President Trump and Stephen Miller are exploiting a crisis that they created, so they can take a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty. They think that by offering up a spoonful of sugar – relief for Dreamers – they can get Congress and the American people to swallow the bitter medicine of radical nativism. We are going to fight this tooth and nail. We are not going to stand by while Trump and Miller take Dreamers hostage in order to keep out and kick out millions.
This is the White House plan: slash legal immigration by 50%, the largest such reduction in nearly 100 years. Destroy the cornerstone of our nation’s immigration history by eliminating five of seven family immigration categories. Eliminate the diversity visa program that admits people from countries that Trump calls “shitholes.” Gut our nation’s asylum laws so that Central Americans who are seeking safety in América, including unaccompanied minors, are sent back to the violence they fled. Turbocharge Trump’s efforts to deport as many people as possible by adding thousands of agents to his Deportation Force. Build a big, stupid, wasteful and insulting border wall – paid for by American taxpayers and not México – so that Trump and his followers can extend the middle finger to Latin América.
Trump created this crisis, and Republicans supported his decision to end DACA.
This is the moment that the hardliners – John Kelly, Stephen Miller, Tom Cotton, Bob Goodlatte, John Cornyn and their outside collaborators – have been waiting and planning for. They manipulated Trump into ending DACA; they waited for the desperation to build; they kept Trump from cutting a decent deal; and now they are making their move.
The hardliners are high-fiving; the Statue of Liberty weeps.
The way forward is simple. Pair the Dream Act with a smart border security package. That’s the sweet spot. All other issues – good and bad – should be held over to a second round of discussions and debate. Narrow gets it done. A massive and radical overhaul that turns its back on who we are as a nation does not.
Trump created this crisis, and Republicans supported his decision to end DACA. They control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. And 87% of Americans want Congress to protect Dreamers. Republicans are on the hook. They have a choice to make. Do they want to protect Dreamers or deport Dreamers? If they want to protect the Dreamers, narrow gets it done, and now.
Frank Sharry is the Executive Director of America’s Voice.
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