this bill to the floor.  This leaves the door wide open for bad legislation to creep in, which we are seeing in the Senate.

The deal cooked up by the Senate is atrocious.  This is being hailed as the “bipartisan deal” or the “Gang of 6 Proposal.”  This Gang of 6 includes Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The proposal gives amnesty to DREAMers who have arrived prior to 2012 as well as their parents.  Over 10 million illegal immigrants would be eligible to receive work permits and a pathway to citizenship. It also counters Rep. Goodlatte’s bill by maintaining chain migration, continues the visa lottery, and does not mention E-Verify. The only silver lining would be the nearly $1.6 million appropriated for the wall, however, this only applies to current construction.  The National Review has gone as far to call this bill “a garbage deal.”  Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) who has been a champion in proposing legislation to reduce illegal immigration tweeted, “Might as well roll it straight into the trash can…”  Even the President had some harsh words to say about it.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave an interview to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on this matter.  He condemned amnesty activists for fighting against good reforms.  He stated, “We want to know who they are and make sure they’re going to be productive people, people who will flourish in America, who are going to not be criminals, and that’s exactly correct for America.”  That type of vetting that benefits both Americans and immigrants cannot happen when amnesty is given to millions of illegal immigrants.

You can find a comparison of the two bills here.  Eagle Forum has sent out an alert urging Congress to move forward with Rep. Goodlatte’s bill (H.R. 4760).  Please make your voice heard by contacting your Congressman here.


Tabitha Walter is the Washington, D.C. Executive Director for Eagle Forum.