DREAM Team Los Angeles rejects the round of compromise deals to reach a permanent DACA, the Senate “Gang of Six” bill, the “five white guys” deal, and the Republican led House bill.
Despite recent congressional talks with the president and lobbying efforts led by FWD.us who met with over 200 representatives, Congress still manages to come up with proposals that are anathema to their bases. DREAM Team LA has previously said we will not support any bill that ends family based migration. Trump supporters said they will not support a bill that doesn’t have Mexico pay for a border wall. These proposals do both.
Let’s remember that the DREAM Act is already a compromise, bipartisan bill. The military service component pathway to citizenship will be a lure for many people of color who are attending underperforming schools and have no educational footing to higher education. The DREAM Act will cause brown kids to kill brown kids in developing countries to further American imperialism in exchange for citizenship. That provision alone caused many immigrant groups to walk away from the original DREAM Act decades ago and is still contentious today. When we say we want a “clean” DREAM Act bill, while it contains a military service provision it cannot be considered truly clean.
The kind of compromises being discussed in Washington; family based migration, billion dollar border enforcement, interior raids, so-called “sanctuary” cities, over 70 immigration proposals put forth by the president, these are talks that should happen when addressing the status of the entire estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, not when discussing the protection of several hundred thousand youth. Democrats are fighting to get 10% of their agenda while Republicans are getting almost 90% of theirs.
It’s for this reason people asked why Dreamers protested outside Democrat leadership offices, we knew from past experience they would sell out our communities and get very little to show for it. It’s because we remember it was five DEMOCRAT votes that killed the DREAM Act in 2010 in the Senate.
The compromise proposal states $1.6 billion will be allocated for the border wall. A cost that is now being footed by the American tax payer and at a time when Congress passed a tax bill to limit revenues over trillions of dollars. So where is this $1.6 billion coming from? Is this yet another unfunded Republican project like our two endless wars to be paid magically by future generations? Where is the fiscal responsibility? Even the United States Border Patrol says the wall (which already exists for anyone who chooses to actually look at the border) is unnecessary and for a tiny fraction of the cost the money is better spent in ground resources, more training for personnel, electronic surveillance such as night cameras, drones, and motion detectors. We don’t need a border wall with a country in which more people are going to than coming from. This “net-migration” in which more Mexicans are going to Mexico than coming from it has been happening for over 10 years now.
The DREAM Act is already a boon for the Republican base. Republicans get fresh military recruits, and per their own memos, highly sought after Latino youth for their war machine. Republicans get almost a million young, educated, and bilingual workers, something the national Chambers of Commerce have been clamoring for for decades. Business leaders get to “normalize” their workforce and remove the threat of audits, fines of $10,000 per employee, and even jail time for employing undocumented workers. The real truth is that most every employer is breaking the law and the government is turning a blind eye to these practices. Were workplace raids to arrest the business owners in the same numbers as their workers this issue would have been dealt with already. Finally, just normalizing the DACA youth the federal reserve gets an extra $1.2 trillion in tax revenue over the next 10 years, mathematically offsetting the deficit they created with a tax cut. This bill by itself is already a major Republican win.
To any adults left in Washington who are concerned about making American great we are entering the end of our 4th wave of migration which began in the mid 60’s. Like previous waves it was met with economic growth, backlashes in nativism response, and the lingering question of what to do with all the immigrants who are now part of the American fabric. History has shown that each attempt to shut the door on future flow of immigration has failed. The powerful US economy is too much of a draw and requires new immigrant labor each year to grow.
What we can be certain of is the 5th wave of migration will not be from Latin America. Mexico is now a destination country. Mexico is now a destination country. (Repeated for emphasis). Immigrants who come there from Latin America, Africa, Asia, on their way to the U.S. are finding jobs and a home in Mexico. With a larger industrial base vs. the U.S., lower unemployment levels, and a GDP annual growth rate roughly equal to the U.S, the Mexican economy is creating the same pull factors of its northern neighbor. Thus, immigrant workers are staying there. This is a very troubling trend for American businesses reliant on immigrant labor, particularly the agriculture sector and the security of our food supply. Today crops are wilting in the fields and agriculture states are losing billions of dollars in lost revenue.
America needs to take a very hard look at our immigration needs and future economic growth. They are intertwined. And the DREAM Act is a good first step. If America doesn’t address it’s long term employment needs through immigration reform, continues to alienate source immigration countries, doesn’t have a fiscal plan to create economic growth, or take seriously the nation’s food supply, the only shithole country we need worry about is the United States of America.