The Democrats Don't Want a DACA Deal, They Want a DACA Issue

Just to refresh your memory, the original gambit by Chuck Schumer to get DACA through the Congress  was to do so riding the coattails of the Continuing Resolution. This deal, the Gang of Six deal or the Durbin-Graham deal was monumentally bad but the Democrats offered what they thought was a sweetener. They’d throw in some chump change for Trump’s border wall. The DACA deal was not included in the CR and Schumer reneged on his support for wall funding:


Hopes for a fresh start on immigration slammed into political reality Tuesday as the Senate’s top Democrat said he had rescinded an offer to President Trump on a border wall and the White House called an emerging bipartisan compromise “dead on arrival.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he had withdrawn an offer to Trump of $25 billion for new border security measures in exchange for permanent legal protections for some undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.

“We’re going to have to start on a new basis, and the wall offer’s off the table,” Schumer told reporters. He said his proposal had applied only to a deal that was never realized.

The response wasn’t long in coming:

I think we need to take this statement as an ironclad statement of principle as you’re likely to see coming from Trump. He talked about the wall during his campaign. He’s talked about the wall several times since being elected. He had a public spat with chief of staff John Kelly over the wall. The wall is a totem to Trump.


Is a deal on DACA is even possible? The Durbin-Graham proposal did nothing to solve the issue and a great deal to indicate that the proponents of that deal, at least the Democrat half because I don’t think Lindsey Graham is a duplicitous f*** in the same way Dick Durbin is, want to retain the issue as a club during the 2018 elections. For instance, it gives protected status to the parent of DACA enrollees. While we might be willing to buy the largely fatuous argument about totally Americanized kids being shipped to a foreign country (sure, there are a few but most don’t fall in that category, but when your DACA demonstration outside Schumer’s house is in Spanish, it is sort of telling), to me it is bridge too far to give their parents protection. After all, they are the ones who brought the kid here illegally. While Durbin-Graham sorta gets rid of the visa lottery system, my reading of the proposal is that about half of those slots are set aside for the parents of DACA enrollees. The DACA window closes in 2012, so if we fix the problem on the table, there is another problem just waiting in the wings. Which leads me to my biggest objection, which is there is no deterrent and there is an incentive for people to immigrate illegally with their children.


The only way all of that passes Congress and gets signed is if Chuck Schumer pushes to get Trump funding for a big f***ing wall. If the wall is big enough, I can see Trump going with it because he can always say “I built the wall.”

All of this, plus the short term nature of the CR convinces me that the Democrats really have no interest in fixing this. That they believe that DACA is a winning issue in November and they will keep it alive until then at all costs.


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