Editorial: Immigration tests Democrat priorities

Remember who’s to blame if Democrats shut down government to protect illegals

A social media meme making the rounds asks a good, pointed question: Why are some on the left so worried about children being deported, but not about them being aborted?

 

Leaving aside the inexplicable hypocrisy, ask yourself: Why is it that congressional Democrats are so willing to go to the wall, so to speak, to protect illegal immigrants who were brought here as children, the so-called “Dreamers” — and yet so disdainful of lawful and native Americans, especially when it comes to securing our border?

Don’t just take our word for it: Looking back at the 2016 election at the University of Pennsylvania last March, former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden said “this is the first campaign that I can recall where my party did not talk about what it always stood for, and that is how to maintain a burgeoning middle class …

“You didn’t hear a single solitary sentence in the last campaign about that guy working on the assembly line making 60,000 bucks a year, and a wife making $32,000 as a hostess in a restaurant and they’re making 90 grand and they’ve got two kids and they can’t make it and they’re scared. They’re frightened, because they’re not stupid.”

Globalization, Biden said, “left a lot of people behind.”

But in Washington, and in California – where Democratic lawmakers and the governor passed a law to protect illegal aliens, while thousands of legal Americans flee economic conditions there – Democrats seem infinitely more concerned about illegals than the legal working men and women Biden talks about.

So much so that they’re apparently willing to block a bill to fund the federal government before it runs out of money Jan. 19.

Why? Well, perhaps a leaked memo sheds some light on that – and seems to confirm the national party’s twisted priorities.

A recent memo from the Center For American Progress Action Fund urges congressional Democrats to “refuse to offer any votes for Republican spending bills that do not offer a fix for Dreamers and instead appropriate funds to deport them.”

And why? The memo candidly and unreservedly argues that the illegal immigrants are a “critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success.”

In other words, votes.

“If Democrats don’t try to do everything in their power to defend Dreamers,” the memo goes on, “that will jeopardize Democrats’ electoral chances in 2018 and beyond. In short, the next few weeks will tell us a lot about the Democratic Party and its long-term electoral prospects.”

And its priorities, no doubt.

That memo, as well as the gathering throng of Democrats willing to shut down the government to protect illegal immigrants, certainly reinforces Biden’s alarm that the party is perceived to have abandoned the middle class.

“No one’s talking to them,” Biden said.

Trump did. And because of it, he is president today.

There may be a compromise possible on the “Dreamers” down the road – as the Obama-era “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program that temporarily shields them from deportation begins phasing out in March.

Indeed, the president held sway at a meeting with congressional leaders of both parties last Tuesday, an extraordinary extended rump session including the media. The group exchanged polite but sometimes pointed views on the most important immigration issues – ultimately settling on four: border security, DACA, and the twin problems of “lottery” visas and chain migration that allow immigrants to be followed by millions of relatives.

It was fascinating to watch the public posturing by leading Democrats at the meeting – who repeatedly expressed support for border security, but time and again beat back any notion of actually doing anything about it.

At one point, the president seemed to fall for a Democrat maneuver to legalize the “Dreamers” first and then work on other immigration matters later. Oddly, given the president’s legendary negotiating skills, it was left to an alarmed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to blunt the Democrats’ “first give us what we want, then we’ll talk about what you want later” ploy.

Georgia Sen. David Perdue, who was at the high-level meeting in the White House and has introduced a bill that would end chain migration, said later in a written statement that chain migration is “a fundamental flaw in our current immigration policy,” and promised flatly that, “If any conversation about DACA is being held without that consideration, it is not going to go anywhere in the United States Senate. The first thing a DACA recipient will do if given permanent status is use chain migration laws to sponsor those who violated the law originally. Ending chain migration and eliminating the outdated visa lottery program is in our national security and economic interest.”

That said, given the Democrats’ unwillingness to make national security a higher priority than the children of illegal immigrants, it’s likely that ending chain migration or the visa lottery will have to be dealt with after the Jan. 19 government funding deadline.

The best we can hope for is that a DACA fix is also delayed, or is at least paired with a border wall and other security measures. Are Republicans smart enough to use Democrats’ obsession with protecting illegal immigrants as leverage to better protect the rest of us?

Unless, of course, Democrats feel so strongly about illegals that they’d rather shut the government down.

If that happens, you know whom to blame.

 

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