Let’s Get A Few Things Straight About DACA
Trump’s Twitter Tantrum Reflects Frustration Over A “Wall” Deal He Had On The Table And Lost
Simple: DACA for “the wall”. Democratic Leadership agrees to a number. A huge number. $25-billion. Everything. Up front. Trump then talks to his people, and comes back with multiple other demands. Which Democrats and a lot of Republicans refuse to back for a lot of different reasons.
Trump ends up with $1.6-billion for “the wall” in the omnibus spending bill that just passed. That’s only about 6% of what he would’ve gotten just a month or so ago. That’s 16X less than he would’ve gotten just a month or so ago.
When Trump almost refused to sign that spending bill with the smaller wall amount, he showed his hand: what he was mostly angry about is he didn’t get his wall. He really wants his wall. More than a lot of people realized.
We’ve argued all along that since Trump killed DACA (or rather made a nearly-giddy Jeff Sessions do it), and didn’t really have to, Democrats should not cut a deal to fix a problem the President created (and even said he wanted to fix anyway).
This is especially true now that everyone knows without a doubt how bad Trump wants his wall. More than anything. Yes, we understand human lives are in the balance, and that’s a terrible thing. At the same time, human lives are always in the balance in any political decision. And “the wall” is worth a lot of political capital right now. A lot.
So no wonder Trump’s unleashing rapid-fire Tweets, which continued from Easter weekend into this morning. He’s bruised. They are also a mishmash of misinformation and distortion. Here’s a select few:
From this morning:
From Easter Sunday:
Quickly to review what DACA is: it’s an Obama-era program that allows undocumented immigrants, who in many cases were brought here as children by their parents and grew up here, to stay in the country indefinitely, without providing any path to citizenship.
• Democrats did not kill DACA. Trump ordered Attorney General Jeff Sessions to kill it because a bunch of red state Attorneys General were taking action in court. After it was killed, a bunch of blue state Attorneys General challenged it, so it’s in the courts anyway. So far, federal Judge William Alsup ruled Trump can’t end the program immediately, and the Supreme Court refused the Trump Administration’s petition to fast track the case.
• The “nuclear option” Trump keeps calling for: going from 60 votes in the Senate to a simple majority, still wouldn’t have gotten a bill passed. 4 immigration bills were voted on, and all failed. And not a single one even got a simple majority. The totals: 47–52, 45–54, 45–54 & 39–60, according to Vox.
• There was no issue of people trying to get “on the DACA” bandwagon until Trump created that issue. DACA doesn’t protect anyone who wasn’t in the country on or before June 15, 2012. In the bipartisan deal where Trump would’ve gotten $25-billion up front for “the wall”, Democrats never asked for protections beyond the 800,000 or so people currently registered. Trump was the one who proposed extending that to perhaps 1.8-million (a number that includes people who were eligible but didn’t register for whatever reason). And there was never really a good reason presented for that (except that the President was being “very generous”).
- Would extending those protections be fair? No. Why should people who didn’t cooperate and register with the government suddenly be on the same footing with those who played by the rules? And isn’t this President all about what’s “fair/unfair”? He probably uses “unfair” as much as any other word.
- Would it be pragmatic? Maybe.
- Would it be what the Koch Brothers want? Yes. (We’ve mentioned a bunch of times that they differ from Trump greatly on immigration matters because they see immigrants as a necessary source of reliable, inexpensive labor.)
• As to the “caravan” Trump discusses, that apparently originates from an interesting but wildly under-reported story on BuzzFeed News that Fox News then ran with (and we don’t blame them: it’s right in their bailiwick). It concerns a “volunteer group” that’s leading a number of would-be immigrants, mainly from Honduras. They are currently passing through Mexico en masse, and group leaders (who are not themselves immigrants) say the participants expect to make it into the U.S. either by filing asylum applications or illegally. While the article mentions they’re doing it to avoid getting waylaid by gangs in Mexico, there’s no real explanation of how they came together in the first place. Just the involvement of a group that calls itself “People Without Borders”.
But who’s behind this group? And where are they getting their money? Things like this do not just happen spontaneously. What type of political maneuver is this? We won’t get answers to any of these questions until someone follows the money…
The story discusses how the group prepared to hop on a notoriously dangerous train, but couldn’t and ended up in trucks and school buses instead. How? Where from?
A Tweet from the Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff partly clarifies things (but still doesn’t trace a source of funds):