President Donald Trump’s plan to scrap Barack Obama’s amnesty of illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as minors has got congressional Republicans all shook up.
Few have come forward to defend it, while many Republican lawmakers rushed to issue statements claiming they want to keep the so-called “Dreamers” covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in America forever.
House Speaker Paul Ryan hopes Congress can get legislation to protect these illegal immigrants from deportation. Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers asserted that it is a “fundamental” principle for her to protect these “children.” (In reality, the vast majority of DACA recipients are not children.) Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake has urged that Congress must take “immediate action” to ensure DACA-like legislation is enacted.
The consensus of GOP leadership in Congress is quite different from the campaign rhetoric railing against DACA. But like campaigning on repealing Obamacare, Republicans aren’t keen on fulfilling promises that got them elected.
It would be quite rich for Republicans to have control of Congress and the White House, and the only legislative achievement they can show for it is saving Obama’s amnesty.
No Obamacare repeal, no tax cuts, no infrastructure plan, and no wall. Just a bill that will likely give citizenship to nearly a million future Democratic voters and alienate Republican voters.
Talk about winning.
There are two reasons for why GOP lawmakers are so adamant about defending the Dreamers. One, the Republican establishment wants increased immigration and cheap foreign labor. DACA-like legislation supports this cause and coincides with the interests of the Republican donor class.
It helps the establishment’s cause that they are able to hide their desire for cheap labor behind moralizing over protecting “kids” from mean ICE agents.
The second reason for supporting legalizing DACA is media and cultural pressure. The narrative is firmly set that all Dreamers are kids and the next Steve Jobs. Eliminating their protection is only something evil racists would approve of and would send our country back to the Dark Ages… of the early 2010s.
Republican leaders are easily cowed by media pressure. See how folks such as Mitt Romney and John McCain fell over each other to denounce Trump’s comments on Charlottesville and praise Antifa in response to media outrage. (RELATED: Republicans Embrace Movement That Wants To Destroy Them)
Similar to how the passionate denunciations of the president post-Charlottesville did little to serve the interests of their constituents, the strident defense of DACA will probably not help GOP politicos come election time.
DACA acts as a foot in the door for a broader amnesty of all illegal immigrants and encourages more unlawful migration to the United States. For instance, a primary cause for the border surge of 2014 was the false promise that unaccompanied alien minors would receive deportation protection.
Considering how the debate over DACA centers mostly on emotional hand-wringing over deporting “children,” it’s fair to assume that anyone who illegally enters the country and looks to be under 18 has a shot of getting similar benefits.
For Republicans to claim to be the party that will get tough on illegal immigration, it seems like total capitulation to safeguard DACA and get nothing in return. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton has proposed the idea of having Democrats agree to pass his bill — the RAISE Act — drastically reducing legal immigration in exchange for codifying DACA.
But considering how Cotton’s party colleagues have totally surrendered the moral framework to the Left on the issue, it’s unlikely that such a grand deal will be reached.
The debate over DACA reveals once more cultural power is more important than political power in 21st century America. The GOP controls the presidency, Congress, the majority of state governments — yet they still submit to the influence of media and cultural institutions.
As another example, any of these Republican state governments are considering plans to remove Confederate statues because the guardians of culture demand it. However, the latest polling shows 62 percent of Americans oppose such measures, with 91 percent of Republicans sharing this opinion.
Those numbers don’t matter as much as they should when compared to the massive cultural power the Left wields at the moment. Often, Trump himself remained defiant of the assaults by left-wing culture guardians in sticking to positions they hated. However, the other leaders of the GOP are utterly bereft of that intestinal fortitude.
Trump was elected in order to shake up the system and enact an agenda that suits the interests of middle America, not coastal elites. If the GOP only has safeguarding DACA to show for their time in power, their voters will turn to new alternatives.
Those voters will want their representatives to fight in the grueling cultural war that current Republicans retreat from. What good are corporate tax cuts are to them if it comes at the price of surrendering to radical social transformation?