Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has not gone far enough to align the tenets of a proposed border-security bill with the anti-immigration strategy adopted by the Trump administration, with critics claiming that the controversial piece of legislation entirely misses several important measures that would make a serious dent in the problem.
For example, Cornyn’s bill would only create less than ten miles of new border wall and would do nothing to thwart employers from hiring illegal immigrants for dramatically less wages than they would pay American citizens.
“There are a lot of sound things and necessary things, but there are a lot of necessary things that are conspicuously missing,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “It looks like more of a half-hearted attempt into fooling the public than a step forward in enforcement.”
Vaughan compared the bill to “lipstick on a pig” and noted that it lacked several basic countermeasures that would reduce illegal immigration.
“There’s nothing on E-Verify, there’s nothing on worksite enforcement at all, so I’m a little bit skeptical how much difference it would make,” she opined. “I can’t help but wonder if it is designed to be combined with an amnesty. It would be the typical kind of ‘Grand Bargain’ offer of some enforcement with a massive amnesty and possibly other kinds of visa programs.”
While the Republican party controls Congress, the Democrats have proven a thorn in the side of GOP lawmakers as they move to install President Trump’s agenda. Critics worry that Cornyn’s bill may be designed to reach across the aisle for votes – and miss out on numerous key border-security provisions in the process.
“This is what they were trying to sell to make the ‘Gang of Eight’ more palatable to the public,” said Ira Melhman, a spokesman at the Federation for American Immigration reform, of a bipartisan coalition of ranking lawmakers and their so-called “immigration bill” that offered a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants and expedited H-1B visa applications.