IT'S ON: Democrats Say No to Republican Offers of Bipartisan "Family" Bill and Demand That Trump Back Down

A little earlier today, Texas Senator Ted Cruz offered a bill, probably more of a concept of a bill if we’re being accurate, that would try to remedy the perceived problem of minor children being separated from their parents if they cross the border illegally. My colleague, Dan Spencer, covered the story here. I have concerns about the logistical feasibility of the bill. I don’t know where you get the requisite number of immigration judges and I don’t know how you get them to agree to move to the area where they are needed. I don’t know how you resolve asylum cases in 14 days. But, be that as it may, at least he’s trying to address the problem in a serious way…unlike the Democrats.


In a move reminiscent of the botched power play he tried during the DACA negotiations earlier in the year, Chuck Schumer has declared that there is only one alternative and that is for President Trump to fold.

Via The Hill:

“There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense,” Schumer told reporters. “Legislation is not the way to go here when it’s so easy for the president to sign it.”

Asked if that meant Democrats would not support a bill backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to keep immigrant families together while seeking asylum on the U.S. border, Schumer said they want to keep the focus on Trump.

“Again, the president can change it with his pen,” he said, warning that Republicans would likely try to add poison-pill provisions to any immigration bill that came to the floor.

“Unacceptable additions have bogged down every piece of legislation we’ve done,” he said.

Schumer’s opposition to a legislative fix means there likely won’t be a quick end to the emotional images of immigrant children being separated from their families unless Trump backs down and reverses his “zero tolerance” policy.


So the line is drawn. Either Trump backs down or nothing happens.

Right now, Trump is not in a very conciliatory mood and demanding he surrender on an issue where his base supports him…and where he knows if he gives in he’s probably got the political equivalent of a sucking chest wound…is like waving a red cape at a bull.

Like with DACA, doing nothing is the best option if we can’t get what we want. The number of children actually separated from their families is fairly small. Over 10,000 of the 11,000 or so detained children are boys in their late teens. As the true nature of the problem and the administration’s actions become more apparent, and as Schumer and his allies dig in to make this a political Battle of the Somme, the pendulum will begin to swing the other way. Plus, the media can only ride this story for a couple of more days before the nation gets burned out hearing about it. What we can’t allow is either to be stampeded into voting for a bill that makes “catch and release” the law of the land and we can’t allow Democrat intransigence drive the train on this issue.

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