Trump’s amnesty mistake
Granting citizenship to the Dreamers will shatter his base
By Jeffrey T. Kuhner
President Trump is offering Democrats a grand compromise: Amnesty for nearly 2 million so-called Dreamers in exchange for serious immigration reforms. It is a grave mistake—one that threatens to destroy his presidency.
In his otherwise brilliant State of the Union address, Trump laid out his four pillars for an immigration deal. The first and most important, is a full amnesty for over 1.8 million illegal aliens brought to America as children. They would not only receive a pathway to legalized status, but citizenship. Under Trump’s plan, after 12 years the Dreamers would get the right to vote (as well as go on welfare and government assistance).
In return, Trump is asking for common-sense security measures and a modernized, merit-based immigration system—$25 billion to fund a wall along the southern border, an end to the dangerous policy of catch and release, repealing the diversity visa lottery program and limiting all future chain migration to simply sponsoring a spouse and minor children. The days of naturalized U.S. citizens bringing in almost unlimited numbers of family members would be over.
The president believes his package proposal is “centrist,” moderate and reasonable. He is wrong.
Candidate Trump repeatedly vowed that no illegal immigrant would ever receive an amnesty—never mind citizenship. The president has now done something unthinkable: He has moved to the left of Obama on this issue. Then-President Obama carved out an (unconstitutional) executive amnesty for 690,000 DACA recipients. They got renewable work permits and protection from deportation. They didn’t, however, get citizenship. Trump has taken Obama’s DACA amnesty and significantly expanded it; the number of Dreamers have been nearly tripled; and their status will be upgraded from legal resident to full U.S. citizen. Hence, Trump has broken a central promise to his voters. His amnesty plan is a betrayal of the America First agenda.
Moreover, granting citizenship to illegal DACA aliens will only encourage more lawbreaking and a massive border surge. The word will be out: If you’re living in Mexico, El Salvador or some other Third World hellhole all you have to do is cross the border with your children and you can outwait the dumb Gringo. Eventually, the Americans will break. A massive amnesty would set a dangerous precedent that would lead to our borders being overwhelmed with migrants. The wall will take years to build; the amnesty, however, kicks in immediately.
Even the chain-migration reforms will be delayed. Trump’s plan of limiting the number of family members that can be sponsored does not apply to the current backlog applying as chain migrants. This means as many as 4 million new legal Third World immigrants will be allowed to enter America, importing more cheap foreign labor and welfare deadbeats.
In other words, Trump’s plan would transform the United States culturally, demographically and politically—the very thing he vowed not to do. The overwhelming majority of Third World immigrants, in fact by a margin of 4-1, vote Democrat. If his package passes, the millions of chain migrants combined with the 2 million Dreamers would create a huge and decisive voting bloc. This would ensure a permanent Democratic national majority. Within 12 years, key states where many of the Dreamers and chain migrants live, such as Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania will flip blue. Trump likely will be the last Republican to occupy the White House for decades to come. America will be turned into a giant California—a one-party Democratic state containing several ever-shrinking Republican enclaves. In short, Trump’s amnesty would sign the GOP’s political death warrant.
What is more remarkable is that the president feels he needs to compromise in order to pass his immigration agenda. He doesn’t. Trump’s America First policies are overwhelmingly popular with voters. A strong majority supports every plank of his nationalist-populist immigration platform—the wall, ending chain migration and the diversity visa lottery, mandating e-verify, slashing legal immigration, cracking down on sanctuary cities, bolstering border patrol agents, and stopping the rampant abuse of anchor babies. Rather than trying to placate our pro-open borders political elites in search of a bipartisan deal, Trump would be wise to stick to his principles and use his bully pulpit (meaning Twitter) to shame them for the anti-American traitors they are. He has the most important thing behind him on this issue: the people.
Trump’s salvation, however, is his enemies. The Democrats so despise and loathe him they are unwilling to give him his wall—no matter the cost. If they had half a brain, they should embrace Trump’s plan. Instead, they are calling it “an insult.” It has a near zero chance of passing. The irony is they are saving Trump from himself. I never thought I would say this: But thank God for Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. They are the Palestinians of American politics. They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
-Jeffrey T. Kuhner is host of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO AM-680 in Boston.