Thursday, January 25, 2018


Donald Trump is not a good dealmaker, so someone else must have been the strategist behind this, which, I'm afraid, is politically shrewd:
President Trump’s immigration proposal to Congress will include a path to citizenship for an estimated 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants, White House officials said Thursday, more than twice the number of “dreamers” who were enrolled in a deferred action program Trump terminated last fall.
That's the headline everywhere. How do Mr. and Mrs. Heartland America read this and not think it's a generous offer, much more than the caricature of Trump as a right-wing bigot would have led one to expect?

The devil is in the details:
... everything else in the proposal—reportedly drafted by hardline nationalist Stephen Miller and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly—is in line with far-right thinking on immigration. Along with the demand for billions to pay for the border wall are calls to curb or completely eliminate legal forms of immigration, such as the visa lottery and so-called “chain migration” which allows members of the same extended family to immigrate to the U.S. (Ending the diversity visa lottery could reduce legal immigration to the U.S. by as much as 50%.) There are also several measures to increase immigration arrests and speed up deportation procedures.
Mr. and Mrs. Heartland live in a 95% white community. Let's say they're not bigots and they're among the large majority of Americans who want the Dreamers to stay. They also don't experience diversity firsthand, so they don't understand why we permit as much immigration as we do now -- every admission, as far as they're concerned is America extending a rare privilege, so why not cut the numbers back significantly? We don't owe any foreigners anything, do we?

The characterizations of this by progressives aren't going to make much sense to Mr. and Mrs. Heartland:
“We will oppose it. Most if not all Democrats will oppose it. Some Republicans will, too,” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigration group. “We are not going to allow Stephen Miller to exploit a crisis that he and his boss created to take a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty and enact his nativist wish list.” ...

Eddie Vale, a Democratic consultant working with a coalition of immigration groups, described the president’s proposal as an effort to sabotage bipartisan talks and win passage of “a white supremacist wish list.”
Well, maybe it'll be killed by the right:

In any event, it's a shrewder move than I expected from this White House.

No comments: