Catherine Rampell of Washington Post: ”Either Trump wants to protect dreamers or he doesn’t. Talking out of both sides of his mouth won’t cut it.”
In a new, scathing column, Catherine Rampell of Washington Post cuts through the GOP’s smoke and mirrors on the White House immigration plan. The proposal is “a sleight of hand designed to help the far right shove through sharp new limits on legal immigration, under the pretense of moderation and reasonableness.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
President Trump, Stephen Miller and the Republican leadership in Congress are exploiting a crisis of their own making in a cynical attempt to take a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty. The White House proposal is dead on arrival. Narrow gets it done, radical overreaches will not. It’s time for Congress to take charge and work on a bill that pairs the Dream Act (the bipartisan Graham-Durbin Dream Act is the place to look) with reasonable border security measures (the bipartisan Hurd-Aguilar House bill is the place to look). Such an approach is the best and perhaps only way to enact legislation to protect Dreamers from losing their jobs, their futures and their freedom. The clock is ticking and time is short.
Rampell’s piece is excerpted below or available online here.
Indeed, who does want to throw out these good, educated, accomplished people? The answer: almost no one.
Nearly every survey has found that the overwhelming majority of not just Americans overall, but Republicans specifically, support helping these immigrants. A Post/ABC News poll this month found that 87 percent of Americans, and 76 percent of Republicans, think dreamers should be allowed to stay.
A September Fox News poll likewise found that 79 percent of Americans overall, and 63 percent of Trump voters, believe undocumented immigrants brought here as children should be granted citizenship. That’s right — not just legal status but the opportunity to become Americans.
Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised, then, that Trump last week proposed a path to citizenship for these young people, despite all the gasping media coverage. This is not a radical policy. It’s mainstream and popular.
Far be it from me to critique the dealmaking know-how of our Dealmaker in Chief, but this White House seems to misunderstand how compromises and concessions work. If you give me something that only I want in exchange for my giving you something we both want, I haven’t actually made any concessions. I’ve merely gotten everything I wanted.
So what would a good-faith compromise look like?
One possibility would be to focus only on the stuff that both sides want (i.e., protection for dreamers) or at least don’t abhor (such as funding for border projects), and leave out the more inflammatory provisions, unless and until there are symmetric concessions from both sides. In other words: something like the plan that Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) have been working on, and that Trump blew up at the infamous “shithole” meeting.
Either Trump wants to protect dreamers or he doesn’t. Talking out of both sides of his mouth won’t cut it.