Immigration Reform Laws Will Never Pass Without Congressional Compromise On Reality

By Donald A. Collins | 19 February 2024
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Solutions for the immigration dilemma must follow America’s most vital need, the urgent need to beat Trump. THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE BEFORE AMERICANS!!!!!!!!!!!

Donald Trump doesn’t believe in our Constitution, our rule of law, in personal integrity, in NATO, in Choice, in gun control, but is strong on lying, fostering Christian nationalism, which attacks our vital concept of separation of church and state, in his promoting isolationism and to his stated personal ambition to achieve authoritarianism. Other downsides to Trump could be added.

As David Brooks noted in his 2/8/24 opinion piece “Trump’s complete capture of the GOP has dangerous implications for our democracy.”

The failure of the Senate compromise bill on immigration reform is just the latest of many attempts at rational laws on immigration in the years since John Tanton founded FAIR in 1978!

I have for years expressed my fealty for enacting laws to regulate fairly the immigration issue. We need such regulation, but as you will read, my views have changed but only to the extent of my personal priorities on key issues. Trump must never again occupy the Oval Office, but those who failed in enacting immigration laws without calling Trump to account are threatening our future if he were elected.

Secondly, as world crises enlarge, the already well started 6th extinction may be trumped by an enlarged world war; that another 9/11 has not happened already surprises me. Nuclear mistakes could happen.

If those bigger issues don’t trump us in November 2024, the immigration issue may elect Donald Trump, as the Trump GOP and never Trumpers and sadly pro-reform NGOs such as the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) on whose board I served for many years and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) keep suggesting laudable examples about the the urgency for better legislation. However, at least a start with the compromise bill would have been a start, which now seems deferred again.

FAIR needs to get the non-Trumpers such as James Lankford a conservative who helped fashion the bill that just crashed and many others who understand the urgency to push for new legislation or another several decades will pass with the chaos growing and democracy crashing.

Obviously, FAIR is deep into solving the issue but kissing the Republicans ring on each of the Trump GOPs multiple immigration wishes until they get them all means the perfect is the enemy of the good and nothing gets done. The Wall Street Journal and the Border Patrol argued that the proposed bill is better than nothing. But Trump who owns the GOP killed the bill so he could have an issue to run on, since he has little else except to pound on Biden’s age and his alleged mental decline which is overstated.

Generous donors who fought for immigration reform for decades seem to have misunderstood the uniqueness of the opportunity to initiate a workable start after so many prior attempts have failed. So sad. When will another chance come?

As many thinkers have said in the past, INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On February 1st there was an interesting exchange between Scott Pelley and Jerome Powell on 60 Minutes. It begins by saying,

PELLEY: Your decisions inevitably are going to have a bearing on this year’s election. And I wonder, to what degree does politics determine your timing?

POWELL: We do not consider politics in our decisions. We never do. And we never will. And I think the record — fortunately, the historical record really backs that up. People have gone back and looked. This is my fourth presidential election in the Fed, and it just doesn’t come into our thinking, and I’ll tell you why.

Two reasons. One, we are a non-political organization that serves all Americans. It would be wrong for us to start taking politics into account. Secondly, though, it’s not easy to get the economics of this right in the first place. These are complicated, you know, risk-balancing decisions.

If we tried to incorporate a whole ‘nother set of factors in politics into those decisions, it could only lead to worse economic outcomes. So, we simply don’t do that, and we’re not going to do it. We haven’t done it in the past, and we’re not going to do it now.

PELLEY: There are people watching this interview who are skeptical about that.

POWELL: You know, I would just say this. Integrity is priceless. And finally, that’s all you have. And we in (the Fed), we plan on keeping ours.

PELLEY: This next follow-up question, Mr. Chairman, is about the stabilization of the labor market that we were talking about earlier. What are the important factors that caused the labor market to stabilize?

POWELL: One was just the return of workers. As I mentioned, several million people were just gone from the labor force for whatever reason. Many of them didn’t want to go back to their old jobs because of COVID or because they just didn’t want to be. They had moved on with their lives.

So, there was a desperate shortage of workers. And what happened is we expected people to come right back into the workforce in 2022. They mostly didn’t. And then we thought, “Well, maybe that’s not gonna happen.”

And then, it happened in 2023. We had a combination of rising labor force participation in prime-age workers, and we also had with that, we had a resumption of immigration. So, there was really no immigration net in or very little during the pandemic.

But in 2023, we saw immigration move back up to the levels that would have been normal before the pandemic. And those two things together made a real difference in labor supply. So, it’s really a supply story. That’s the main thing I would point to.

PELLEY: Why was immigration important?

POWELL: Because, you know, immigrants come in, and they tend to work at a rate that is at or above that for non-immigrants. Immigrants who come to the country tend to be in the workforce at a slightly higher level than native Americans do. But that’s largely because of the age difference. They tend to skew younger.

PELLEY: Why is immigration so important to the economy?

POWELL: Well, first of all, immigration policy is not the Fed’s job. The immigration policy of the United States is really important and really much under discussion right now, and that’s none of our business. We don’t set immigration policy. We don’t comment on it.

I will say, over time, though, the U.S. economy has benefited from immigration. And, frankly, just in the last, year a big part of the story of the labor market coming back into better balance is immigration returning to levels that were more typical of the pre-pandemic era.

PELLEY: The country needed the workers.

POWELL: It did. And so, that’s what’s been happening.

You can reread the telecast here.

Long time conservative columnist for the NY Times has left the GOP for reasons he so ruefully explains in his 2/8/24 op ed entitled “Trump Came for Their Party but Took Over Their Souls” which begins:

I thought I was beyond shockable, but this week has been profoundly shocking for me. I spent the bulk of my adult life on the right-wing side of things, generally rooting for the Republican Party, because I thought that party best served America. People like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump chased me out of the Republican orbit (gradually and then all at once), but I have still held out the hope that my many friends on the right are kind of like an occupied country. They have to mouth the Trumpian prejudices to survive in this era, but somewhere deep inside, the party of Reagan still lives in their souls.

After this week, and the defeat of the immigration-Ukraine-Israel package, it’s hard to believe that anymore. Even if some parts of the bill survive, the party of Eisenhower, Reagan and McCain is just stone cold gone — and not only among House Republicans, but apparently among their Senate colleagues too.

My progressive readers are now thinking: Have you not been paying attention? Donald Trump has owned this party for years. If he told them to kill the immigration compromise because he needed a campaign issue, they were going to kill that proposal.

To which I respond: I don’t think you quite understand what just happened. This wasn’t just about Republicans cynically bending their knee to Trump. Rather, I’m convinced that Trumpism now pervades the deepest recesses of their minds and governs their unconscious assumptions. Their fundamental mental instincts are no longer conservative, but Trumpian.”

Brooks closes by saying, “We’re living through one of the most dangerous periods of modern times. As the historian Hal Brands noted recently in Foreign Affairs, the situation today is reminiscent of the mid- to late 1930s. Back then, fascist Italy assaulted Ethiopia. Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland. Japan ravaged China. These three regional conflicts had not yet metastasized into a global world war, but even in 1937, Franklin Roosevelt warned of an “epidemic of world lawlessness.”

Read this entire piece here.

Many solid pieces have described this regrettable breakdown on plausible immigration reform. You can read articles here:

A decade later, history repeats itself on immigration reform

The Trumpification of the Senate GOP

To sum up my deep regret, my personal priority on this important has been profoundly changed to the belief that reasonable reform will, as the title of this op ed argues, Never Pass Without Congressional Reality. 40 years of frustration will continue as the numbers continue to rise.

Despite plentiful opinions on immigration reform which ignore the priority of keeping Trump from the Oval Office, I will not be cancelling my subscriptions to the NY Times, the Washinton Post, the Wall Street Journal, or any of the myriad of legitimate sources of information based on facts and integrity. And I will keep repeating the wisdom of those above-mentioned experts until the verdict on November 5th.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us”, “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life” and “On the Precipice of Political Disaster in 2024”.

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