We hear it all the time from politicians of both parties. But does anyone ask what it really means? To Democrats, the term means little more than the appeasement of immigrant groups in the hope of a payback in the voting booth.
To establishment Republicans like John McCain, Susan Collins, Lindsay Graham and others, reform means parroting Democrat talking points in order to appear friendly to illegal immigrants.
For years, talk of reforming immigration policy seemed to be just that: talk. But when Donald Trump came to town with a promise to build a wall along our southern border, real reform seemed possible for the first time in years.
But then President Trump had that meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
While some conservatives were despondent over President Trump’s apparent cave-in on DACA, it appears that Trump used his “art of the deal” strategy to place Democrats in a tough spot. Any worry about Trump giving into the other side was cast aside recently when he unveiled a 70-point strategy to end our nation’s loopholes in immigration policy.
Moving forward, Democrats basically have three options – and none works out well for their electoral ambitions.
First, they can fight Trump’s push for stricter enforcement and a border wall by passing DACA legislation. This would entail some serious risks. After all, more than 60 million Americans just elected a president on his promise to build a wall, an election that left the Democrat Party as powerless as it has been in nearly a century. So don’t expect Democrats to put forth a DACA bill anytime soon.
The second option entails Democrats working with Trump to get some aspects of DACA into law. But this would necessitate giving in to some of the president’s demands and would infuriate the Democrats’ raging #Resist constituency, which lives to oppose Trump at every turn.
Third, the other path that Democrats can take is to pander to immigrant groups on the surface while doing little to actually aid their cause. As Mark Alexander has argued for years, this is their preferred and incredibly cynical strategy — perhaps more so now that Democrats have little political clout with which to work.
Jonathan Tobin writes in National Review, “Though Schumer and Pelosi may think widespread public support for relief for the Dreamers gives their party the whip hand in talks with Trump, the Democrats actually have little leverage over the president on this issue. If they want a legislative fix that keeps DACA alive, they are going to have to make substantial concessions to the White House and the Republican congressional leadership — both of which need to show the GOP base that they are serious about curbing illegal immigration.”
Tobin goes on to characterize the current Democrat predicament as one in which they have to choose between fighting for their constituency and fighting against Trump. Right now, they’re opting for taking down Trump, but even this has eased up in recent weeks as Democrats realize two things: Trump’s base of support is fiercely loyal, and working-class voters in blue states are growing increasingly frustrated with a party that bends over backwards for illegal immigrants but doesn’t seem to give a lick about jobs or wages for American citizens.
Indeed, a huge problem for Democrats is that working-class voters are moving away in droves over fear that immigrants are taking their jobs and hampering the growth of their wages.
These “Dreamers” are, in effect, killing the American Dream, and Americans know it.
So while the Leftmedia continuously pontificates about the rupture in the Republican Party between its establishment and its “Steve Bannon” wing, a real divide exists in the Democrat Party, too — and any negotiation with Trump will be met with fury.
Seriously. If you want to see the Left truly lose its collective mind, just wait until “Chuck and Nancy” announce that in exchange for leniency regarding the Dreamers, they’ve agreed to build Donald Trump’s big, beautiful wall. (They’ve come a long way in the 10 years since they all supported the wall.) In the end, they may not go that far in negotiating with Trump, but they’re not going to push too hard for DACA. And here’s why:
Writing for The New York Times, Thomas B. Edsall opines, “The problem for those calling for the enactment of liberal policies, however, is that immigration is a voting issue for a minority of the electorate. And among those who say immigration is their top issue, opponents outnumber supporters by nearly two to one. In this respect, immigration is similar to gun control — both mobilize opponents more than supporters.” Edsall adds, “Among the 13 percent of voters who identified immigration as the most important issue, Trump won, 64-33. This data demonstrates a key element in the politics of immigration.”
So what’s the endgame for Democrats? Were they to regain majorities in the House and Senate, one might assume that they would open the floodgates and usher in a new wave of illegals. But the political landscape has changed, and Democrats know it. They’re hemorrhaging working-class voters and simply can’t bring themselves to actually vote for DACA despite their public defense of the program.
Democrats are thus likely to continue to pander to the Latino community and other constituencies in the hope that it translates into more political power down the road. So much for caring about the fate of the Dreamers.
President Trump now has the upper hand in the art of the immigration deal, and he just called the Democrats’ bluff.
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