Trump’s extremist allies suffered another blow today as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made an interesting statement about his current immigration stance.
The recent decision by the White House to end DACA, which protects immigrants brought to the US as children without documents, enraged much of the nation, while pleasing Trump’s most xenophobic and anti-immigrant supporters. Sites like Breitbart have run stories nearly every day since detailing the “criminal behavior” of immigrants — while conveniently forgetting to include the fact that immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born citizens (and no, being undocumented itself is not a crime).
But it’s not all bad news. The good news is that outrage over the White House decision has resulted in a renewed, bipartisan push for congressional legislation protecting Dreamers — and Paul Ryan has now indicated he’s on board. According to the New York Post Ryan said:
‘I do believe that kicking these 800,000 kids out to countries that they have probably not been to since they were toddlers, countries that speak languages that they may not even know, is not in our nation’s interest.’
Originally, Trump attempted to rescind DACA in an effort to force a legislative solution. And, in that legislative solution, he wanted Republicans to hold their ground, forcing Democrats to concede funding for Trump’s proposed border wall if they wanted to protect the 800,000 people who came here as children and would be affected by Trump’s decision. That’s right — Trump did all of this just to hold them hostage for wall funding. However, now that many Republicans have broken with hardline conservatives on this issue, it’s looking hopeless for Trump’s wall.
Instead, it’s looking more and more like this move is just going to result in a permanent solution for Dreamers, without any wall funding at all. While a far cry from complete immigration reform, there’s a good chance that Democrats could walk away with a win on this one. A meeting between congressional leaders scheduled for Wednesday will help determine exactly how much common ground there is to be had. Here’s more from POLITICO:
‘The meeting comes amid growing support on Capitol Hill to providing legal certainty for Dreamers after the Trump administration last week announced plans to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the program that shields them from deportation.
‘President Donald Trump and key congressional Republicans have indicated they’re open to backing a bill that would codify protections for Dreamers, provided that some kind of border security provisions are also attached.
‘Democrats have insisted they won’t support any move to fund Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico as part of a Dreamer deal. The White House indicated Tuesday it was backing off that demand.’
If one thing is clear, it’s this: Mainstream Republicans think it’s politically poisonous to throw these kids under the bus, and they’re right. They can’t hold these kids hostage for Trump’s wall. They have six months to find a solution, and if they don’t, Republicans will now own whatever disaster follows. And Trump? He’ll sign any bill put in front of him, because his attention span is too short to read it and he just wants to feel like he accomplished something.
That’s why, despite the DREAM Act failing to pass during several previous attempts, this time could be different. Republicans have backed themselves into a corner.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images