Kuhner's Corner: Has Trump betrayed his voters on the wall?

Signing budget bill guarantees more illegal immigration

By Jeffrey T. Kuhner

Donald Trump has made the biggest mistake of his presidency.

No, it was not declaring a national emergency to take nearly $8 billion from the military and use it toward building physical barriers along our porous southern border. In fact, this should have been done a long time ago.

Rather, it is his decision to sign the massive border security budget bill. The deal allocates over $23 billion toward homeland security—funding for new technology to detect heroin and other drugs at U.S. ports of entry, more sensors and drones at the Mexican border, and hiring additional customs agents. These are all fine and good, but they won’t do what’s needed: secure the border. The bill only provides $1.375 billion for border wall funding—a far cry from the $5.7 billion the president asked for. Trump wanted to construct 234 miles of steel fencing; the deal allows him 55 miles.

It gets even worse. The wall money cannot be used anywhere along the border in California, New Mexico, Arizona and much of Texas. It can only be appropriated for the Rio Grande Valley sector—with an important catch. The deal stipulates that the barriers can only be erected with the approval of the mayors and local governments in the border towns. This gives them an effective veto to prevent any barriers from being built. And which political party dominates in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley sector? You guessed it: The Democrats. Hence, the bill practically guarantees that none of the $1.4 billion will ever be used toward Trump’s wall. The money might as well have been flushed down the toilet.

Yet, Trump was not simply outmaneuvered. He was betrayed, especially by RINO Republican negotiators. Numerous poison pill provisions were implanted in the bill. The most outrageous is the one concerning sponsorships of unaccompanied illegal minors from Mexico and Central America. According to the deal, illegal immigrants living in America can “sponsor” unaccompanied minors. If any illegal alien sponsors a child, then ICE cannot detain, remove or deport that undocumented immigrant. Moreover, if an illegal alien simply lives in a “household” that sponsors an unaccompanied minor, then ICE also cannot touch them. In fact, the bill is so radical that ICE cannot detain or remove any illegal immigrant—or one living in a household—who says their “intention” is to sponsor an unaccompanied minor. In effect, this bill allows illegal immigrants to use children—unaccompanied minors—as human shields against ICE.

The consequences are as predictable as they are dire. MS-13 gang members will use unaccompanied minors to prevent ICE from deporting them; it is a major loophole that will be exploited by the most dangerous, criminal elements in our country. Human trafficking and child smuggling will soar. And the bill entrenches the very principle Trump said he would never violate: It grants amnesty to illegal aliens—millions of them. All they have to do is “sponsor” an unaccompanied minor or say they “intend” to and they can remain permanently in the United States. Instead of combatting Third World illegal immigration, Trump, by signing this bill, is opening the floodgates.

In fact, Trump’s actions negate the achievement of his national emergency. What’s the point of building a wall when illegal aliens can stay in America and bring in millions more through a sponsorship amnesty? Trump would have been better off taking the bad deal offered first by Paul Ryan and then Nancy Pelosi in December, and in the process averting a 35-day partial government shutdown. Trump would’ve gotten nothing for his wall, but at least he would not have betrayed his supporters—and most importantly, the country.

Pelosi and the Democrats have won a major victory. They succeeded in turning Trump from an America First president to an amnesty president. We elected Trump and instead got Jeb Bush. Yet, his aides counter: what was the alternative—another government shutdown? This is false. Trump could have (and should have) said he is rejecting the deal, demand that Congress pass a short-term continuing resolution to keep funding the government and insist that every poison pill provision be stripped out. The president, however, surrendered.

Which begs the question: Should Trump’s supporters abandon him? Ann Coulter—besides calling him an “idiot,” “stupid” and “lazy”—says yes. She is wrong. Trump is the last line of defense against the radical left and the Democratic Party’s socialist agenda. If he goes down, America will be at the mercy of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We will be transformed into Venezuela. Moreover, the budget deal is only good for six months; it must be renegotiated in late September. This means Trump can (if he wants to) demand that the sponsorship amnesty and other poison pill provisions be rescinded and removed. But that means he must fight—and this time not capitulate.

Otherwise, his base may abandon him. And God help us if they do.                  

-Jeffrey T. Kuhner is host of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO AM-680 in Boston. His daily show airs 6:00-10:00 am EST. He can be reached at: jeffreykuhner@iheartmedia.com

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