The Washington Post editorial board is out with a blistering piece, calling Trump and other Republicans’ attempts to hold Dreamers hostage to their entire nativist immigration agenda “disgraceful.” The editorial board writes:
After all of President Trump’s bluster about his “great love” for “dreamers,” brought to this country as children through no fault of their own, it turns out he’s content to use them as leverage in a high-stakes game of political horse-trading. Mr. Trump seems willing to strip them of jobs, security and homes unless Democrats buckle on a range of Republican immigration priorities, including an even longer-standing object of the president’s ardor: a beautiful border wall.
….Mr. Trump’s passion for his base, whose anti-immigrant fervor he stoked in the course of the 2016 campaign, [exceeds] his feelings for the dreamers. Prodded by White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, a nativist hardliner, Mr. Trump has made clear that his price for helping the dreamers is steep — not just the wall and additional funding for border security but also an overhaul of the immigration system to end family-based migration and the visa lottery, whose beneficiaries are mainly from developing nations.
That agenda is anathema to Democrats and would harm the country…. [T]he Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program cannot and should not be the mechanism by which the United States’ immigration system is refurbished.
Meanwhile, Vanessa Gutierrez’ story in the Detroit News illustrates once again the real-life consequences of Trump and the Republicans’ gamesmanship. She writes:
I just bought a five-bedroom split-level house in Holland with my husband. My part of West Michigan is the kind of area where a neighbor will just shovel your driveway while shoveling his own. These days, almost every house is decorated with Christmas lights. We feel so fortunate, and so much a part of this community.
Our neighbors would be shocked to learn that we stand to lose our jobs and our home, and we could even be deported. We have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and meet certain conditions to get temporary permission to work and live in the U.S. We followed all the rules, and renewed our DACA twice.
But a few months ago, President Trump announced he is ending the DACA program. Now all our hopes rest on the Dream Act, a bill that would give people like us a path to citizenship. If the Dream Act isn’t passed, we will lose everything. Rep. Bill Huizenga and Rep. Fred Upton can make sure that doesn’t happen.
Said to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
Once again, Trump and the Republican Party are playing politics with people’s lives. By cancelling DACA, they manufactured a crisis for Dreamers who just want to continue building their lives in the country they know as home. There’s bipartisan support for a simple Dreamer solution in Congress and among the American people. Yet the GOP continues to demand more and more policy changes as the price for passing Dream, attempting to enact their entire anti-immigrant agenda on the backs of these young people.
A Dream deal would crumble under the weight of all of their demands. If the goal is to pass a bill to protect Dreamers, they need to keep it simple, bipartisan, and get it done quickly. Anything else is just posturing and setup for a political blame game–the very thing that frustrates Americans most about Washington. There is a deal to be had, if Republicans really want it. If they stop the political games and just get it done, the American people will applaud them for addressing the issue productively and moving our country forward.