op-ed

How The Democrats Self-Destructed On DACA

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Eddie Zipperer Contributor
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The Supreme Court refused to offer a case concerned the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) a fast-track through the legal system, but that refusal doesn’t change the fact that no new applications are being accepted or the fact that thousands of potential recipients are failing to renew their protected status.

In one of his micro-op-eds this weekend President Donald Trump tweeted, “Dems are no longer talking DACA! ‘Out of sight, out of mind,’ they say.” The president is right. With the program on its deathbed receiving sponge baths from the Ninth Circuit judges, you’d expect Democrats to make good use of the time that their activist judges are buying them. You’d expect them to strap on their “The End is Near” sandwich boards and take to the streets. But instead they’re skipping the final exam on DACA to lounge on a beanbag chair and play Xbox.

Where’s the apocalyptic rhetoric? Where’s that end-of-Democracy spring in the Deomcorats’ step?

The truth is: Democrats bungled the DACA negotiations like a Crisco-dipped hand grenade and wound up entrenched in a series of deeply unpopular policy positions. Now, they’re General Custer sitting on a horse in Montana going, “Damn, I think I did need those reinforcements.”

Two weeks ago the Senate rejected the only DACA fix that could possibly be signed into law, the Grassley bill, which included President Trump’s four pillars on immigration: a path to citizenship for 1.8 million dreamers, $25 billion dollars for the border wall, an end to chain migration and an end to the visa lottery program. The intransigence of Democrats on these issues was no surprise to a majority of Americans who understand that Democrats are sabotaging a DACA deal.

In the realm of public opinion, thee immigration pillars of Democrats appear to be: 1. Deny Trump a victory on his major campaign promise, 2. use dreamers as a prop in the 2018 election, 3. Rinse and repeat.

Unfortunately for Democrats, Machiavelli’s Prince isn’t a look they can pull off. A Harvard-Harris poll released on February 21 illustrates the busted-abacus calculation Democrats made when they decided to shake the Etch-A-Sketch on Trump’s generous DACA compromise (which, by the way, has been thoroughly denounced by immigration hardliners on the right).

Here’s what the poll shows:

The Democrats’ attempt to sabotage DACA for political gain is shockingly transparent. Democratic talking points on Trump’s immigration pillars are a mishmash of the sort of desperate smear attempts that lost their party the White House and have relegated them to an obnoxious minority in both Houses of the U.S. Congress and in 33 state legislatures. Yet, they chug right along like The Little Identity Politics Engine That Could, despite the fact that 53 percent of Americans now believe that Democrats do NOT “want to find a legislative solution for DACA recipients.” Instead, a majority believes Democrats “are holding it out as an issue for the midterm elections.” That’s damning. That’s not a comfortable majority disagreeing with the party on policy; that is a comfortable majority agreeing that the party is sabotaging policy for sinister election motives. If that statistic were a road sign it would read: “Stop! Thin Ice with Hungry Alligators Below!”

Chain migration and the visa lottery are about as popular as bubonic plague. Trump wants to scrap chain migration and the visa lottery system and replace them with a merit based immigration system. Since zero sensible arguments exist for why coveted visas should be tossed like parade candy to people who deserve them less than other people, the Democrats have decided that a merit-based system must be 31 flavors of racist. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Dick Durbin both call the term chain migration racist. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi claims it “sends tremors through people.” Those must be tremors of joy given that 84 percent say that immigration decisions should be made “based on a person’s ability to contribute to America.” Do you know how hard it is to get 84 percent of people to agree on something? A PPP poll from 2013 showed that only 84 percent agreed that the moon landing was real and that a mere 72 percent of Americans agreed that there’s no Bigfoot. The biggest win in this poll for the Democrats is that only 70 percent of Americans oppose the Visa Lottery system which— barely edging out Bigfootism in its popularity— makes that one of the Democrats’ most tenable positions.

More than a three-fifths supermajority of Americans support Trump’s DACA proposal. The Grassley bill didn’t reach the three-fifths threshold required in the Senate, but it is supported by a three-fifths supermajority of Americans. The poll asked, “Would you favor or oppose a Congressional deal that gives undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents work permits and a path to citizenship in exchange for increasing merit preference over preference for relatives, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, and funding barrier security on the U.S.-Mexico border?” Sixty-three percent said they favor that plan — Trump’s plan. Meanwhile, only 27 percent favor the “clean” DACA bill that Democrats have been shaking their pom-poms for.

Eddie Zipperer is a political science professor at Georgia Military College.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.