Trump’s entire political career has been built on the back of anti-immigrant rhetoric, despite immigration being at a low point. Most immigrants have been in the United States for more than a decade already.
Today, Trump attended a bipartisan negotiating session with lawmakers regarding immigration reform. During the meeting, he clearly did not understand what the term “clean bill” meant and accidentally stated that he would be in favor of a “clean bill” regarding DACA. Republicans, by contrast, are holding DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, hostage in order to have a bargaining chip to get the wall built.
Apparently, somebody finally got around to explaining this to Trump. He tweeted this evening that, “As I made very clear today, our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval.”
Here’s that tweet:
‘“What about a clean DACA bill now, with a commitment that we go into a comprehensive immigration reform procedure?” asked Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Trump responded: “Yeah, I would like to do that. I think a lot of people would like to see that.”
‘The problem? Trump didn’t know what “clean DACA bill” meant. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) quickly interjected and made clear that Trump believes a “clean” bill would include border security. Except that’s not at all what a clean bill is; that’s a compromise bill. A clean bill, by definition, only has one component to it.
‘By the end, Trump sought to clarify things. “I think a clean DACA bill to me is a DACA bill, but we take care of the 800,000 people,” he said. “But I think to me, a clean bill is a bill of DACA — we take care of them, and we also take care of security.”
‘If anything, the whole mess showed pretty vividly just how utterly disengaged Trump is in the finer details of policy discussions. Which is exactly the perception that he has recently fought against.’
Social media users immediately shredded Trump, pointing out his ignorance as well as criticizing the pointless wall:
Trump is in a tough spot. His base doesn’t want any level of amnesty, including for the people brought to the United States as children who have lived their whole lives here. That’s because his campaign and administration was dominated from the start by racists, who demand hardline anti-immigrant policies.
For most of the electorate, the question of whether or not to allow those who have spent their entire lives in the country to obtain citizenship has a simple answer: Of course we should. It is not morally tenable to do otherwise. It’s not smart policy, either. This is a nation built on waves of immigration, and better for it. So holding Dreamers hostage to use as a bargaining chip in order to build a wall that won’t work is not a good look for the Trump administration. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place—anger his base, or further alienate the rest of the country.
From the tweet above, it’s clear which side he’s choosing.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images