On January 24 the White House unveiled their immigration plan that would generously offer a pathway to citizenship for approximately 1.8 million “Dreamers” within a 10 – 12 year period. In exchange for the “Dreamers” gaining a pathway to citizenship, the White House called for a $25 billion investment in border security, which includes a wall along the U.S. southern border. The White House immigration plan also calls for new restraints on legal immigration by paring down chain migration and ending the Visa Lottery Program, both of which have been exploited by terror networks in recent years.
President Trump held a bipartisan immigration meeting which was televised on numerous news outlets. There were two reason for this calculated political maneuver. One reason was obvious for all to see and that was to counter the Michael Wolf book, Fire and Fury. The second was to find out what Democrats wanted out of immigration reforms. President Trump withheld his cards and asked for Democrats to lay theirs on the table, and they did. However President Trump also knows Democrats a little better than they choose to acknowledge. If Democrats were to agree to this deal and acquiesce to the paring down of legal immigration, they would see it as losing key prospective voters that their platform deliberately caters to in order to win future elections.
President Trump decided to illustrate the true motivations of Democrats by suggesting that we provide a pathway to citizenship, not legal status but citizenship, for more than double the 800,000 “Dreamers” suggested by Democrats and finally stopping illegal immigration by clamping down on the southern border. By doing so legislators can address the “Dreamer” issue while avoiding having to address this issue again in the near future, seems logical. But Democrats criticize the deal regardless of the President doubling their DACA demands which included a pathway to citizenship while Democrats only requested a legal status.
President Trump weighed in with the following Tweet on January 27:
“I have offered DACA a wonderful deal, including a doubling in the number of recipients & a twelve year pathway to citizenship, for two reasons: (1) Because the Republicans want to fix a long time terrible problem. (2) To show that Democrats do not want to solve DACA, only use it!”
So let us recap what the Democrats have asked for and what President Trump has offered. Democrats wanted 800,000 “Dreamers” to be granted a legal status in return for immigration reform and border security. President Trump offers a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million “Dreamers”, while addressing border security and reforming the current immigration system. If the Democrats wanted to be the party to offer an outline for immigration reforms, they should have won the 2016 presidential election. The White House sets the agenda and Congress negotiates the terms and conditions.
Those who object to the deal are on the fringes of both sides. Far left and far right supporters seem uncomfortable with the deal however, the moderate representatives of both parties have begun deliberating around the White House’s immigration outline. Republican leaders Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have supported the moderate members of their party to begin negotiations however, moderate Democrats are circumventing Democratic Party leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in participating in negotiations thus revealing a deep fracture within the Democratic Party. After Nancy Pelosi condemned the White House immigration proposal as an “attempt to make American white again,” Joe Manchin (D-WV) appeared on State of the Union with Jake Tapper to offer these comments:
“You know what, we don’t need that type of rhetoric on either side. From Nancy, Paul Ryan or anybody else. We have the wall. We need to repair the wall. We’ll need to build more wall. We need to do whatever we can to secure the borders. We’re going to meet Monday night, start over again. Trying to find that commonality that we’ve been able to do. And there’s no way that anyone should be considering any more of a shutdown, even talking the nonsense of a shutdown. Let’s get down to business and fix it. And we can do it. The president’s laid out what he wants. That’s a good starting point. Let’s see if it’s something we can agree on. Something we need to adjust and something we can negotiate with.”
President Trump has effectively displayed that Democrats view “Dreamers” as mere pawns in a bigger game which revolves around power not sympathy. If “Dreamers” cannot offer Democrats more possible votes under the President’s immigration proposal than the amount of votes Democrats could obtain under 10 years of the current immigration system, then Democrats are more than willing to cut them loose. They have displayed this by criticizing President Trump for offering Democrats more than twice of what they asked for. If someone offered you $100 instead of the $50 you asked for, should you complain or take the money and run? If you don’t take the money, one would assume you are not being genuine about your motivations.
The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. By subscribing to the “resist” movement and vowing to obstruct any win that could be afforded to President Trump, they have thwarted their own promise to the “Dreamers.”
If Democrats refuse to give President Trump a win in the border wall, then the “Dreamers” will lose their legal status in March as a result of inaction on the Democrats’ behalf. Possibly resulting in a loss of key vocal supporters within their base. However if Democrats cave on a deal involving the “Dreamers” in exchange for the President’s border wall, then the “resist” movement will be protesting the actions of Democrats. Thus possibly losing that key support of their base. It appears that blind hatred took precedent over political maneuvering and Democrats are about to pay a big price, one way or the other.
It appears the obstructionists within the Democratic Party are beginning to lose ground after the Schumer Shutdown. Public opinion polling shows strong support behind the President with regard to immigration in that the public would prefer a merit based immigration system as opposed the current system. A system of which both parties have agreed is broken however, it appears only one party seems serious about fixing it and the President has illustrated that in stark detail.