The immigration “debate” shows why the Senate flails


This week is supposed to be “Immigration Week” in the Senate, when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell makes good on his promise to allow a fair, open debate.

President Trump campaigned on building a “wall” on the southern border and then endorsed reductions in legal immigration (although not the H-2B workers employed by his own Mar-a-Lago club). Democrats refused these proposals, so Trump took a “hostage” by canceling the executive branch’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Notably, Trump’s announcement that he was canceling the program (which Congress had never authorized) was paired with a call for Congress to finally pass a law granting legal status for undocumented residents who were brought to the US as children.

Of course, Trump insisted that any law to provide for these DREAMers, as they’re known, would have to include his immigration proposals as well, including reducing immigration from “shithole” countries.

DACA makes a bad hostage, however. On the one hand, the kidnappers need to extract a huge ransom. A non-trivial portion of Trump voters and congressional Republicans object to any legal status for anyone who came or stayed without documentation, so any DACA bill will be denounced as granting “amnesty.” This is why the White House’s ransom demand — a border wall, reduced diversity and family visas — is extremely high, and negotiations broke down in February.

On the other hand, killing DACA is bad politics. Allowing DREAMers to stay is supported by 70 to 80 percent in various polls, while Trump’s demands — including the border wall — poll much worse. Every day that the focus is on DREAMers who broke no laws (as adults) and, in many cases, have worked hard to join and contribute to American society is a day that Trump fails to …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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