By Joe Guzzardi
November 28, 2017
The deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) brouhaha is about to hit its peak. Congressional Democrats and some Republicans are perfectly willing – eager, in fact – to shut down the federal government if 750,000 illegal immigrants don’t get an amnesty that will grant them lifetime work authorization, Social Security numbers and other affirmative benefits.
A government shutdown, an impossibility in other democracies, and inconveniencing thousands, however briefly, on behalf of a relatively small contingent of illegal aliens is preposterous. The shutdown threat is tantamount to a holdup with illegal immigrants reaping the ill-gotten gains.
The federal government is funded through December 8. But unless the new budget includes amnesties for not only DACAs but also DREAMers, two different categories, the Democrats vow in unison not to vote for a new spending bill. Democratic leadership, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi are adamant.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, usually an amnesty advocate, tried to inject a modicum of common sense into the Republicans versus Democrats wrangling when he noted that DACA already has a deadline, the cutoff President Trump imposed when he gave Congress until March 5 to come up with a legislative solution.
Making the Democrats’ position more untenable, at least in the public eye, is that they appear unwilling to make the slightest compromise to get what they claim to want so urgently. If a DACA amnesty is paramount, then they should offer in exchange to cut chain migration, eliminate the lottery visa or mandate E-Verify. No dice – the Democrats insist on a clean amnesty.
While much ado is made about the potential electoral disaster that awaits the GOP unless they get on board with amnesty, the Democrats’ hardline may be more hurtful to their party, a party no longer willing to identify illegal immigration as a grave concern to most Americans.
Even though President Trump campaigned and won on tougher border enforcement, and tighter interior enforcement, Democrats have moved further left on immigration – so far left that Pelosi hailed mothers who defied the law to bring their children to the U.S. as having done “a great thing.” Statements like Pelosi’s may resonate in her home state of California, but in the heartland, they provide evidence of how extreme Democrats are on immigration.
Here’s an interesting takeaway from ultra-immigration advocate and CNN correspondent Fareed Zakaria about the immigration tight rope Democrats are walking. Zakaria analyzed the Democracy Fund’s survey done after the 2016 election, and focused on Obama 2012 voters, as well as Clinton and Trump 2016 voters. The biggest policy divergence among the candidates was immigration. Many Americans who are otherwise sympathetic to Democrats’ ideas think that, on immigration, the party is out of touch.
Fareed concluded that Democratic immigration skeptics “are right,” and pointed to compelling facts. Legal immigration has expanded dramatically and unsustainably over the last four decades. In 1970, 4.7 percent of the American population was foreign-born. Today it’s 13.4 percent. The large shift in a short period logically causes anxiety among voters.
With less than a year until the 2018 mid-terms, it’s in the best interests of pro-amnesty incumbents to stop talking to each other, and to start listening to voters.
By Joe Guzzardi