By any reasonable standard, the immigration proposal put forth by the White House yesterday is a disaster for conservatives who believe that immigration should be a measured and orderly.
President Trump proposed legislation on Thursday that would provide a path to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants in exchange for an end to decades of family-based migration policies, a costly border wall and a vast crackdown on other immigrants living in the country illegally.
Describing the plan as “extremely generous” but a take-it-or-leave-it proposal, White House officials said they hoped it would be embraced by conservatives and centrists in Congress as the first step in an even broader effort to fix the nation’s immigration system.
The sticking point here is the path to citizenship for the so-called DREAMers. Ted Cruz assailed that idea yesterday. The idea of granting eventual citizenship to nearly two million illegals seems as unrealistic as wanting to deport them. Having said that, I think that having that many people who can never vote and never truly participate in American civic life is not a great idea. I’ve been informed that up until the 1940s we did have a class of resident alien that was never allowed to become citizens but “equal protection” jurisprudence has “evolved” substantially and I have doubts that a permanent class of non-citizens will survive a legal challenge.
I have less a problem with the path to citizenship than many…I mean we’re told all these folks are simply the best and the brightest in the nation…but I don’t see a finality in this. What I see is us going back every five or so years and legalizing a new batch of DREAMers. If we can’t close the issue, permanently, I become more in favor of saying an illegal is an illegal and be done with it.
As far as I’m concerned the deal breaker is including the parents and minor children of DREAMers in the amnesty. First off, I don’t see how someone can become so American that they can’t function back in their native country if they now have a child. And while I’ll go along with the idea that we shouldn’t “punish” people by deporting them, presumably back to shithole countries, if they came here involuntarily, I really can’t be persuaded to give their parents a mulligan on this. That’s simply obscene and it creates a perpetual draw for people to bring their children to the US as a way of getting a late-arriving anchor baby.
On the other hand, the White House plan has the pro-illegal immigration left self-immolating. This from an Axios article titled The White House’s immigration proposal is dead on arrival:
Put simply: It’s dead on arrival.
The ACLU sees it as a gift to white supremacists:
Stephen Miller has said that his proposal is ‘extremely generous,’ but the only community that benefits from this supposed generosity are white supremacists.
— ACLU (@ACLU) January 25, 2018
It would be far cheaper to erect a 50-foot concrete statue of a middle finger and point it towards Latin America. Both a wall and the statue would be equally offensive and equally ineffective and both would express Trump’s deeply held suspicion of Latinos. https://t.co/R8g4iRHzYX
— Luis V. Gutierrez (@RepGutierrez) January 25, 2018
Actually, I’m intrigued by Gutierrez’s proposition.
“President Trump and Stephen Miller are exploiting a crisis that they created, so they can take a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice.
“They think that by offering up a spoonful of sugar – relief for Dreamers – they can get Congress and the American people to swallow the bitter medicine of radical nativism,” he said. “We are going to fight this tooth and nail. We are not going to stand by while Trump and Miller take Dreamers hostage in order to keep out and kick out millions.”
What to make of this? If you hate Trump, the obvious answer is that he’s stupid. But Stephen Miller and John Kelly concocting this makes it look, to me (but what do I know as one of Trump’s most loyal defenders), as though the White House is trying to extricate itself from the entire negotiation process. The proposed deal gives conservatives border enforcement, in spades, and it gives the Democrats DREAMers plus their families plus a path to citizenship. That both sides hate it could be seen as a feature rather than a bug. Now the White House can walk away and return once the dust has settled on what the market will bear. But stupid is always a possibility.