Weekly broad­cast to fight neg­a­tive press, slip­ping sup­port

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE BOYER

The Trump cam­paign has launched a weekly news ser­vice on so­cial me­dia to pro­vide sup­port­ers with pos­i­tive cov­er­age of the pres­i­dent, amid sur­veys show­ing that Mr. Trump’s base of sup­port and job ap­proval rat­ings are shrink­ing.

Con­ser­va­tive tele­vi­sion com­men­ta­tor Kayleigh McE­nany, who was named Mon­day as spokes­woman for the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee, served as an­chor of the Trump cam­paign’s “News of the Week” video for the first time last week­end.

Af­ter sum­ming up pos­i­tive eco­nomic news and Mr. Trump’s sup­port for stricter le­gal im­mi­gra­tion lim­its, Ms. McE­nany signed off her first re­port from Trump Tower by telling view­ers on Face­book and Twit­ter, “Thank you for join­ing us, every­body. I’m Kayleigh McE­nany, and that is the real news.”

RNC Chair­woman Ronna Rom­ney McDaniel said Ms. McE­nany’s “wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence will be in­valu­able to the RNC as we con­tinue to sup­port Pres­i­dent Trump and build on our ma­jori­ties in Congress as we head into 2018.”

Ms. McE­nany, who left a job at CNN, said she is “ea­ger to talk about Repub­li­can ideas and val­ues and have im­por­tant dis­cus­sions about is­sues af­fect­ing Amer­i­cans across this coun­try.”

The Trump cam­paign said it will use the fledg­ling ser­vice to “con­tinue

pro­fi­ciency into em­ployer im­mi­gra­tion.

The bill also would nix the di­ver­sity visa lot­tery that an­nu­ally doles out some 55,000 green cards — sig­nal­ing le­gal per­ma­nent im­mi­gra­tion — based purely on chance.

All three pro­pos­als were sta­ples of the 2007 im­mi­gra­tion bill and were again re­flected in the 2013 bill backed by Democrats from Pres­i­dent Obama down.

“Many peo­ple for­get that re­form­ing the na­tion’s bro­ken im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem to fo­cus on high-skilled la­bor used to be a non-con­tro­ver­sial po­si­tion,” the White House said in a memo last week. “With Democrats strug­gling to con­nect with work­ing-class vot­ers who’ve strug­gled from stag­nat­ing wages for decades, maybe they should take a page from … them­selves.”

The pres­i­dent cast his hard line against il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion as a mat­ter of pub­lic safety, while his push for stricter lim­its to le­gal im­mi­gra­tion he says is a way to pro­tect Amer­i­can work­ers from com­pe­ti­tion.

Mr. Trump’s back­ing for the bill, af­ter his di­vi­sive pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, has helped spur a fever­ish back­lash among con­gres­sional Democrats and im­mi­grant rights ac­tivists, who vow to re­sist the pro­posed changes.

House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat, said the leg­is­la­tion was part of “a hate­ful, sense­less anti-im­mi­grant agenda that in­stills fear.” Some ac­tivists said Mr. Trump was em­brac­ing a “white na­tion­al­ist” agenda by sup­port­ing the im­mi­gra­tion bill.

“This isn’t about mak­ing Amer­ica great again; it’s about mak­ing Amer­ica white again,” said Lynn Tra­monte, deputy direc­tor of Amer­ica’s Voice Ed­u­ca­tion Fund. “This is iden­tity pol­i­tics at its worst. And from both a pol­icy and po­lit­i­cal per­spec­tive, de­cid­edly un-Amer­i­can.”

But Mark Kriko­rian, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor at the Cen­ter for Im­mi­gra­tion Stud­ies, said the main parts of the bill match the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Clin­ton-era Com­mis­sion on Im­mi­gra­tion Re­form, known more col­lo­qui­ally as the Jor­dan Com­mis­sion, af­ter the late Bar­bara Jor­dan, a prom­i­nent black lib­eral con­gress­woman who led the panel.

“Was Bar­bara Jor­dan a white na­tion­al­ist? Was she a hater? Of course not. She was a pa­tri­otic Amer­i­can who was a lib­eral Demo­crat,” said Mr. Kriko­rian, who backs stricter im­mi­gra­tion lim­its.

The Per­due-Cot­ton bill, for­mally known as the Re­form­ing Amer­i­can Im­mi­gra­tion for Strong Em­ploy­ment Act, or RAISE Act, calls for trim­ming the ex­tent of im­mi­gra­tion based on fam­ily ties to spouses, chil­dren who are mi­nors and, in lim­ited cases, par­ents. That would elim­i­nate sib­lings and adult chil­dren from the queue. The over­all num­ber of fam­ily visas also would be low­ered.

Em­ploy­ment-based green cards would be changed with a point sys­tem to se­lect im­mi­grants. Pref­er­ence would go to those with key skills who can demon­strate an abil­ity to be fi­nan­cially in­de­pen­dent and who show pro­fi­ciency in English.

An anal­y­sis by the Mi­gra­tion Pol­icy In­sti­tute said the point sys­tem was a small change, bring­ing in a slightly more skilled work­force than present, but the changes to fam­ily im­mi­gra­tion by lim­it­ing spon­sor­ships would be ma­jor.

“For the fam­ily-based sys­tem, halv­ing the num­bers would come at the strong price of re­duc­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for fam­ily unity, a deeply rooted value in U.S. im­mi­gra­tion his­tory,” the think tank said in its anal­y­sis.

Democrats have em­braced a point sys­tem in the past as part of broader deals to le­gal­ize most il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

In 2007, a point sys­tem was at the heart of the im­mi­gra­tion bill worked out by Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush and Sen. Ed­ward M. Kennedy. That bill also dra­mat­i­cally cut the num­ber of fam­ily mem­bers who could be spon­sored for fu­ture mi­gra­tion.

Among those who voted for the 2007 bill were Mr. Obama, then-Sen. Hil­lary Clin­ton, cur­rent Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles E. Schumer and his chief lieu­tenant Sen. Richard J. Durbin, and 13 other cur­rent Demo­cratic sen­a­tors.

The Se­nate’s 2013 im­mi­gra­tion bill, worked out by four Democrats and four Repub­li­cans and backed by Mr. Obama, in­cluded scaled-down ver­sions of the point sys­tem and slim­mer fam­ily mi­gra­tion.

That bill gar­nered sup­port of every Demo­crat in the Se­nate.

Both the 2007 and 2013 bills also elim­i­nated the di­ver­sity visa lot­tery. Law­mak­ers at the time agreed that the coun­try’s im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem was ex­pan­sive enough that the lot­tery sys­tem was no longer needed.

A stand-alone bill to cut the di­ver­sity lot­tery and to pump those visas back into high-skilled pro­grams also cleared the Repub­li­can-led House in 2012, with 27 Democrats and most Repub­li­cans vot­ing for it.

Mr. Kriko­rian said the change in Democrats’ at­ti­tude stems from anti-Trump sen­ti­ment — “any­thing Trump is for, they have to be against” — and from chang­ing pol­i­tics within the Demo­cratic Party, where in­di­vid­ual im­mi­gra­tion pro­grams now have key con­stituents as back­ers.

The di­ver­sity visa lot­tery is a fa­vorite of the Con­gres­sional Black Cau­cus, which ar­gues that it’s one way to boost im­mi­gra­tion from African coun­tries un­der­rep­re­sented else­where in the im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem.

Mean­while, the lines of ex­tended fam­ily im­mi­gra­tion are de­fended by Asian ad­vo­cacy groups who see their com­mu­ni­ties as ma­jor ben­e­fi­cia­ries of al­low­ing im­mi­grants to spon­sor sib­lings for fu­ture im­mi­gra­tion.

Democrats aren’t the only ones to un­dergo a shift on im­mi­gra­tion.

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch Mc­Connell, Ken­tucky Repub­li­can, voted for a 2006 bill that would have granted a swift path to cit­i­zen­ship to mil­lions of il­le­gal im­mi­grants be­fore switch­ing sides a year later and vot­ing against the 2007 bill.

So did Sens. Su­san M. Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, two other Repub­li­cans still in the cham­ber, also switched from yes to no. Both then switched back to yes votes in 2013.

Mr. Trump has been on all sides of the im­mi­gra­tion is­sue, blast­ing com­pe­ti­tion that for­eign work­ers rep­re­sent — though the first lady was a guest worker who came to the U.S. on an H-1B visa, and Mr. Trump’s busi­ness em­pire reg­u­larly makes use of guest work­ers to fill jobs.

Mr. Schumer said that ex­posed “a stun­ning hypocrisy at the core” of Mr. Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion plans.


HIS OWN WORDS: Pres­i­dent Trump re­ceived a rous­ing wel­come at a rally on Thurs­day in West Vir­ginia, but his cam­paign is spread­ing the mes­sage far­ther with its “News of the Week.” Kayleigh McE­nany served as an­chor of the video for the first time last week­end.


Pres­i­dent Trump and Sen. David Per­due of Ge­or­gia lis­tened as Sen. Tom Cot­ton of Arkansas an­nounced leg­is­la­tion last week that would place new lim­its on le­gal im­mi­gra­tion. Democrats who sup­ported pre­vi­ous leg­is­la­tion us­ing a point sys­tem now say they fear how Mr. Trump would em­ploy stricter se­lec­tion cri­te­ria.

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