Columns

Bachmann: 'Hit the Pause Button on All Immigration,' Don't Legalize DREAMers

Former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington on Sept. 9, 2016. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca)

WASHINGTON – Former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told PJM that President Trump should not sign a bill that provides legal status to certain undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors, commonly referred to as DREAMers.

Trump has signaled a willingness to sign legislation to afford these immigrants some sort of legal status after rescinding President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Democrats argue Congress should pass a DREAM Act to offer young undocumented immigrants a pathway to legal residency or citizenship since their parents brought them into the country illegally through “no fault of their own.” Bachmann disagreed with that position.

“It doesn’t matter. You don’t get citizenship because citizenship confers tremendous benefits. Today illegal aliens are getting access to way too many, to like 88 different welfare programs in the United States. When people understand that immigration is costing us literally billions and billions – and it isn’t just illegal immigration, that’s about 2 million people a year that come into the United States,” Bachmann said during an interview at the Values Voter Summit in Washington on Friday.

“Legal immigration is 1.1 million, then you’ve got refugee resettlement that could be 100,000. I mean, we are overrun. What we need to do is catch a breath and hit the pause button on all immigration like Calvin Coolidge did, that’s what we’ve got to do so that we have time for assimilation,” she added. “We haven’t had time for assimilation.”

PJM asked Bachmann if she thinks Trump should provide permanent residency for DREAMers, which would provide green cards.

“No, because once you get permanent residency you get access to all 88 welfare programs that there are. And I will tell you, the courts will figure out some way to mandate chain migration and so this never ends; you have to get rid of the magnets. The one thing we need to do is get rid of anchor babies – practically no other country in the world allows what we allow, which means someone who’s not an American citizen gives birth in the United States and that child is automatically given American citizenship,” she said.

“So by default we let the mothers stay in and everyone else – that’s a scam. It’s a scam that’s been going on for years and we need to end that. Mexico doesn’t reciprocate. Honduras doesn’t reciprocate, none of these countries do. It’s a whole scam and we need to get rid of this whole anchor baby nonsense,” she added.

Bachmann explained her opposition to using the term DREAMers, pulled from the DREAM Act first introduced in 2001, to describe young undocumented immigrants.

“Listen, let me correct you because my kids are dreamers and my kids have a much harder time finding a job and having higher wages and better benefits packages; my kids are dreamers, too. So all natural-born Americans should be our first priority; their dreams need to be adhered to first,” she said.

“By the way, in the Western-speaking countries, America has something like 320 million people, but if you look at all of the Western countries in the world that’s about a billion people. The rest of the world is six billion. What do we do? Let six billion people dump into the United States and overnight we provide them with a middle-class income in America, maybe over $40,000 a year in cash and income benefits,” she added.

Bachmann said the U.S. is “broke” and illegal immigration makes the situation worse.

“We are going broke and we’re broke today, most people don’t realize that that we are broke and deep in debt. And so we cannot afford to have an unending pipeline of poverty coming into the United States. It is changing our communities, people are not assimilating and it’s breaking the bank and it’s hurting our dreamers, our kids,” she said.

Citing public school overcrowding, Bachmann argued that American taxpayers are not able to afford the level of illegal immigration coming into the U.S.

“We need to hit the pause button on immigration. We’re like morbidly obese right now in the numbers that we’ve been taking in. Look at our public schools; look at the school systems, the counties,” she said. “We are just stretched beyond anything that we can imagine with our social welfare services and it’s time just to cool it. It’s not helping America.”

Bachmann advised Trump to following through on his campaign promise to curb illegal immigration instead of signing the DREAM Act.

“That’s what people elected him to do. This is the No. 1 issue that people care about – illegal immigration. The one thing we know is that 40 percent of all illegals in the United States are visa overstays. They have no business being allowed to stay in the United States. So eject them, they’re gone,” she said.

“Then you’ve got all the people who have committed crimes, bam, they’re gone. So you can deal with that issue. There is no reason under the sun that we should be giving anyone citizenship who came into the United States illegally,” the former congresswoman added. “No reason at all.”

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) recently said the GOP-led House has passed 250 pieces of legislation that Senate leadership has not acted on yet.

Bachmann also expressed frustration with the lack of legislative action in the Senate. She predicted that the GOP senators blocking Trump’s agenda from advancing would be voted out in their primaries.

“The Senate is not doing its work and for some reason they think they can waltz around and just forget the plight of normal people. Really, the best thing will be to take these guys out. I mean, right now it is shocking and inexcusable the way that they’re acting, and so what they need to do is either do their business or go home – and I think we’re going to make sure in this election cycle that they do go home because they’re not listening to the people that they serve,” she said.

“Every day that goes by is another day lost to advance the agenda that President Trump won on and they’re blowing it, these people. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance because, I’ll tell you, if a Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama comes in after Donald Trump, they’re going to make sure that we turn into a socialist – we won’t even be a republic. We will be a socialist enclave, that’s what we have to look forward to,” she added.

Bachmann said a Democratic president winning in 2020 would result in open borders.

“Do you think we have problems with immigration now? It would be complete open borders and the third world will run en masse and we will be bankrupt and you will see more people killed and hurt and raped on the streets of these cities,” she said during the interview.

“President Trump was exactly right. He wasn’t saying every single person from the third world is a rapist or murderer because they aren’t, but too many are, and why should my daughter or my son be at risk or why should my 86-year-old mother be at risk because illegal aliens are in this country? That’s government failing the American people, and I’ll tell you who is failing the American people now is Republican leadership. So they either better get with it in about 10 nanoseconds or get lost.”