As Congress attempts to tackle immigration reform, President Trump is once again putting America first. The Trump administration recently proposed $18 billion in new funding to expand the wall along the southwest border and protect Americans from illegal immigration.
Congressional Republicans, however, are scrambling to agree on a permanent replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows certain immigrants to escape deportation even though their parents broke the law.
Let’s be clear: There should be no DACA discussion without actually building the wall.
Don't fall for Flake's bait-and-switch
Unfortunately, “Never Trump” Republicans like Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) are so preoccupied with their “resistance” agenda that they’ve forgotten the conservative agenda they campaigned on — and the promises they made to voters.
While Sen. Flake claims to believe in border security, he has consistently opposed the president’s border wall. He has even downplayed the importance of President Trump “fulfill[ing] a campaign promise of a wall.”
We cannot fall for this bait and switch time and time again. Americans deserve better than swamp politicians and broken promises.
When I am elected to the Senate in November, I will get to work immediately on a “wall, not DACA” policy to keep our country safe and our citizens prosperous.
Here are five steps to make this a reality:
5 steps to get a 'wall, not DACA' policy
First, we will set aside appropriate funds for building the wall, implementing technology, empowering border patrol and vetting the roughly 800,000 DACA recipients currently in the country.
Any future DACA legislation must include several caveats. As President Trump has argued, we must eliminate the chain migration loophole for current and future immigrants as well as ending “birth tourism” by properly interpreting the 14th Amendment. E-verify must also be implemented nationwide.
Once substantial funding for the wall has been secured, we will temporarily extend DACA work and school privileges until completion of the wall and proper vetting takes place. Any DACA recipient that fails the vetting process during this period will be immediately deported.
Only after the border wall is completed should Congress work on a path to potential legalization of individual DACA recipients, and only current DACA recipients who have been properly vetted. Automatic legalization of this entire group is unacceptable. If any DACA recipient has a criminal history, then he or she will be deported.
Sanctuary cities must also be eliminated, and any DACA recipient who does not report being in a sanctuary city will not qualify for a path to legal status.
McSally would be Flake 2.0 on amnesty
As Arizona’s senator, I will do my best to turn America’s immigration system into a merit-based one without loopholes. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) are on the right track with the Raise Act.
My potential Republican opponent, Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), currently sits on the DACA working group with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). Her views are similar to those of Sens. Flake and John McCain (R-Ariz.), while her voting record on conservative issues is even worse. Arizonans, take note: If Rep. McSally grants amnesty, with or without a wall, then we are looking at Flake 2.0.
And that’s the opposite of what Arizonans want. Not only does Sen. Flake boast an 18 percent approval rating in Arizona, but polling also shows nine out of 10 Arizonans believe illegal immigration is a major problem.
I will stand for Americans first by standing with President Trump. No wall, no DACA.