Immigration

Beto O'Rourke Wants To Overhaul Our Asylum System and Provide Amnesty for 11 Million Immigrants

The presidential hopeful released his immigration plan on Wednesday.

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Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke unveiled a sweeping immigration plan on Wednesday, promising to reform the U.S. asylum system, overhaul naturalization laws, and strengthen relations with Latin America.

"Coming from a city of immigrants, I've seen the incredible contributions of immigrants to our communities and local economies, and have been able to experience what happens when we allow everyone to contribute to their full potential," O'Rourke said in a statement announcing the plan. "Under our administration, we will ensure that we advance a new vision of immigration that fully reflects our country's values and empowers every individual to contribute to the shared greatness of our country."

On day one, O'Rourke says he would usurp executive authority to reunite families separated at the border by Trump's "zero tolerance" policy. Specifically, O'Rourke would issue an executive order to eliminate immigrant detention for all detainees, save those with criminal records. He would also terminate funding for private prison operators.

In lieu of detention, O'Rourke wants to bolster family case management, which he says is "nearly one-tenth the cost." Additionally, his plan pledges to streamline the asylum process by adding judges and repealing policies that slow down adjudication. According to Syracuse University, there were 859,375 pending immigration cases in April 2019, which includes asylum cases that failed an initial review. On average, it takes 718 days to get an immigration hearing.

The presidential hopeful outlines a series of loftier goals as well, such as cementing an "earned" path to citizenship for America's 11 million undocumented immigrants within his first 100 days, which would require congressional approval. While that may be a long shot, he says his amnesty plan would be "more efficient than previous proposals," though he does not elaborate.

Despite being short on some specifics, O'Rourke does outline an innovative community-based visa designation that would allow local governments and religious congregations to sponsor refugees. Further, he suggests expanding visa caps, allowing immigrant-heavy industries like agriculture, manufacturing, and various service trades to hire immigrant labor.

O'Rourke believes we need to build up Latin America in order to fix our own immigration system. As such, he proposes a $5 billion investment in the region, with the primary beneficiaries listed as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based groups, and public-private partnerships. However well-intentioned, outside efforts to rebuild foreign institutions from the ground up are rarely successful. In fact, they often make things worse.

While abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE is an increasingly popular line among Democratic candidates, it doesn't resonate with O'Rourke, who would instead create a commission to oversee the agency and inaugurate "improved training and continuing education courses."

In Beto fashion, the former rocker infuses his plan with quotes from a range of immigrants, the majority of whom live in his hometown of El Paso, Texas. "It took me almost 18 years to finally be able to become a United States citizen," says Carlo G. Maldonado, an immigration lawyer from Quito, Ecuador, who came to the U.S. when he was 16 years old. "I am so honored today to be able to say that I am an American, and I'm honored that through my work every day I am able to help others navigate the immigration process and have a chance at the American Dream too."

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43 responses to “Beto O'Rourke Wants To Overhaul Our Asylum System and Provide Amnesty for 11 Million Immigrants

  1. +11 million
    🙂

  2. Beto O’Rourke Wants To … Acknowledge reality? That these folks are here, and we cannot call them all “witches”, and burn them?

    Woo-hoo, a step towards sanity and humanity!!!

    1. Yeah. Why have any laws on the books. Crimes happen anyway.

      What a fucking stupid philosophy.

      1. laws should be for actual crimes though, not people crossing an arbitrary line on a map.

        1. Like your front door?

    2. On second thought… I like this route. We will always have poor people and poverty through definition. Let’s end this insanity and just let then die off, end all welfare programs. That’s the essence of your open borders logic.

      1. End all Government Almighty welfare programs (AKA “charity at gunpoint”)… Leave only voluntary charity left in place. I am 100% on board with that. That would allow us to have far more open borders. Which, after all, is just one flavor of “freedom”… Freedom good, slavery bad, you know? Basic concept? If you like freedom for yourself, grant it to others?

        If open borders are bad, to you propose checkpoints between every one of the 50 states, or county by county? Perhaps city by city, or block by block?

    3. you know what they say about broken clocks….

  3. This is a promising start. And keep in mind the election is still a year and a half away. I’m very pleased with the speed at which mainstream Democrats are moving toward the Koch / Reason position on immigration.

    In 2020 I expect support for open borders to be added to the party’s platform. Not only is it the humanitarian thing to do, it’s smart politics. More Americans than ever agree with the statement “immigration is a good thing” which proves the libertarian agenda is popular.

  4. Think of all the delicious food trucks!

    1. You mean the white appropriation food trucks?

  5. Spending money we do not have on building up Latin American countries?

    That is just peachy.

  6. That photo. Talk about a punchable face…

    1. Fun topic: which commenter do you imagine to look the most like Beto?

      1. LC1789, except put Beto in a MAGA cap and a wifebeater.

      2. Chemjeff

        1. Jeff would wear non prescription glasses though. He thinks they make him smart.

    2. Backpfeilengesight – Slappable face. More of an Adam Schiff thing.

  7. This is the guy who literally put a green turd from a baby’s diaper into a dish, gave it to his wife and tried to convince her it was an avacado.

    Which is a pretty apt metaphor for his proposal.

    1. If your baby’s turd passes for avocado, best get that baby liver checked.

      1. A limp wristed leftist douchebag? You. And in second place, still you.

      2. It’s a diet of 100% green peas and gelatin – it’s all good.

  8. O’Rourke does outline an innovative community-based visa designation that would allow local governments and religious congregations to sponsor refugees

    True libertarians know that the ideal locus for these community-based decisions is the Federal bureaucracy in DC.

  9. In related news, Trump unveiled a plan last week that’s clearly meant to discourage phony asylum seekers, et. al. from abusing public assistance programs.

    “A presidential memorandum published late Thursday instructed cabinet secretaries to seek repayment in cases where legal immigrants access means-tested services such as Medicaid, food stamps and cash payments in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

    The repayment, the memo said, would come from the immigrants’ sponsors at the time they legally arrived in the U.S., in cases where the sponsors vouched for their willingness to support the newcomers if necessary. Such provisions exist in several immigration and welfare laws; the memo said that “agencies are not adequately enforcing these requirements.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-moves-to-curb-immigrants-use-of-public-services-11558656550?

    Apparently, the government lets in immigrants and releases asylum seekers based on the promise of sponsors to reimburse the taxpayers for the cost of social services if the people they willingly sponsor end up on public assistance.

    If you don’t want the IRS to come after you for the cost of public assistance, there’s a really easy way to avoid that. You can simply choose not to promise that you’ll reimburse the cost of those social services. That’s much better than the IRS effectively coming after me to support immigrants I never agreed to sponsor at all.

    Anyway, I like Trump’s plan better than O’Rourke’s. I’m an open borders guy despite the downsides of the cost to taxpayers for public services, but I suspect most Americans’ opposition to immigration breaks down when they don’t have to pay for the immigrants. In that vein, going after the people who sponsor immigrants is probably the best thing we could do if we want to persuade voters to support a more open immigration system.

    P.S. If Trump really wanted to build up some libertarian bona fides, he’d find a way to kick native born Americans off of public assistance.

    1. If Trump really wanted to build up some libertarian bona fides, he’d find a way to kick native born Americans off of public assistance.

      ^ This. But he’s too busy subsidizing farmers to compensate for the tariffs to get around to that.

    2. “but I suspect most Americans’ opposition to immigration breaks down when they don’t have to pay for the immigrants”

      There’s very little opposition to immigration. The opposition is to illegal immigration. Even the people against illegal immigration in the past have been willing to discuss asylum but only if border security was put into place first.

      1. I really wasn’t differentiating between the two.

        I suspect that most Americans woudn’t care about immigration–legal or illegal–so long as they weren’t being forced to pay them.

        The more people are forced to pay for each other, the less tolerant they are of whomever is benefiting from their “generosity”.

        Try going to the UK without any clear way to support yourself. Canadians don’t want us flooding across the border to take advantage of their healthcare services either.

        Socialism creates intolerance where it wouldn’t be otherwise. Before welfare, there was no hatred of people of whatever race because they were supposedly welfare queens.

        “It’s no skin off of my back” is like humanity’s default state. Remember when people used to say that keeping gay marriage illegal was ridiculous since when gay people get married it won’t have any impact on anyone else? I do.

        People didn’t get upset about it until they started telling people what they could and couldn’t say, forcing people to bake wedding cakes against their will, etc. If they start using the coercive power of the state to make churches and ministers perform gay weddings, you’ll see opposition to gay marriage increase. Why?

        Because so long as something doesn’t affect the rest of us, the rest of us generally don’t give a shit.

        Immigration works the same way–like lots of things. Yeah, have all the children you want. Just don’t expect me to pay for them. In China, they had a one child policy. That sort of thing is pretty standard–in socialist society. The more you force people to pay for each other, the more people believe they have a right to make choices for the people who are doing things that affect them.

        People who can’t compete with illegal immigrants, many of whom have no more than an 8th grade education and can’t speak English, would still care a lot about illegal immigration even if there were no social safety net–because their presence would affect their job prospects. The rest of us, who have no problem competing with poorly educated, Spanish speaking illegal immigrants, would care a whole lot less about immigration if it weren’t for the fact that we’re being forced to pay to educate these people’s children, for their healthcare, for their . . .

        I don’t object to immigrants–illegal or otherwise.

        I object to being forced to pay for other people’s choices.

        The natural logic behind things like “No taxation without representation” is that if I’m the one paying the piper, I get to call the tune.

        1. Nah, I cannot agree with this.

          First of all, a significant number of people don’t like immigrants because they drive down the price of labor. Go look at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). They regularly call for a lessening of ALL immigration, legal and illegal. In addition to the economic consequences of cheap labor, they (and other restrictionists) really do resent entire sections of towns becoming foreign to them. It isn’t just about freeloaders, it is also about preserving the cultural identity of their hometowns.

          I do not think “No skin off my back” is a default human condition. The entire history of man is filled with tribalism and blaming others for “doing stuff wrong”. Spend some time reading mommy blogs where the entire purpose is to make moms feel terrible for not breast feeding their baby on foam-covered, BPA-free nipples. Go look at the wars over deep dish pizza, movie reviews, sports teams, etc. People want nothing less than the ability to judge you and found correct by their peers.

          1. “First of all, a significant number of people don’t like immigrants because they drive down the price of labor.”

            I addressed this. People who compete for work with illegal immigrants from Mexico are actually a relatively small minority. They’re an important minority as swing voters in swing states–but in absolute terms, illegal immigrants, who typically have only an 8th grade education and can’t speak English, are no threat to take away the median American’s job.

            “I do not think “No skin off my back” is a default human condition. The entire history of man is filled with tribalism and blaming others for “doing stuff wrong””

            There’s this thing called price signals, and that’s what people really respond to. People may say this about trade with China, say that about shopping at Wal*Mart, and say something else about saving the polar bears from global warming. Some of those people actually make sacrifices for the things they say they believe in, but the overwhelming super-majority of them will still buy things made in China at Wal*Mart and drive them home in an SUV. They react to price signals.

            The point is that people actually care about things that affect them more than they actually care about things that don’t, or, in other words, the less something impacts people, the less they actually care.

  10. Of course the Hispanic candidate in the race would come up with a plan to pay off Mexico and set immigrants pouring north over the southern border for free!

  11. While overhauling said asylum system, Beto may want to check himself into one—along with the rest of the candidates from both major parties.

    Seriously, they should all check themselves in for a voluntary commitment, much like the Jack Nicholson character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

  12. 11 million here, 11 million there, pretty soon it adds up to a lot of Democratic voters.

    1. Who should be Republicans. Most of them are pro-life, pro-family Catholics who want to work hard and keep more of their own money.

      1. Hispanics have been majority Democratic voters for nearly their entire existence in the US. They support the huge welfare programs, and they support Whitey paying for it all, and if Whitey won’t pay for it all, that’s racist.

        The only significant Republican voting Hispanics have been the Chamber of Commerce bloc and Cubans, and even that’s changing as the Dems become further entrenched in racial identitarianism.

  13. Latin and Central American GDP is almost $6 trillion, population is almost 600 million. I’m sure $5 billion in gifts from U.S. taxpayers is exactly what is needed to jump start the elimination of poverty there.

  14. UMMMMM, quick question…….

    How can you determine if they have a criminal record if you don’t detain them? Do you just ask them, and then let them go on their way?

  15. does he know which 11 million, and what about the other n million do they know they’re out?

  16. “The presidential hopeful outlines a series of loftier goals as well, such as cementing an “earned” path to citizenship for America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants within his first 100 days, which would require congressional approval.”

    Note that this plan goes way beyond *amnesty* to *rewarding* illegal aliens with citizenship.

    Almost all supposed “amnesty plans” are actually reward plans for violating US immigration law.

    #TheyHaveToGoBack

  17. […] plan, coming on the heels of O’Rourke’s big immigration policy heave, also reverses a number of Trump administration policies, such as the transgender troop […]

  18. […] plan, coming on the heels of O’Rourke’s big immigration policy heave, also reverses a number of Trump administration policies, such as the transgender troop […]

  19. […] plan, coming on the heels of O’Rourke’s big immigration policy heave, also reverses a number of Trump administration policies, such as the transgender troop […]

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