At risk of sounding cynical, it would appear the Democrats are mobilizing their troops behind DREAMers and a clean vote on DACA come December, possibly even setting the stage for a government shutdown. Not because — here comes the cynical part — they care so much about the 800,00 or so people at risk of deportation (despite the emotional appeals and fauxtrage we’ve seen from them since Trump announced a few days ago he was looking at the program and possibly ending it); but rather as leverage to ultimately gain a clean spending bill that does not fund Trump’s border wall.
Democrat Sen. Schumer is already laying the groundwork, saying today that Dems would attach the DREAM Act protecting DACA recipients to everything they could until it is passed. Translation: this is the hill we’ve chosen to die on. But as Allahpundit at HotAir noted today, the likelihood that Dems will actually perish on the DACA hill is slim because they, in fact, probably don’t actually want DREAM to pass. Its failure gives them platforms galore in the 2018 primaries:
What about a shutdown, though? The funding bill that’s expected to pass this month is only a short-term measure, designed to keep the government running until December. There’ll be another standoff in Congress around Christmas. Schumer might be eyeing that as a potential showdown over the DREAM Act, with Democrats possibly willing to block any spending bill until DREAM is attached. I’d like to see how that polls. Or maybe Schumer’s imagining this as a defensive measure. Remember, Trump is looking at the December standoff as leverage to get Democrats to fund the border wall. Schumer might be preparing to counter Trump’s “pay for the wall or we’ll shut down the government” threat with a “pass the DREAM Act or we’ll shut down the government” threat of his own. Normally that would be the makings of a compromise — pass DREAM and fund the wall — but Schumer doesn’t want to fund the wall and he doesn’t really want to pass DREAM either. He wants DREAM to fail and for the GOP to own it so that Democrats can use it as leverage in the midterms.
There’s that famous liberal bleeding heart.
And when I say the troops are mobilizing and organizing, I mean it. Thus far, over a dozen — last count I saw was 15 plus DC — states are suing Trump over DACA claiming his decision is based on racism toward Mexicans and violates the Constitution’s equal protection and due process rights for DACA recipients. Something I’m unclear on is if, since DACA recipients are by definition not citizens, how much equal protection and due process under the Constitution applies to them. Looks like others have similar questions.
Personally, I’m very sympathetic to DREAMers and would like to find an answer that is both economically and culturally good for the country, and doesn’t have them all scrambling to make lives in countries they’ve almost literally never lived in. Truthfully, I don’t think they’re going anywhere anyway, so it may be time to start thinking about what we do to get them more into the fold as productive Americans.
However, if they plan on managing this situation with grace, they might want to think about choosing spokespeople who aren’t quite as pushy in their rhetoric:
“We want a stand-alone DREAM Act, and we aren’t going to let Congress use DREAMers as bargaining chips,” said Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America’s Voice. “Republicans better find a way to get this done, and Democrats need to be very aggressive in trying to attach the DREAM Act to bills that are moving. The public is with DREAMers, the momentum is with us, Democrats have lots of leverage on spending bills and Republicans need to get rid of the hand grenade Trump just tossed them.”
Because — and again, speaking as one conservative very sympathetic to their plight — making aggressive demands on behalf of a group of people that many feel are still basically just visitors here isn’t likely to win support from those Republicans that “better find a way to get this done.”