If the waves of illegal immigrants wading the Rio Grande to get into the United States were likely to be Republican voters, as a wide-awake wise man observes, Chuck Schumer would be on the border now, laying bricks, and scolding Nancy Pelosi, his apprentice hod-carrier, to keep the mortar coming for President Trump’s “big, beautiful” wall.
But Lindsay Graham’s fevered fantasies notwithstanding, most of the illegals aren’t likely to be Republicans, and the relentless Democratic scorn for border security is on full display, rejecting President Trump’s generous and expanded offer of honorable compromise to protect the “Dreamers.”
The proposal offers the Democrats much more than they have been asking for, not just the legalization of 700,000 young people brought here by their illegal-immigrant parents, but a path to citizenship and voting rights, and more than doubling to 1.8 million the number of others who could benefit from salvaging the Obama executive order extending amnesty to the Dreamers, which the ex-president conceded was unconstitutional.
Mr. Trump clearly does not want to send the Dreamers back to where they came from. No one can realistically envision the logistics of deporting 700,000 young people who have never known any home but America, though the president has been called “Amnesty Don” by border hawks with unrealistic ideas on how to solve an immigration mess largely created by the Democrats.
Logically, and realistically, the Democrats and their allies, who dream of an America without borders, should have leapt at the offer. But logic and realism have no place in the immigration debate. A spokesman for Mrs. Pelosi, whose designer dresses were not (truth to tell) designed for hod-carrying duties, calls Mr. Trump’s offer a “ransom” in pursuit of an “anti-immigrant wish list.” This wish list, written before the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, includes $25 billion for construction of 800 miles of border fencing, eliminates chain migration that would have enabled admission of hundreds of thousands of “sisters and cousins and aunts” of illegal immigrants already here, and cancels the diversity visa lottery which creates opportunity for the best-qualified immigrants.
Big spending Democrats, who never met a taxpayer dollar they thought worth saving, have suddenly become budget hawks eager to pinch pennies on securing the nation’s borders. Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate where he is regarded by his own party colleagues as a man with a loose mouth, says Mr. Trump wants to waste billions on “an ineffective wall.” (If it’s a “more effective” wall he wants, he has never before said so.)
Messrs. Durbin and Graham had drafted an earlier immigration proposal that would have given Democrats even more of everything. Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, taking time out from his day job of trying to stay out of prison, ridiculed the White House offer as a “compromise between the far right and the alt-right,” and boasts it’s “dead on arrival.” Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, calls the president’s proposal “shameful.”
The ferocity of the Democratic opposition to a plan that would make Dreamer dreams come true, and assure citizenship and eventually voting rights to 1.8 million illegal immigrants, is a bit puzzling. Jennifer Palmieri, a former aide to Hillary Clinton, acknowledged in a recent memorandum that the Dreamers are a “critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success.”
Indeed, when Mr. Schumer, in an unbecoming pout, angrily rescinded his earlier offer to fund a token percentage of the cost of a wall on the border, he revealed without meaning to the truth about the partisan fight over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The Democrats regard the Dreamers as valuable pawns in a scheme to get the open borders they want.
They know that without getting the money for the wall, President Trump will not agree to the amnesty the Democrats seek. But terrified of the party base that moves ever farther to the left, the Democrats must keep the issue unresolved and boiling. They want no restrictions at all on illegal immigration, and seek nothing less than the Californication of the rest of the country. The Dreamers can see the resolution of their predicament, if only the Democrats will let them have it.