More disconcerting news out of Washington, D.C. this morning about a possible deal that President Trump may have struck with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. According to those two luminaries, the president agreed to grant amnesty to DREAMERS with absolutely no concessions regarding a border security wall. If they are correct, then this would simply be another sorry example of Republicans willing to grant unconditional amnesty with nothing in return.
Said Schumer and Pelosi of their meeting with the president, “We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that's acceptable to both sides." In other words, the same thing we’ve been hearing from Republicans since Bush and McCain tried to ram comprehensive immigration reform down our throats: amnesty now, enforcement later - if at all.
This is not what is not what Mr. Trump promised on the campaign trail and not what America voted for last November. Trump was elected in large measure because of his promise to end amnesty provisions and build a wall. Now we are hearing, according to the Associated Press, that he’s turned all that upside down and is prepared apparently to ditch the first promise and wait for who knows how long for the second.
Now the president begs to differ, tweeting out this morning that “no deal was made last night on DACA,” and that any deal would have to include “massive border security.” All right, which is it? The situation begs for clarification.
Rep. Steve King, who is dialed in on the topic of illegal immigration, is alarmed at the possible signal Trump is sending. If the reports are true, said King, Trump’s “base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair,” adding for good measure that “No (Trump) promise is credible.”
Trump certainly seems to be backpedaling at warp speed on his no-amnesty pledge, tweeting, "Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military, really?"
(DREAMERS prove, by the way, that full assimilation of immigrants is possible, and that it’s not mean-spirited at all to insist that legal newcomers know our language and adopt our values and traditions as their own. If DREAMERS can do it, so can everybody else.)
So what should we do with DREAMERS, most of whom, by the way, are no longer children but adults? (Their average age is 20, and many are between 23 and 26.) They always have been and still are legally subject to deportation, and should remain so since their presence here violates American law.
It is true that they are here through no fault of their own. But neither is their presence here the fault of American citizens who are forced to pay for their education, their food stamps, their subsidized housing, their tax credits from the IRS, and watch as they take jobs which would otherwise go to underemployed Americans. If we are to bring compassion into the mix, how about a little for the Americans who are forced, through no fault of their own, to subsidize and reward the presence of almost a million individuals whose presence here is an affront to the rule of law? How about some compassion for them?
As Rep. King has pointed out, these DREAMERS have been living “in the shadows” since they got here, and apparently have prospered. No one is taking away their opportunity to continue living in the shadows if they choose, and no one is talking about immigration raids to round them up.
If they do come to the attention of immigration authorities, through the vigorous use of E-Verify to determine their eligibility to work in the U.S., or through the law enforcement system (thousands of DREAMERS have committed crimes since they have been here), then we can offer to keep their families together by returning the entire intact family to their native land. Family members who are here legally can, of course, remain. Or they can make the choice to keep the family intact and return together to their homeland with American assistance.
The president is walking dangerously close to the edge here of taking his base for granted. He once said he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and his base would still support him. He apparently thinks he can betray one of the main promises he made to us and his support will likewise remain undiminished. That’s a risky assumption, and he may be about to find out the hard way that he assumed wrong.