By Joe Guzzardi
May 10, 2017
The 2017 $1.1 trillion Omnibus budget deal left President Donald Trump’s supporters empty-handed and wondering when the winning will start. From all appearances, villainous Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and not the White House, calls the shots.
The budget contains abundant evidence that President Trump has abandoned most of his immigration-related campaign promises, and instead wrapped up in a big red bow to deliver to Democrats their open borders wish list. President Trump and the GOP congressional majority wobbled, then collapsed at Schumer’s threat to close the government unless he got his way.
President Trump’s base voted for him because of his immigration assurances which are more important to them than the possible effects of a symbolic shutdown. Here’s a partial list of President Trump’s perfidies.
First, the highly contentious, national security-threatening refugee resettlement program will receive $3.1 billion, a sum equal to what the Obama administration was awarded. The 42,414 refugees admitted this fiscal year through March is higher to date than at any other similar period during the last ten years. President Trump is on target to at least equal if not exceed President Obama’s annual refugee intake.
Second, despite a plethora of irrefutable evidence that sanctuary cities are criminal alien havens, and municipalities where MS-13 has increasingly run amok, funding to them will continue as per usual. In the last several months, as part of its ongoing MS-13 removal commitment, ICE arrested several Central American nationals that included some who had been released by the jurisdictions that held them, despite active detainers placed against them. Included in the convictions against the MS-13 members were murder, homicide with a machete, robbery, firearms possession and racketeering.
Third, President Trump’s much-touted “hire American” campaign pledge has been replaced by increasing the H-2B visa category for low-skilled foreign-born labor. As written, the Omnibus bill would allow 70,000 more visas above the existing 66,000 cap. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat and long-standing advocate for more guest worker visas, questioned the wisdom of increasing the H-2B cap. Feinstein argued for removing the H-2B provision from the Omnibus and allowing the Judiciary Committee time to debate the questionable practice of flooding the labor force with more temporary foreign workers which depresses wages for all seasonal workers. Importing more cheap labor is a stab in the back to the nation’s underemployed. A related note: refugees also immediately receive work authorization documents.
Fourth, the border wall and the deportation force – President Trump’s two signature campaign issues – were not funded. Worse, the budget’s language specifically forbids a single penny of the $1.5 billion allocated to border security to be spent on wall construction. The overall budget is so disappointing to President Trump’s base that Schumer and House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi crowed that Democrats blocked 160 GOP priorities.
President Trump’s supporters take cold comfort in feeble explanations that his administration is still in its very early stage. Looking ahead, some triumphs may be on the horizon. The Supreme Court is likely to uphold President Trump’s refugee travel pause, assuming he’s still willing to go forward. Another favorable Supreme Court decision on withholding funds to sanctuary cities is also probable.
As the great New York Yankee Hall of Famer Yogi Berra was fond of saying, and advice he might have passed along to President Trump: “It’s getting late early.”
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected] and find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.