- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Donald Trump gave his White House seal of approval to a bill that would cut immigration by half and impose a merit-based standard that those coming to this country would have to meet in order to gain entry.

And right on cue, here come the Republican naysayers. The RINOs have entered the room.

Let’s be clear. The RAISE Act, painted already by the left as discriminatory and unfair, is actually common sense. It gets rid of the “Diversity Lottery Visas” program, it limits the number of refugees given permanent residency, and it implements a points program that rewards those who can speak English or who possess skills for the high-paying job markets. What’s wrong with that?

What’s wrong with selectively choosing those who come to this country based on what they can provide for this country — not take from it?

“Unfortunately,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, in a statement about RAISE, “[one] part of this proposal would reduce legal immigration by half, including many immigrants who work legally in our agriculture, tourism and service industry. South Carolina’s number one industry is agriculture and tourism is number two. If this proposal were to become law, it would be devastating to our state’s economy, which relies on this immigrant workforce.”

The unstated: If this proposal were to become law, Graham’s political and financial support from his key restaurant and farming peeps would soon dry.

Also the unstated: Come on now, senator. Everybody but everybody knows there are certain industries in America that are rife with illegal workers — farming being one of them. Jig’s up, Graham. Trying to disguise or sugarcoat that fact is futile.

Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, meanwhile, expressed similar alarm about the potential for his state’s farmers to lose its immigrant workforce — and again, the silent fear being: I’ll lose my seat.

Graham’s RINO roots, for even the most casual of political watchers, are the stuff of legend.

But as a quick refresher on Johnson — he said this, in January, about Obamacare overhaul and to a CNBC audience: “Let’s start working with Democrats. Let’s transition to a system that will actually work, that, you know, Democrats are talking about. They want to fix it. Well, let’s fix it for the benefit of the American public.”

And on the message of repeal and replace that was being put forth by Trump at the time?

Johnson said this, during the same interview: “From my standpoint, I’ve been talking about repairing the damage and then transitioning to a system that actually works. That takes some time. It’s way more complex than simply repeal and replace. That’s a fun little buzzword, but it’s just not accurate.”

In other words: It’s all just too complex for Trump and the little people of America who support Trump to grasp. Let the smart guys on Capitol Hill handle it.

RINO and elitist — always a good combo.

Trump’s take on RAISE is that it will “reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars.” Bill co-sponsor Sen. Tom Cotton’s take is this — that legal immigration should ultimately raise the threshold of the entire country’s standard of living, and this bill adjusts current border law to accomplish that. And the other bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. David Perdue, said this: “Our current system does not work. It keeps America from being competitive.”

But because RINOs rule the Senate, and because Graham’s not facing re-election until 2020 and Johnson, until 2022, expect RAISE to go the way of Obamacare repeal — nowhere, but fast.

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