Roy Beck's picture


  by  Roy Beck

Many Washington champions for MORE immigration enforcement are abuzz and aghast at reports indicating that Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is considered to be high on the Trump Team's list to be the next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

NumbersUSA members will recognize McCaul over the last four years as the champion of legislation for LESS immigration enforcement. (NumbersUSA activists flooded Congress with faxes and phone calls objecting to McCaul's legislation which eventually had to be pulled because of the grassroots disapproval.)

No government position is as important as the DHS Secretary in determining whether President-Elect Donald Trump fulfills his immigration enforcement promises to the working women and men of America.

Yet, the Trump Team apparently is seriously considering filling the position with Rep. McCaul who has used his congressional leadership position of chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee the last four years to try to undermine Trump's top proposals on immigration enforcement.

Let's look at some of the ways.


In Trump's landmark August 2016 immigration speech in Phoenix, he promised to "finally complete the biometric entry-exit visa tracking system which we need desperately. For years Congress has required biometric entry-exit visa tracking systems, but it has never been completed."

But H.R. 1417 (the "McCaul bill)," introduced in the autumn of 2013, would have gutted the entry-exit law previously passed by Congress. Here is what NumbersUSA's Chris Chmielenski wrote about the bill:

The 9/11 Commission recommended that the federal government implement a biometric entry/exit system at all ports of entry to better monitor the movement of non-immigrant visitors to and from the United States. In 2004, Congress codified a mandatory biometric entry/exit system in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, and yet, there's still no system in place.

Instead of requiring completion of the entry/exit system, the McCaul-Jackson Lee bill gives DHS an out. The bill requires DHS to develop a plan to implement a biometric system at all ports of entry, unless the Secretary determines that such a system is not feasible. In that case, DHS can develop a plan for an alternative system.

The inability to implement a biometric entry/exit system at all ports of entry is one of DHS's biggest failures. A recent report from the Center for Immigration Studies found that not only would a system be easy to implement, but given current technology, it would be very affordable. Giving DHS the opportunity, though, to develop an alternate system would almost guarantee that a biometric entry/exit system will never exist.

Rep. McCaul sought to weaken the entry-exit goals even more by co-sponsoring another bill (H.R. 3141) which our NumbersUSA Grade Cards describe like this:

(Weakens) interior enforcement by exempting non-pedestrian traffic from the entry-exit system. This would exempt an estimated 25% of all border crossings from the entry-exit system and create a loophole for would-be illegal aliens who would not be subject to the exit system and, thus, could potentially overstay in the U.S.


Chris wrote this about McCaul's H.R. 1417:

The Secure Fence Act of 2006 requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to 'take all actions the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States.'

The McCaul-Jackson Lee legislation, however, only requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit "a comprehensive strategy for gaining and maintaining situational awareness and operational control of high traffic areas" within 2 years and "operational control along the southwest border" within 5 years.

So, instead of requiring DHS to secure the entire border, now the agency simply has to submit a plan to Congress detailing how it would secure portions of the border. There are requirements in H.R.1417 to implement the Secretary's plan, but should the agency fail to do so, the only consequence is for DHS to submit a report to Congress explaining why it failed (or didn't try).


No Trump immigration promise has gotten more attention than his calls for a wall or fencing along the Mexican-U.S. border.

McCaul's handling of border fencing in H.R. 399, the Secure Our Border First Act of 2015 exemplifies the way House Republican leaders have responded to the public's clamor for more enforcement. The Republicans in November 2014 had won control of Congress after national campaigning against the Obama Administration's lack of enforcement and promising to do things differently. But the response of House GOP leaders was to offer the latest version of McCaul's border bill that had been exposed as an anti-enforcement bill in the previous Congress.

Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies analyzed the bill as an improvement over the 2013 bill but summarized that "it falls far short of what is needed to slow the flow of illegal immigration and prevent the entry of terrorists and criminals. It proposes to spend $10 billion of taxpayer money without ensuring that a single illegal alien will be sent home."

After all the promises made by Republicans seeking votes in 2014, McCaul's bill offered only 27 miles of double fencing, about which Vaughan stated:

This is certainly welcome but, again, inadequate. To put this into perspective, Hudspeth County, Texas, alone has 95 miles of unfenced border. We don't need to build fencing along the entire border, but 27 more miles (to be built in three separate sectors) is a drop in the bucket compared to the 700 miles that was authorized (but never completed) by the 2006 Secure Fence Act. And, if Congress just reneges on the authorization like it has in the past, and does not appropriate the funds, it may never be built. "


McCaul is on the leadership team of Speaker Paul Ryan who has a career-long record of seeking expansionist immigration.

McCaul was also loyal to the previous Speaker John Boehner on immigration when very few other Republicans were. McCaul's legislation to weaken various immigration enforcement provisions already in place was widely seen by those of us who support stronger enforcement as a fig-leaf to make it look like Republican leadership was doing something to strengthen border enforcement when it was actually doing the opposite. It is telling that the McCaul bill which the GOP leadership touted as enhancing border security was so effective at weakening enforcement that the House pro-amnesty forces included it in the border security part of their amnesty bill.

Before 2013, McCaul had a much better track record of supporting enforcement that would reduce the labor competition from illegal foreign workers. But by 2013, he was tighter with top Republican leaders who have long been far more interested than rank-and-file members in protecting business lobbies' access to illegal foreign workers.

The then-House Speaker John Boehner had bowed to grassroots pressure in 2013 and kept the Senate's Gang of Eight amnesty and legal immigration expansion off the House floor. But in early 2014, he tried to begin a process to build support for another version of amnesty outlined as his "Principles on Immigration Reform." The Principles included a path to citizenship and voting rights for illegal immigrants.

After tremendous NumbersUSA grassroots opposition, that Boehner outline (which was widely considered to have been heavily influenced by Rep. Paul Ryan) was eventually abandoned. Only 19 House Republicans were willing to publicly state their support of Boehner's amnesty outline.

McCaul was one of those 19.

ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA

border control
Interior Enforcement

Updated: Thu, Dec 15th 2016 @ 10:05am EST

NumbersUSA's blogs are copyrighted and may be republished or reposted only if they are copied in their entirety, including this paragraph, and provide proper credit to NumbersUSA. NumbersUSA bears no responsibility for where our blogs may be republished or reposted. The views expressed in blogs do not necessarily reflect the official position of NumbersUSA.
Debra 9260 of MD's picture

I hope he does not choose Michael you think Trump will follow thru on his promise to follow the laws that we have already....."The immigration laws that we have are fine. This will take care of the vast majority of illegal immigrants who are in the country or who are crossing into the country now. There are five laws that Trump could enforce immediately. Number one is to deport illegal aliens. Number two is to complete the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which both Hillary and Obama voted for. Number three, enforce the laws that punish employers for hiring illegals. Number four, end sanctuary cities, and, number five, enforce the laws prohibiting welfare to illegal aliens. That's it, we have laws already." (Rush) Obama never enforced the laws. 

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Jm  2943 of CO's picture

You forgot a few things!  1. should be reverse all EO's which deal with immigration especially DACA / DAPA / OPT and everything else!

and Van or someone what would you think about a straightaway EO until Congress can pass something that clarifies birth right citizenship?  legal or as legal as what Obama has done? so bad idea or good idea?

NO amnesty.  NO work permits.  NO nothing but deportation.

Yeah for Trump.

Van 0864 of VA's picture

Yes we need to reverse the policies (they're not executive orders) and DACA and DAPA. And Trump does not need an executive order to do it. Not sure what legal authority President Trump could use as the basis for an Executive Order on birthright citizenship. Without that, it would be easy for the media to accuse him of being a tyrant. That will undermine the broader agenda. Congress needs to pass legislation.

Brian 0936 of MN's picture

Amen Deb.  I agree with everything you said.  The bottom line is, we have nearly all the laws we need, on the books, to completely take care of our immigration mess. Our countries problem has not been a lack of laws on immigration, our problem is we have had Globalist politicians in office for the past 50-75 years who are intent on destroying our country, and incorporating it into worldwide global system.  Don't ever believe anyone who says they are for "immigration reform", as that is nothing buy a byword for amnesty, and the destruction of American Sovereignty.  On Michael McCaul, he would be a DISASTER.  Chris Kobach is the only one who makes sense for the DHS (and possibly Arpio for ICE).  Is there anyway for Numbers USA to voice their concern with the Trump transition team in regards to Michael McCaul????

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Albert 3441 of PA's picture

The fact that Trump, who ran on a platform promising true immigration reform, would even consider scoundrels like this for cabinet-level positions, is very disturbing.

Philip 5927 of AZ's picture

This is a well-written article. I agree with you, Roy Beck.

I really don't want McCaul. He is never strong enough to combat illegal immigrant crime and Obama's soft stance on criminal illegal immigrant deportations. He is not that tough. He is evidently soft on illegal immigrants (i.e., he filed a weak bill banning sanctuary city.) The wrong pick of McCaul would be no joke!

I heard that Obama and Jeh Johnson prefer him as DHS chief because they know McCaul is weak. If McCaul is picked, he would be shoot full of holes (criticized) by many unhappy and angry border patrol agents. He will never be a great DHS chief some day.

However, I believe this rumor is circulating by news media you did hear, but I hope this rumor will never come true.

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Philip 5927 of AZ's picture

I want Kris Kobach because he has great strength of character. He is not afraid of every criminal illegal alien.

Kobach is the best, perfect and strong choice to head DHS for Trump because he has a clear and logical mind. He has much more experience in border security, airport security, port security and immigration enforcement. He is an author of SB 1070 immigration law for AZ. About 6 years ago, he and AZ Senator Russell Pearce worked together on the legislation. Then, AZ Gov. Jan Brewer signed it into the law.

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Jm  2943 of CO's picture

Those of you with twitter accounts; tweet to Trump!  Its important you do this and do this from all over the country.

#nomccaul #kobachfordhs #sessionsandkobach #whatateam

NO amnesty.  NO work permits.  NO nothing but deportation.

Yeah for Trump.

Mike 1111 of CO's picture

McCaul is not the right guy.

Just like Johnson is clearly the wrong guy.

I like Kris Kobach for DHS Secretary, too.

"Mr. Trump Goes To Washington"

The corruption in Washington DC is much worse than he realizes.

James 7427 of KS's picture

Does anyone have any idea why Trump would be seriously considering McCaul?  I have always been all too aware of the strong possibility that Trump was not serious about the immigration message that caused so many voters to flock to him, but picking Sessions as AG was a big put your money where your mouth is step.  Why would he pick Sessions as AG only to turn around and pick McCaul for DHS?

Zhenna 0227 of NM's picture

I supported Trump from the first speech in AZ because of his hard line on illegal immigration and because I didn't see any other candidate that was not tied to neocon or globalist NWO agendas.  But to be honest I started seeing red flags with Cory being replaced, picking Pence, endorsing Paul Ryan and John McCain, picking Priebus, giving a position to McConnell's wife, even considering for one minute Romney for anything, and now this.  One would hope Jeff Sessions would have more influence?  But I never forgot the warnings of so many who said Trump is a manipulator and will say anything and use anyone to get what he wants.  I will have no problem turning on Trump with a vengeance if he picks McCaul.  And now Trump is on this childish egotistical victory tour.  How much adulation does one person need?

The reality is and has always been that government is self-serving and parasitic.  The real change comes from organizations like NumbersUSA - always has, always will.  I hoped we had a real chance to get some help with Trump, we will see soon enough. 

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Robert 4907 of DE's picture

I believe that Michael McCaul is a damn RINO.  He MUST be stopped from becoming DHA chief.

Maybe tis link should be sent to him.

It's no wonder we are in such sad shape, mostly due to illegal aliens.  They have to go if we are to survive.  If we don't get rid of them, we will soon be a third world country.  Is this what we want?

John 4110 of MI's picture

If we don't get a substantial improvement in enforcement and a reduction in immigration, Trump is not following through on one of his core promises. 

Karen 6880 of AZ's picture

Trump is disheartening a lot of supporters by even considering McCaul. His votes are very poor on enforcment of immigration laws.   It was bad enough that Trump  chose Reince Priebus and Romney.  Too many of these types will undermine Trump's own plans. Worries me.  Big Time.  

Jeff 2418 of PA's picture


Some of these people have been in this country ILLEGALLY for years and even decades getting rich off the legal citizens of this country by not having to pay taxes and receiving benefits with no consequences. So why are we going to reward them even more? I can't just go to any other country without legal resources and demand they give me everything that legal citizens are entitled to. SO WHY ARE WE GOING TO DO IT HERE? These people are laughing at the buffoons in Washington knowing they are about to get even more from us.


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Jeffrey 9532 of CO's picture

Just read on "The Hill" that Lindsey Graham and Dick Durban are crafting last minute legislation to grant legal status to Dreamers before Obama is out of office.  I'd be willing to cut Dreamers some slack but only if they couldn't sponsor family members and only if it is traded for mandatory country-wide E-Verify.    

Graham has to be stopped.

John 4110 of MI's picture

Other Chamber of Commerce snakes (my word) such as McCain, Flake and Ryan seem poised to hand Trump supporters a defeat after the win with the voters. 

Debra 9260 of MD's picture


Have you heard anything about a Bill that Lindsey Graham is putting forth for Amnesty for the Dreamers, taking up Obama's executive order?  This could be a horrible bill, because if the Dreamers are getting Amnesty, will the parents and extended family get Amnesty?  Not happy with this bill.

Van 0864 of VA's picture

Yes and we expected him to do that at some point. Whether it's his bill or another, a measure like this will be part of the discussion. We'll just have to shut it down. And we can. But please know that we have a battle ahead of us next year. We'll have to fight hard for immigration-reduction measures and against open-borders measures

DavidT 3807 of TX's picture

I have been watching Rep. McCaul since he was elected. I have found that he is one of the best switcharoos in Washington. He has rolled over and allowed the Obama  administration to open the door of immigration wider than ever. If Mr. Trump selects Rep. McCaul for anything all who voted for him should hang their heads in shame.

Dustin 2480 of CA's picture

I along with most here and many in the country knew. We all knew when Donald Trump came out from the start strongly against ILLEGAL immigration he would be the nominee. Then he continued on with the issue as one of his main issues through out the campaign. He is really concerned about the issue and has talked about it since he was elected. This to me cemented the fact that he is not a typical politician.

The issue is a paramount peace of legislation on his agenda. It is a goal for him to get done and he doesn't like to fail. He is a producer, he is a maker, not a taker. So, I am confident that he will make the right choice. My take of things thus far is that congress and other parts of the "swamp" is what we all need to keep an eye on. We all need to keep the pressure on them to help President Trump implement his plans to Make America Great Again.

Build the Wall, double layered fencing in some areas, increased enforcement on the border and in the interior, unleash ICE, etc.       Get it Done, finally we have a very good chance at that.

Hope everyone has a good Christmas

Come the new year it will be time to keep the pressure on them all.

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Robert 1324 of TN's picture

If Trump keeps his promise as we believe he will he would never put someone like H. mccaull in any position of authority who is PRO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.He should not be given anything with authority.

Kathryn 2022 of TX's picture

Don't assume he is picking these people for he might just be picking their brains instead for information.  Why does this person oppose this immigration structure to follow the law?

Kathryn 2022 of TX's picture

This would be a very bad pick for he does NOTHING that he states he will do.  Mike needs to go home and retire.  I am sick of these Career Politicians and he talks a good game but his actions are lacking!

Dwayne 5244 of NV's picture

Congressman Michael McCaul is NOT the right person for DHS leadeeship and certainly in NO WAY in the best interest of this country and the American people or legal immigrants.

The claim he has qualifications because of his appointments in congress is one of the MAIN REASONS why he should not be selected; why would we allow anyone with such a passive attitude toward hte Greatest Invasion of Illegals into this country in our history, and who has a past history of appeasing illegal immigrants most often  pushing for more benefits for those who have come here illegally and remain here in violation of our laws?  THAT is why we are in the mess we are in now; to many in Washington who ignored our federal laws that managed immigration for several past presidents allowing instead the Obama Administration to just do as he wanted and allowing DHS to ignore our laws and the American men and women.

The best choice would be Gulliani who has a great egal background, was mayor of New York at time of 9/11, has first hand knowledge and experience in handling major disasters and threats and owns his own Security company!  He has been close enough to Washington to see and feel the impact of poor leadership and understands how ineffective guidance can hurt the U.S. 

He would be far better positioned as Secretary of Homeland Security than as Secretary of State! 

Probably his biggest weakness is the large number of illegal immigrants in New York City; we have far to many as it is and many of them came here while Guillani was major. 

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Kevin 9558 of FL's picture
"No we cannot and will not have this foolishness, send them all back and stop immigration so American can have one nation under God, safety and security, jobs, peace & ect, again!"
Sylvia 6388 of NY's picture
The main reason that I voted for Trump over Hillary was that Trump promised to build a wall and send illegals home. If he wants to earn my loyalty he will keep his promise.
George 5999 of ID's picture

Mike McCaul is the perfect example of a RINO who is firmly in the pocket of big business. They want cheap labor and don't give a hoot how the influx of illegals damages our nation's society and the job prospects of millions of unemployed citizens. Donald Trump shouild immediately cross him off any list he has. McCaul is not someone we need anywhere near immigration policy.

Henry 6314 of VA's picture

The borders must be secured. McCall is someone we need miles away from illegal immigrant policy. I know hundreds of people who love this country more than they love money. McCall is not one of them. Any one of those I know would do a better job of securing the border than the RINO McCall who is in the pocket of big business and they want cheap labor more thna they love our country. Keep him away.

Laura 3012 of AZ's picture

In the state of AZ we have the best Sheriff ever (Sheriff Joe Arpaio) who has always enforced the law and caught illegal aliens. Just as 3 Million illegals voted against Donald in the elections, we believe thousands upon thousands of illegals voted against Sheriff Joe and that is why he did not win the last election (he was voted in 8 times before that!!!). President Trump should make Sheriff Joe Arpaio - the Head of the Dept. of Homeland Security! We need someone really good, like Joe! And he deserves it, too! And he also has been supporting Trump a lot!

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James 7427 of KS's picture

NumbersUSA Staff,

What exactly are the due process requirements for illegal aliens facing deportation?  Immigration lawyers will say that all illegal aliens are entitled to due process, but given that illegal presence is a violation of the law but not a crime, I find this hard to believe.  What are the specific due process requirements here?

Van 0864 of VA's picture

It differs on the border and the interior. Obama ended an expedited deportation program under which one hearing was held under an administrative judge, not necessarily with legal help. At one time that program dealt several illegal aliens at a time. That program can be re-instituted. In the interior, an illegal alien goes before an immigration judge. Volunteer groups often provide legal counsel and appeal cases where deportations are ordered. Not sure about the extent of due process rights in the latter. I know there are differing case precedents

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Debra 9260 of MD's picture


Ann Coulter thinks Trump is walking back his hard stance on illegal immigration, if he does I will never support him again.  I voted for him solely on the fact that he was a hard liner for illegal immigration, if he does this to us, I am DONE.

Mike 1111 of CO's picture

Van, Roy, & Company ...

McCaul is clearly the wrong guy.

In your opinion, if you are allowed by the 501 rules to say,


Jm  2943 of CO's picture

Been tweeting.  Its about his speed!  and intelligence  (being honest).  He does have alot of street smarts though.

NO amnesty.  NO work permits.  NO nothing but deportation.

Yeah for Trump.

Gerry 3912 of CA's picture

I just tweeted Trump there and said appoint Kobach he is Strong, Mc Caul is so weak !, if you appoint someone like Mc Caul you will be one term president !!

Van 0864 of VA's picture

Well, that what CBS is reporting. Last year he testified before Congress saying the southern border is an "existential threat" so he'd be tough there and likely in the interior. Not sure what he knows about legal immigration. In any event, if it's true, this is way better than McCaul.

Van 0864 of VA's picture

No, not better than Kobach, but The Washington Times suggested he could be made Deputy Secretary. I was just saying nothing is definitive until the announcement is made. All these reports started playing off the CBS report. Now, they all use "multiple reports say."