Dems, GOP Failing To Agree On DACA Deal—Can Immigration Patriots Rejoice?
What will happen with DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] is the biggest policy question looming over the Trump Administration as Congress returns to session. [With DC distracted, immigration debate reaches critical point, by Byron York, Washington Examiner, January 8, 2017] The President is meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators at the White House tomorrow—January 9. But right now, it appears the most likely answer is: nothing. And that’s the best-case scenario for immigration patriots.
Back in September, Donald Trump scrapped this unconstitutional Obama decree that granted temporary legalization to illegal aliens who came to America as minors—something he had promised to do on his first day in office. VDARE.com had speculated that Trump was waiting for the courts to strike it down, as they had the broader DAPA Amnesty, although this was obviously risky. Now, however, Trump chose to punt the issue to Congress, challenging it to create a permanent legalization for these so-called “Dreamers.”
For those who wanted Trump to live up to the promise of putting Americans first, his stated desire of wanting to give permanent legalization to these illegals was a disappointment, although not new. VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow counselled patience and this now seems to have been justified: the president did not propose to grant this Amnesty in exchange for nothing.
Instead of a straight legalization for the 800,000 illegal immigrants covered by DACA, the president is demanding an end to Chain Migration, elimination of the Diversity Lottery visa program, and funding for a wall on the border between the U.S and Mexico in exchange [Trump lays out immigration deal demands, by Dan Merica, CNN, December 29, 2017].
Needless to say, those demands aren’t sitting well with Democrats. The leaders of the opposing party are calling for straight legalization with virtually zero concessions to Trump. “It’s outrageous that the White House would undercut months of bipartisan efforts by again trying to put its entire wish-list of hardline anti-immigrant bills—plus an additional $18 billion in wall funding—on the backs of these young people,” said Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in response to Trump’s simple requests [Trump’s demands to help Dreamers could doom deal, Top Dem says, by Elise Foley, Huffington Post, January 3, 2018] Durbin’s statement can be taken as representative of his party, as he is one of the seven senators in negotiations over DACA.
Democrats are under Main Stream Media Media pressure to shut down the government in order to get DACA without any hint of patriotic immigration reform. [The Democrats Should Shut Down the Government to Save DACA, by Emma Roller, Splinter, January 4, 2017]. Democrats are also being protested by hardline “immigrant rights” advocates who insist that permanent, legislative DACA should be the top priority for Democrats.
Democrats are hoping to use the upcoming spending bill, which must be passed by January 19th, by attaching DACA legislation to it without any concessions.
Both sides in this conflict are publicly saying they’re willing to shut down the government in order to get what they want. Trump was reported to have said in November that a shutdown would benefit him politically and he knows his base will love that he drives a hard bargain on getting the wall. [Trump reportedly believes that a government shutdown might score him political points, by David Choi, Business Insider, November 30, 2017]
There is a possibility that the Republicans legislators negotiating a legislative “Dream Act” will concede to Democrat demands in exchange for some token border security funding, effectively a betrayal of Trump. None of the Republicans involved in the negotiations, incuding Cory Gardner, John Cornyn, Thom Tillis, James Lankford, and Lindsey Graham, is known for being a hawk on immigration. If anything, these are some of the more squishy Republicans on immigration, especially Lindsey Graham. So it is very likely that these Republicans would betray the American people to get a few pats on the head from the immigration lobby.
But it might not be up to them. Fortunately, Trump is president and has the power of the veto. It seems unlikely that he would sign a bill that only provided a little bit more funding for Border Patrol agents, and few Republicans will want to go against their own president on this issue during an election year.
Immigration patriot Stephen Miller is also heavily involved in the DACA negotiations [Stephen Miller Stayed in the Shadows to Kill His Boss’ Deal, by Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng, and Sam Stein, Daily Beast, October 9, 2017]. Miller’s rising influence in the White House does not portend President Trump selling out [Report: ‘Rising White House Power’ Stephen Miller ‘May Outlast Almost Everyone’ in Trump Administration, by John Binder, Breitbart, December 29, 2017].
Indeed, unless Democrats cave or Trump utterly sells out, there is a good chance there will be no legislative compromise on DACA. The “Dreamers” will then lose their temporary protection and be eligible for deportation.
And this would be the ideal scenario for immigration patriots who believe there should absolutely be no Amnesty for illegals.
Despite MSM pressure, it’s obvious that Democrats up for re-election, especially in red states, are wary of risking a government shutdown solely to please the advocates of illegal immigrants [Democrats outline demands as threat of shutdown looms, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Thomas Kaplan, New York Times, January 2, 2018]. There is no way Democrats will not be blamed for the ordeal, and prioritizing non-citizens over Americans will not play well for red-state Democratic senators like Jon Tester of Montana.
My surmise: Republicans may be able to pick off enough Democrats to pass a spending bill free of a DACA fix—and that may be enough to kill the chance of its passage for the rest of 2018. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that he will only allow an Amnesty bill on the Senate floor if an immigration deal is reached [McConnell pledges immigration vote in January – if deal is reached first, by Tal Kopan, CNN, December 20, 2017]. It is unlikely McConnell will risk his relationship with the president and accept a legislative fix to DACA that comes with no border wall funding and no immigration restrictions.
DACA serves as a bargaining chip for Trump to accomplish serious pro-American immigration reforms. Giving it away for nada would be a betrayal of his base and a sure sign the wall will never be built. Thus far, there’s no indication such a staggering surrender seems imminent.
But this week will provide critical information on whether President Trump and the Republicans will remain loyal to the Americans who elected them.
My prediction: So far, the chances look good that the White House will remain steadfast in its demands—which will effectively doom the chances of an Amnesty for Dreamers at long last.
Washington Watcher [email him] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway.