Presidential son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, who was generally understood to be one of the leading proponents of the Trump administration’s misbegotten, illegal alien drug trafficker-freeing jailbreak law, is at it again. And while there is certainly reason to be skeptical about Kushner’s much-ballyhooed and still-unveiled Middle East “deal of the century,” given the rudimentary nature of genocidal Palestinian-Arab intransigence and retrograde Islamism, there is even more reason to be skeptical about Kushner’s incipient grand immigration plan.
Just yesterday, Kushner met with senators on Capitol Hill to sell his immigration plan. Politico, citing “administration officials and lawmakers,” reported that the plan is “meant to boost border security and set up a new merit-based system that would keep the number of legal immigrants coming into the U.S. at current levels.” In the White House’s defense, Politico quotes pro-border security Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) approvingly: “The principal focus [of the Kushner meeting] was border security, closing the loopholes that right now are mandating catch-and-release and helping cause the crisis we have at the border and also reforming legal immigration”
While an overall shift in legal immigration toward a more merit-based regime — and ideally, a full gutting of such lamentable policies as the diversity lottery visa — is laudable, there is reason to be skeptical of the final details of the plan. For example, concurrent with Kushner’s Capitol Hill trip, the White House also unveiled that it is nearly doubling the visas available under its H-2B foreign guest worker program — a betrayal that immigration hawk Mark Krikorian deems rather unusual given that the visa category “shouldn’t exist at all.”
But the higher-level issue is that, bluntly stated, there is simply no reason to think that Kushner’s instincts on immigration align with those of conservatives. And, with the recent hiring of the pro-jailbreak, libertarian-leaning Brooke Rollins as a senior policy advisor, there is now even less reason to think that Kushner’s immigration agenda will be sound. The White House claims that prominent immigration hardliner Stephen Miller has been involved and that the White House is therefore “pretty united” on the plan, but, as is so often the case with legislative pushes on immigration, conservatives ought to temper any and all enthusiasm until the full plan is released.
In January, Axios had a stunning revelation that spoke to the depths of Kushner’s policy naiveté and completely ill-suited nature as a nominal Republican spokesperson on this issue:
As Daniel Horowitz argued in January, this has it completely backwards, from a conservative perspective: “Shouldn’t the top policy guy in the White House be someone who A) understands the issue and B) is taking the president’s view to the wayward Republicans, not vice versa?”
The current situation at our southern border is past the point of crisis level. We are inundated daily with largely-bogus asylum claims that are perversely goaded by the pernicious dissemination of inaccurate information throughout Central America’s “Northern Triangle.” Policymakers ought to be focused like a laser beam upon ramping up interior enforcement, amending the deeply flawed Flores consent decree with respect to illegal alien detention policy, and, at least for now, fully shutting off our southern border until we regain operational control of it and become a sovereign and secure nation once again. To the extent the White House feels the need to touch legal immigration at all and dangle possible legislative compromises for open-borders Democrats and infamously wobbly Republicans, it ought to initially focus on cutting overall numbers and resuscitating the moribund RAISE Act.
I hope I am wrong, and that the pro-jailbreak, pro-amnesty instincts of the Koch brothers-inspired voices operating within this White House do not translate into erstwhile lifelong Democrat Jared Kushner’s new immigration push. But conservatives ought to be extremely skeptical.