Trump Doesn't Seem To Expect Congress To Act on DREAMers

 Caricature by DonkeyHotey
Caricature by DonkeyHotey

Perhaps the most elementary flaw in any negotiation strategy is wanting to reach a deal so bad that you won’t walk away from the table. A sure sign that this happening is when your negotiating partner (or you) starts modifying their initial offer without waiting for a counter-offer. This is exactly what Trump did yesterday:

It is foolishness to read too much into Trump’s tweets but he seems to be saying that if Congress doesn’t act that he will take some kind of action–either a DACA-lite or an extension of work permits. It is going to be hard enough to get Congress to act under the best of circumstances. Giving them a bolt hole by signaling that if they don’t act that things will keep perking along as they are is a terrible negotiating strategy.

What makes this sudden impulse to “go wobbly” worse is that the White House released a statement yesterday that further muddied the swamp water of immigration. Marco Rubio issued a challenge to Trump to tell Congress what bill he would sign. Rather than talking about how to fix the DREAMer problem, the White House added confusion:

Congress now has the opportunity to advance responsible immigration reform that puts American jobs and American security first. We are facing the symptom of a larger problem, illegal immigration, along with the many other chronic immigration problems Washington has left unsolved. We must reform our green card system, which now favors low-skilled immigration and puts immense strain on U.S. taxpayers. We must base future immigration on merit – we want those coming into the country to be able to support themselves financially, to contribute to our economy, and to love our country and the values it stands for. Under a merit-based system, citizens will enjoy higher employment, rising wages, and a stronger middle class. Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue have introduced the RAISE Act, which would establish this merit-based system and produce lasting gains for the American People.

The last thing we need right now is another ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ fiasco.