The FISA memo dominated Congress last week, pretty much all but burying any developments on immigration negotiations.
This week is set to be different with the possibility of another government shutdown if no amnesty is assured for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors. The issue didn’t go totally unnoticed in Washington as immigration served as one of the cornerstones of Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address delivered earlier in the week.
In his address, Trump appeared committed to making a deal on DACA, even though Democrats have called his offer a “campaign to make America white again.” While Trump doesn’t look at the moment to be veering from his plan, there’s little chance it will come to fruition.
Trump formally outlined in the State of the Union his offer on DACA and the “four pillars” it’s built on. The first pillar, and the most outrageous to immigration hawks, “generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration.”
The second pillar demands that the border be fully secured. The third requires the abolishment of the diversity visa lottery program, which the president rightfully said is “a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people.” The final pillar calls for the elimination of chain migration, which Trump presented as an effort to protect the nuclear family by no longer allowing the distant relatives of migrants to enter the country.
Immigration hawks were peeved by the plan when the White House released it a few days before the State of the Union. Giving 1.8 million illegal immigrants — over a million more than who are currently covered by DACA — a pathway to citizenship is too much for those who want no amnesty. Worse, the president championed this high number as a great thing in what can only be interpreted as a poor attempt at virtue signaling.
For the most part, Trump stipulates serious immigration reforms in his plan. However, there are downsides to the president’s demands in exchange for amnesty. For one, mandatory e-Verify is not part of the reforms, meaning that employers could still easily find ways to hire illegals for American jobs. Mandatory e-Verify was one of the initial demands Trump made last year when DACA negotiations began, but it appears to have disappeared along the way.
Mandatory e-Verify is a a popular immigration measure as it ensures businesses follow the law and not hire illegal aliens over American workers. Enforcing this system would make it much harder for illegal immigrants to work in the United States and lead to more cases of “self-deportation.” The White House is doing itself no favors in leaving this demand out.
The second problem with Trump’s demands is that his proposal to cut chain migration wouldn’t take effect for another 15 years. Under Trump’s offer, “Dreamers” would receive their amnesty immediately but America would have to wait for several more presidential administrations to see a serious immigration reduction.
If they didn’t already call the plan a “legislative burning cross,” Democrats would probably have taken the deal knowing they could overturn the promise of abolishing chain migration before the deadline arrived.
Fortunately for those who are opposed to Trump’s offer, Democrats melted down and treated the amnesty offer like the president had just introduced the Nuremberg Laws.
Democrats think the 1.8 million illegal immigrants amnestied is too low of a number and insist Trump must also legalize the Dreamers’ family members. Additionally, Democrats are unwilling to concede on any immigrations restrictions besides setting aside 1 or 2 billion dollars in border security — a number far lower than Trump’s requested $25 billion. If the leadership of the Democratic Party and its activist base are both united in seeing the deal as a white supremacist plot, then chances are good there will be no deal on DACA. (RELATED: Trump Provokes Democrats Into Showing Their True Colors On Immigration)
In another bit of good news for immigration patriots, the president himself has said that his offer was issued only to show how Democrats are unwilling to compromise on the issue. “I have offered DACA a wonderful deal, including a doubling in the number of recipients & a twelve year pathway to citizenship, for two reasons: (1) Because the Republicans want to fix a long time terrible problem. (2) To show that Democrats do not want to solve DACA, only use it!,” he tweeted shortly after liberals went into hysterics over the deal’s contents.
It appears Trump is willing to let DACA expire if it means he can use it as a political weapon against his opponents.
This week will show how far Democrats will go to make sure the nearly 800,000 DACA recipients stay in the country. They caved the last time over a government shutdown, will they go the distance this time to try to get a straight amnesty this time?
Unlikely — if Trump sticks with his deal.