Time for Democrats to decide on illegal immigration

  • 26 November 2018
  • NormanL

The pictures of would-be illegal immigrants running from tear gas used to turn back their assault on the U.S. border has, unsurprisingly, drawn outrage from the left.  They focus on the children, but ignore the adults who put those kids in harm's way in the firts place. But the outrage also ignores something much bigger, about the caravan, the migrants' grievances, and the president's response. As National Review's Kevin Williamson writes:

...have a look at today’s headlines: A mob of would-be illegal immigrants trying to crash through U.S. border security; an illegal immigrant shooting at police while enjoying DACA protection courtesy of the Obama administration despite a history of arrests and criminal charges that had him already on ICE’s radar; Democrats complaining about Trump “politicizing” immigration reform — as though it could be anything other than political — etc.

With all that is going on, from economic concerns to fights over judicial appointments, it’s worth keeping in mind that that is almost certainly literally why Trump won — and why he ended up with the Republican nomination in the first place. There is a profound gulf — and it is not only a political gulf — between those Americans who think illegal immigration is no big deal and those who think it is a very big deal indeed.

That gulf shows no signs of shrinking. If anything, it will get much bigger once Democrats take control of the House in January. As Williamson notes:

...if the Democrats really have come around to the view that illegal immigration is a trivial issue, then come January they should use their new majority in the House to put forward what they believe to be a reasonable immigration-law settlement that does not make a mockery of the very idea of law enforcement. If they are, as they like to say, on the right side of History, then that should be a winning proposal.

Democrats can either have the issue, or they can have the solution. For their political purposes, having an issue that brings in money and votes is much better than any sort of solution.