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Jonathan Chait: DREAMers Have Destroyed GOP's Immigration "Strategy"

 

Check out this new post today from Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine, which lifts up all the ways in which DREAMers this summer have made serious trouble for Republicans who stand against DACA.  Yesterday, DREAMer tactics went viral once again after they confronted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at a South Carolina fundraiser, prompting him to lash out at them and resulting in multiple commentators condemning his swing toward anti-immigrant extremism.  As Greg Sargent and others have said, the GOP is once again the party of mass deportations, and the DREAMers are repeatedly making that very well known.  It’s, as Jonathan Chait puts it, a “brilliant media strategy.”  Read more below (emphasis ours):

The Dreamers are undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Since their parents decided to bring them, and since they grew up in the United States, deporting them to a foreign country would be unjust and cruel. The Dreamers have a simple media strategy: They publicly question Republican leaders wherever they appear, asking them to straightforwardly explain why they propose to have them deported. The confrontations are powerful and immensely awkward for their subjects. Rand Paul fled in terror; Paul Ryan awkwardly ignored the question. Rubio, speaking in South Carolina, opted for direct confrontation. The video, via Greg Sargent, is in some ways even worse…

The trouble for Republicans is that the political theater created by the Dreamers is not going to stop. They can try their best to control officially sanctioned media debates, but the Dreamers are staging debates without permission, endlessly highlighting the cruelty of the Republican stance. It is a strategy for which the Republicans so far have no answer. The symbolic denouement of Rubio’s immigration debacle may well be an angry old man brandishing his cane at young Dreamers.

(The angry conservatives at the South Carolina fundraiser appeared to do much more than just brandish canes, as can be seen in the Vine below.  The clip is apparently all over Univision.  Republicans are going to have a hard time explaining this one the next time they try to appeal to Latino voters.)