In the midst of the Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) memo fiasco, it’s easy to forget that there are real issues that congress must come together and address. And so far, President Donald Trump has been an obstacle to progress instead of a master dealmaker.
One of the most pressing problems facing our nation is the future of DACA recipients. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program currently protects 690,000 immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Enacted by Obama, DACA was abruptly targeted by Trump in September of 2017.
Hundreds of thousands of young adults who were brought to this country by their parents and had sought the protection offered by DACA were suddenly unsure of their status. Would they be forced to go back to a country they had never known?
Democrats have made protecting DACA recipients non-negotiable, going so far as to shut down the government to encourage Republican congress members to do the right thing and come to an immigration agreement.
Trump has inserted himself into these negotiations simply creating controversy and derailing any progress with his crass remarks. Oddly enough, our president’s long history of racism has created a person unable to bring creative immigration solutions to the table.
The one immigration solution that has obsessed Trump is The Wall. His obsession with building a physical border defies reason. Even the most staunch Republicans have stood up to this absurd fixation. In August of 2017, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) entered the fray:
‘I’m not against a border wall, OK, but go to China and you’ll see a border wall there. We need technology, we need drones, we need surveillance capabilities and we need rapid-reaction capabilities… But to think that a wall is going to stop illegal immigration or drugs is crazy.’
Sen. McCain has again stepped up and led in a situation where our current president could not. McCain and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) have jointly created a bipartisan solution to the immigration impasse. McCain and Coons started from scratch and ignored the president’s ridiculous demands. According to The Wall Street Journal:
‘The bill stops well short of almost all of the president’s demands—including immediate funding for the wall along the southern border—and is likely to meet a chilly reception from conservative Republicans.’
McCain, likely tired from fighting cancer while seemingly being one of the only adults in the room, stated:
‘It’s time we end the gridlock so we can quickly move on to completing a long-term budget agreement that provides our men and women in uniform the support they deserve.’
It’s important to note that a bill like this being debated and passed in the Senate is useless unless a similar bill can also find support in the House of Representatives. Luckily, another pair of lawmakers, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) are putting partisan differences aside to introduce similar legislation in the house.
Ultra-conservatives, angry with McCain over his refusal to ignore the reality of Trump/Russia collusion (and the following obstructions of justice), have attacked the plan:
Bipartisan deals on immigration are always bad. Having McCain on board makes it infinitely worse. https://t.co/bK30inKqnV
— Kevin MacDonald (@TOOEdit) February 5, 2018
McCain can shove that immigration bill. https://t.co/4sa2wV4ciW
— Bobbie (@Bobbies81838701) February 5, 2018
— strange orbits (@strangeorbits) February 5, 2018
Sen. McCain should focus on battling his brain cancer and leave crafting immigration legislation to those who represent the Am. majority on the issue.
— L'galEagle (@LegalLowry) February 5, 2018
McCain to Propose Bill On Immigration That Offers Amnesty But OMITS Border Wall Funding https://t.co/d6GNsn80ka @SenateMajLdr, This One Better Not See The Light Of Day! He's A Democrat. Bust Him From High Powered Committees!
— IWantFacts (@sjh2222) February 5, 2018
But remember, these criticisms will probably not effect Sen. McCain. Despite Trump referring to him “getting caught” during Vietnam as a character defect, McCain’s time in captivity gave him a steely spine. One that our president, due to “bone spurs,” never had the opportunity to develop.
Featured image: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty