President Trump and Republican allies are already seeking to set up a blame game and point the finger at Democrats, should Congress not deliver on an urgent solution to the Dreamer crisis Trump created.
That’s patently ridiculous, of course, as sharp analyses from Ezra Klein, James Hohmann, Greg Sargent, and Dana Milbank make clear. President Trump and Republicans created this manufactured crisis for Dreamers.
“Instead of participating in enactment of a reasonable solution that the American people support, the GOP strategy is all about exploiting Dreamers’ precarious futures in order to ram through a wishlist of policies that, yes, are motivated by race and an effort to slow or undo the demographic diversification of America,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “Some point soon there will be votes on amendments in the Senate, and we will see who stands on the side of American values and who stands for a racist immigration system.”
See below for key excerpts.
Trump created a crisis for DREAMers — all this began when he unilaterally decided to end the DACA program — and then refused the obvious compromises that could have fixed it. Now he is threatening a veto of the likeliest bipartisan compromises in the Senate. He has taken 690,000 hostages and is now trumpeting the wonderful opportunity everyone has to pay his policy ransom in order to free them, and he is doing all of it while insisting he desperately wants to free them too.
The truth is, Trump doesn’t want a DACA solution. He is willing to accept a DACA solution in return for other things he wants — notably, heavy investments in border security and a large cut in legal immigration — but within the negotiations, a DACA fix is the thing Trump is treating as a concession on his part, not the thing he is trying to make happen. If it were the thing he was trying to make happen, it would have happened already …This shell game works until it doesn’t. If there’s no deal, and the Trump administration begins deporting DREAMers over Democratic objections, his real position will become very clear, very quickly.
Anti-immigration hardliners are staking out a firm position because most of them are not actually concerned about the plight of the dreamers. They have never thought these young people, whose undocumented parents brought them to the United States as children, should be here anyway. They agitated for Trump to end the program.
This means they’ll be fine if no bill passes, and they know that gives them way more leverage to demand wholesale changes to the entire legal immigration system. “The president’s framework bill is not an opening bid for negotiations. It’s a best and final offer,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who has emerged as the leader of this group in the Senate. He made this comment yesterday on “Fox and Friends,” knowing the president watches. Sure enough, Trump echoed the same talking point on Twitter, calling this the “last chance” for action.
Writing for The Plum Line in the Washington Post, Greg Sargent captures the radical negotiating posture of the White House and GOP allies:
[T]reating this situation as a normal negotiation fundamentally obscures its profound asymmetry. One side is putting forth genuine good-faith compromise offers that would require concessions by both sides. The other just isn’t doing this at all — instead, they are demanding that they must be given everything they want, while spinning their demands as reasonable in a manner that is absolutely saturated in bad faith from top to bottom.
…The Republicans’ position is that they won’t protect the dreamers unless Democrats give Trump all the border-security money and deep cuts to legal immigration he wants — while calling that a compromise. If Trump and Republicans are going to stick to this position, Democrats really have no choice but to say no. This way of doing business must be flatly repudiated.
Make no mistake: What’s happening on Capitol Hill this week, at Trump’s behest, is nothing other than an attempt by Republicans to slow the inexorable march toward that point at midcentury when the United States becomes a majority-minority nation.
In the long run, they are merely putting a finger in the dike. But in the short term, the Trump-backed immigration proposal, combined with other recent moves by the administration and its allies — support for voter suppression, gerrymandering and various other schemes to disenfranchise minority voters — could extend the white hegemony that brought Trump to power and sustains Republicans.
…For ages, Republicans said that their beef was with illegal immigrants and that legal immigrants should be embraced and welcomed. No longer. In the immigration fight on the Hill, there is broad bipartisan consensus to legalize the “dreamers” — illegal immigrants brought here as children — and to fortify border security. The dispute is really about the Trump proposal to rein in legal immigration by undoing the family-based approach, in which immigrants petition to bring over immediate family, that has always been at the heart of U.S. immigration.
…Republicans can’t keep America white, but they can stop sullying themselves in the attempt.