I’m sure many of you are as confused as I am about this.
In the 2014 midterm elections, the Republican pitch was that the GOP needed the Senate majority to stop President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional DACA amnesty. House Republicans voted in 2014 to block DACA and sued the Obama administration over it. The Republican Senate including John McCain, Jeff Flake, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham also unanimously voted to block DACA before the 2014 elections. It was that election which gave us Sen. Cory Gardner, Sen. Thom Tillis, Sen. Ben Sasse and Sen. James Lankford who all voted for the big corporate tax cut.
In the 2016 presidential election, President Trump said he was going to immediately end DACA. He famously posed on stage with the Angel Moms at his Phoenix rally on immigration. We heard constantly during the campaign about Jamiel Shaw, Jr. who was murdered by a DREAMer. Texas and a bunch of other Republican states filed a lawsuit against DACA only to DROP it in September after President Trump suddenly announced he was ending the program.
Now, President Trump and the Republican Congress want to permanently bring back DACA in January, or failing that replace it with an even worse DREAM Act amnesty:
“Top senators and White House officials are laying the groundwork for a major immigration deal in January to resolve the fate of young undocumented immigrants whose legal protections were put in limbo by President Donald Trump.
At a Tuesday afternoon meeting with nearly a dozen senators deeply involved in immigration policy, White House chief of staff John Kelly pledged that the administration will soon present a list of border security and other policy changes it wants as part of a broader deal on so-called Dreamers, according to people who attended the meeting. The plan could come in a matter of days, senators said. …”
Bipartisan #DACA bill will be on the Senate floor in January.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) December 20, 2017
Lately, the chatter has been about how the Trump administration is planning an immigration overhaul, but the price for keeping DACA would be the border wall and ending chain migration. And yet, this doesn’t seem to be what was discussed today between John Kelly and Republican senators. In September, Trump negotiated a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to keep DACA in exchange for vague border security promises only to retreat from it under pressure.
What are we to make of this? President Trump could have killed DACA on Day One of his administration. He could notch a big victory on the issue simply by doing nothing about it. Alternatively, he could have done nothing and let the Supreme Court rule on the lawsuit against DACA filed by Texas. The Republican Congress has milked the DACA issue for years while never giving up on the DREAM Act. There is no reason why the Republican Congress, which passed the massive corporate tax cut on party lines, couldn’t have similarly funded the border wall or ended chain migration.
Perhaps the Democrats are right about the Republicans. They are servants of the Koch Brothers which is why they united to pass the unpopular corporate tax cut and plan to move on next to entitlement reform and a DACA amnesty in January. Clearly, that’s the billionaire legislative agenda, which is the exact opposite of the populist agenda which gave them the Senate and White House.
Note: Why can’t they even pass Kate’s Law? Would that take too much time out of Mitch McConnell’s schedule of rewarding large donors?