Friday, September 08, 2017

One Party With A Message

There are two major political parties in the USA. But only one has a policy on immigration.

Donald Trump, who ran for President- and won- on the cry of "who's going to pay for the wall?" "Mexico," now has told House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

on two occasions that he supports and would sign a bill to give legal status to young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

“We made it very clear in the course of the conversation that the priority was to pass the Dream Act,” Pelosi said at a press briefing. “Obviously it has to be bipartisan. The president supports that, he would sign it. But we have to get it passed.”

It seems only yesterday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced

that the Trump administration will "rescind" Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era program that grants work permits to young immigrants brought into America illegally as children and currently benefits roughly 800,000 individuals.

"Societies where the rule of law is subject to political whims and personal biases tend to become societies afflicted by corruption, poverty, and human suffering," Sessions said in his remarks, adding that "the compassionate thing is to end lawlessness, enforce our laws, and if Congress chooses to make changes to those laws, to do so through the process set forth by our Founders in a way that advances the interest of the nation."

And it is only three days before Steve Bannon, ousted as an assistant to the President but who still is in contact with his ex-boss, will be seen on "60 Minutes" claiming the Roman Catholic Church favors "unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration" for its economic self-interest.  Similarly, it was last week that Ann Coulter (absent the shot at the Church) fired off a series of tweets with roughly the same message, "This isn't a 'once in a lifetime' shot at tax cuts! EVERY GOP cuts taxes! This is 'once in a lifetime' shot to save US: Wall & deportations!"

That puts the GOP, whose congressional delegation now (for what it's worth) appears to be on the right of Donald "Mexican Immigrants Are Rapists" Trump on the issue of immigration. It is a party rudderless on the matter while Democrats are united..

Democratic unity was presaged at Univision's Clinton-Sanders debate in March, 2016, when both candidates agreed they would not as President deport any children or immigrants without a criminal record. Clinton added she would "prioritize" deporting "the "relatively small universe" of  "violent criminals, people planning terrorist attacks, anybody who threatens us," thereby implying she would deport only violent criminals.

It was confirmed, seemingly, when on Thursday chairperson Michelle Lujan Grisham of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus reiterated the organization's support for retention of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The New Mexico Democrat declared "We frankly don't appreciate that any Republican in Congresss or any other group tries to associate any immigration, particularly Dreamers, with national security and border issues. It's outrageous." Conflating immigration with crime and national security issues is a trick of Trump, who typically defies reality by conflating immmigrants and "the gangs and the violence" and "the drugs (that are) pouring into our communities."

Lujan Grisham threw down the gauntlet, vowing "Republicans have already given us some of their cards, they want some sort of border security. Democrats are clear: Cannot be wall, cannot be interior [enforcement], cannot be detentions."

Representative Grisham stated not "this caucus is clear" or even "we are clear" but Democrats are clear. If she doesn't speak for the Party itself, someone should inform her, or dissent. But the Democratic Party, she maintains, opposes a wall, detention, and "interior," which seems to be a refernce to arrests.

There was no reference to arrest or detention of law-abiding immigrants.  Going beyond even the universally derided "amnesty," It is blanket support for immigrants and immigration, legal and illegal, as emphasized by Hillary Clinton on her way to the Democratic nomination for president.

Democrats- or the Hispanic caucus specifically- may be determined to maintain this absolutist position or instead to use it as an opening bid in negotiations. And why not? The GOP has avoided calling the Democratic Party out for it, yet another reminder that only the holy grail of tax cuts for the wealthy, branded as "tax reform," binds together members of the Republican Party.

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