President Donald Trump’s renewed demands for a border wall and dramatic changes to immigration laws in exchange for deportation protections for young undocumented immigrants may help Democrats by maintaining the questions alive in the 2018 election year.
Polls show voters side with Democrat on shielding the immigrants, known as Dreamers. By adopting a hard line, Trump is setting the stage for a lengthened oppose in Congress that could help Democrat gain seats in the House and Senate.
The White House on Sunday demanded” complete building” of a U.S.-Mexico border wall and expedited removal of undocumented immigrants — just weeks after Trump agreed with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on a simpler bipartisan plan. It called for allowing 800,000 young immigrants be left in the U.S. with a possible track to citizenship in return for stiffer margin security but no wall.
Both Democratic presidents — dubbed” Chuck and Nancy” by Trump when their astound deal was hatched at a White House dinner of Chinese meat on Sept. 13 — late Sunday declared the accord all but dead.
” We told the president at our meet that we were open to reasonable margin security measures alongside the DREAM Act, but this list moves so far beyond what is reasonable ,” Schumer of New York and Pelosi of California said in a statement.” This proposal fails to represent any strive at compromise .”
Trump’s shift in posture Sunday night may indicate a tough negotiating strategy to win support for his perimeter initiatives, or an effort to appeal to anti-immigration supporters. Either way, he risks getting no subsistence from Democrats, which would doom the measure and alienate voters who back permitting Dreamers to remain in the U.S.
” For times, this country, including Capitol hill and the inundate, they’ve always asked,’ What more can we do for the illegal immigrant? What’s fair to the illegal immigrant ?'” Trump aide Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News on Monday.” This president is asking,’ What’s fair to America? What’s fair to the American worker ?'”
Trump is negotiating as if he has leverage on immigration when he doesn’t, said Jim Manley, who was a top aide to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat.
” This is one of the worst opening bids I’ve seen in politics in recent years ,” Manley said.” None of this is ever going to get through the Senate based on what we’ve seen in so far .”
The president’s stance on immigration threatens to leave him — and Republican lawmakers — with no major policy accomplishments during Trump’s first time in agency. Republican unsuccessfully pushed a partisan approach to repeal Obamacare. They’re taking the same approach in an attempt to modernize taxes this year amid opposition from Democrats.
Little to Lose
Democrats have little to lose. They either will get the eviction protections for Dreamers or a chance to expose deep rifts among congressional Republicans over immigration. In the Senate, the chamber most up for grabs in next year’s midterm elections, two Republican most at risk — Dean Heller of Nevada and Jeff Flake of Arizona — both face immigration-hardliner challengers in their primary races but necessity support from Latino voters to persist in November.
Trump’s new plan calls for amply funding his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, money to hire thousands of additional immigration agents and revamping asylum seekers system. Its principles are intended as the framework provided by a legislative reworking of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump terminated in September with a six-month delay to allow for congressional action.
” These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals( DACA) recipients ,” Trump said in a letter to congressional leaders.” Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end .”
Administration officials who briefed reporters Sunday night described Trump’s principles — including an objective to so-called chain migration, in which permanent residents and citizens can sponsor relatives for entry to the U.S. — as neither the right of veto threat against a DACA bill lacking the provisions nor an opening bid.
Bipartisan support for any bargain on immigration is necessary because it would require 60 votes in the Senate, which Republicans control 52 -4 8.
Broadening the scope of that bargain would highlight a sharp subdivide among Republican over the fate of the young immigrants and the best approach to tighten immigration enforcement.
The leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus said Monday he looks forward to changes that they are able to” restore law and order .”
“Members of the House Freedom Caucus continue to work with the administration and other congressional Republican on potential sets to the unconstitutional Obama-era DACA program ,” said Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican who is chairman of the caucus.” We look forward to the administration’s insistence on these principles in any bargain that is signed into law.”
Flake, a long-time advocate of protecting the Dreamers, last week introduced additional measures designed to help advance Trump’s agreement with the top Democrats. On Thursday he introduced a bill that would furnish $1.6 billion in funding for border security, target each member of gangs like MS-1 3 for deportation, and allow DACA recipients or children around the U.S. since 2012 to remain for up to 10 times with conditional occupant status. They also could get a green card if they meet certain requirements.
Yet other conservative Republicans are moving in other directions.
Trump fulfilled last week to discuss DACA legislation with a small group of conservative Republican lawmakers including Senators David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas. They have proposed revamping U.S. immigration priorities and creating what they call a “merit-based” system that would removed from chain migration movements and cut legal migration in half over a decade.
The bill has attracted no other cosponsors, and its principles are opposed not only by Democrat but also many Republicans. But the two senators have sympathizers among Trump’s aides, and possibly in the president himself, for whom immigration was a major campaign issue.
Separately, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa last week said he’s demanding that any deal include a mandatory E-Verify system for employers to check the immigration status of job applicants.
White House Legislative Director Marc Short said its evaluation of U.S. immigration laws ordered by Trump recognized shortcomings in three major areas: the ability to promptly remove undocumented immigrants at the border; the enforcement of immigration standards inside the U.S ., including visa overstays; and purposing chain migration, which he described as unfair to taxpayers and citizens.
The review was carried out by agencies including the departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security, Short said.