Trump’s Immigration Framework Is DOA on Both Left and Right

It’s the Trump initiative nobody likes. Yesterday the Trump Administration ran an “immigration framework,” probably cobbled together by the clueless Stephen Miller, up the flagpole. Nobody saluted.

From the Right, from National Review — “The Art of the Choke.” “The amnesty and chain migration components are fatally flawed,” it says. Via Mother Jones I found this graphic from Breitbart:

They don’t mind the end of “chain migration,” which I take it is something like the new “anchor baby” complaint, and they don’t like the visa lottery, but citizenship for all those “illegals”? Big nooooooooo from the Right.

Jonathan Swan at Axios explains why it’s also DOA on the Left:

*Stephen Miller is dangling out a DACA amnesty — which sounds very generous to the uninitiated.

*The price is way too high for Democrats. The wall funding is way, way too high at $25 billion. A number closer to $10 billion is more realistic.

*The larger problems: The increase of ICE agents, faster deportations, stronger interior enforcement and the massive cuts to legal immigration by eliminating extended family migration.

*The bottom line: Two progressive immigration leaders who’ve analyzed the proposal believe it could lead to reductions of 40-50% in legal immigration — the biggest reductions since the 1920s.

By next week the White House will be denying it ever released an immigration framework. Fake news!

14 thoughts on “Trump’s Immigration Framework Is DOA on Both Left and Right

  1. DACA and wall funding will most likely be part of a deal. How long will it take tRump and his echo-chamber buddies to declare that Mexico is paying for the wall because we let the dreamers stay? It's perfect because it makes absolutely no sense!

  2. They should take it—perhaps negotiate on the funding for the wall—but get DACA done.  ("Chain migration" is the ability of recent immigrants, under the right circumstances—I don't know the details—to sponsor family members to enter the US.  In the old days, one member of a family would come over, then "sponsor" a brother or sister, etc."  It's how my wife's German grandmother got over here in the 1920s.)

    • James — if it were just a trade between Trump’s wall and saving DACA, I’d agree with you, but it’s more complicated than that.

  3. In Genesis, there's the story of Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. Such is the offer from the White House. A lot of people on the left, including many thousands of Dreamers, are panicked that on March 6, ICE will begin mass deportations. With that threat in place, Neanderthal Nationalists hope to stampede Democrats into a really bad deal.

    Step away from your perspective as an advocate for Dreamers and consider the situation the US House Republicans are in. It's an election year and 85% of voters support a legal status for Dreamers. The House has aligned with Trump but the spectacle of families being torn apart as one parent is dragged from spouse and children to permanent exile in a completely foreign land is pure poison for the GOP trying to stave off disaster. Paul Ryan will personally explain to Herr Trump that mass deportations MUST wait until the end of November. 

    Next year, if Democrats win the House, they will be in a position to add a "clean dream" to  a CR or essential legislation. This is the same strategy they used with CHIP to jam Dems on the CR. The Senate won't shut down the government to oppose a provision that has 85% popularity. Trump will have to give up the hostages or singlehandedly shut down government.

    Ever been shopping for a new car? Ever hear the threat/promise that you have to take this deal today because it won't be here tomorrow? Between now and November (not March), we're going to hear variations on that theme in louder and louder levels of crisis warnings. If the GOP crashes in November, DACA on their terms, and refuse all of Trump's immigration demands. He'll be in a position to do a lot of damage with the border Gestapo, but he won't have the funding and legal authorization to do much worse.   

  4. (Maha—we've known each other long enough that you can call me Jim.)

    It is indeed very complicated.  I just think getting the DACA protections in place would trump (excuse me) other issues.  I would not support unlimited funding for the wall, but the wall will not appear overnight.  Funding can be withdrawn in the future.  Purchase the future for people with funding for a worthless piece of concrete—I'm fine with that.

  5. Long term, the question of immigration into the US is tied up with the Social Security problem. The Social Security problem is not actually a problem with Social Security. The US, like other advanced economies, has an aging population, and not just because of retiring Boomers. Whether for sociological or biological reasons, we are not replacing our population by having and raising children. On the scale of the planet, that may be a good thing, but it means that the percentage of working adults in our economy is shrinking, and the percentage of retirees is growing. The answer is not to make retirees poorer. For one thing, they vote. The thing is, we need immigration to bolster our economy.

    This is not a new situation. Years ago — in the 1980s, I think –, 60 Minutes did a show about illegal immigration. Iowa was alarmed at the number of illegal immigrants in their state and asked the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to come in and deport them. The INS obliged. At which point Iowa asked the INS to stop, because deporting those workers harmed the Iowa economy. The inconvenient truth is that Iowa, along with the rest of the US, needed those immigrants, illegal or not. The need of the US for immigrants, not just college educated immigrants, and not just cheap laborers, remains unspoken in this debate. Why do you think that immigration remains a hot issue? And Social Security, too?

    We are not going to get a lot of immigrants from Norway or other Nordic countries. They are happy where they are. The American Dream is alive and well in Denmark. At the moment, we are not getting a lot of immigrants from South of the Border, either. So it is kind of strange that immigration is a hot issue, isn't it? Why is it?

    The thing is, the people who are making it a hot issue are upset, not just with illegal immigrants, but with, in Nixon's phrase, all those others. Legal or not, native born or not, they are not, ahem, Real Americans (TM). (If you want to get right down to it, neither are Real Americans (TM) real Americans. But hey! we stole it fair and square.) The problem is cultural/ethnic/racist, take your pick of labels. Yes, the US has always been a nation of immigrants. Yes, it started out as a race based country. To be an American citizen you only had to be free and White. But the Civil War cured us of being a race based country. It's high time to get over it.

  6. As James points out, approved funding for a "wall" can be withdrawn in the future. My guess is that in future it will mostly be diverted to border security, to the Coast Guard, for example.

  7. I don't mind wasting a bunch of money on the damn Wall to appease the Know-Nothings.  But more money for more hiring at ICE scares me.  Too many stories about nasty bastards there already.  It appears to be a patronage haven for racists, wannabe tough-guys, and brownshirts. 

  8. Good point, elkern. 🙂

    Besides, who's going to build the wall? Mexicans, of course. 😉 😉 😉

  9. Will legal immigration be closed down to temporary guest workers who have to leave after a set time?( for industries such as Trump Inc.)

    Will employers be free to hire illegals, because who is going to take care of the elderly, cut the grass, repair the roof , pick the lettuce? Not some white 60 yr old voter from Iowa.

    Isn't it all just a show? Deport  those who have committed no crimes, force them to slip back in and live more underground than ever. there is already a wall in a lot of places 


  10. Unlike his cartoon "Super-genius" twin, Wile E. Coyote, tRUMP can't order an '"Instant Wall Kit" from ACME, where one drop of water applied at just the right moment, will construct a wall that the Roadrunner  can crash into, and Ol' Wile E. can finally dig into some Roadrunner sushi.

    No.  There'll be delays because of "Eminent Domain" lawsuits, protests, and complaints from his fans that its not the"big, beautiful wall with only one entrance in – and out" that he promised.  

    And, as others have more ably expained it, if the Democrats win in 9+ months, he can take that wall and shove it up his… well, dare I say… "shithole?"


  11. Excellent points made in this blog. It helped clarify for me something to look out for with future proposals.  Stepped up deportations would translate to problems for all immigrants, not just the illegals. And that's already proving a problem under this administration. 

    I'm thinking of an immigrant, permanent resident who came to this country with his family when he was 5, fleeing Soviet control in his birth country, Poland. He currently awaits deportation for having a criminal record.  He has spent decades in the U.S., has a wife and family and is a practicing doctor. His crimes were two misdemeanors from his teen years, for which he paid the price duly required under the law at the time.  But to the current administration, he's a criminal and must go. For petty reasons, for which this man has already paid, he stands to be deported and returned to a country he does not know; his family will thus be split up; and this country will lose an educated, valued member of society.

    If these are the standards to be applied for deportation, than one can argue that Trump (via Miller or whatever) sees the offer of some accommodation for the Dreamers to be of no cost. I mean they can just deport them later under some flimsy pretext.  So the more I look at Trump's proposal, the more nervous it makes me.  Thanks for the insight!

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