To say that it’s consistently difficult to get through to the Trump administration would be an understatement. This week on Fox News, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders launched into a wild, complete dismissal of Congressional Democrats, painting her team as engaging in some kind of inescapable, manifest destiny with newly announced tariffs on imports from Mexico.
In reality, the president has not been backed into some kind of corner by anyone but himself, although Sanders freely shared all the same:
‘Democrats have got to… start engaging with the president to fix some of the real problems that are happening right in front of their faces like the problem at the border. If Democrats would quit wasting so much time of their time attacking this president, the president wouldn’t have to engage Mexico in the same way because Congress would be doing its job. At some point they have to get serious about solving real problems and so far they continue to be unwilling to do that.’
That is a lie. House Democrats have consistently maintained roughly the same stance on immigration, explicitly and repeatedly sharing support for increased border security measures like new technology that allows for better screening of vehicles coming through ports of entry. A huge chunk of the drugs that come into the country smuggled over the border arrive via such means, and if President Donald Trump was so intent on stopping the flow, as he’s indicated just in recent days, you’d think he’d jump at Democrats’ idea. He has not.
The reality of the situation is that Trump and his associates have a very, very specific idea of “border security” — a wall — and they rush to accuse Democrats of being lazy obstructionists when they don’t get on board with this. They intend to confront the growing number of asylum seekers at the border with this wall rather than attempting to provide for them as current law and basic decency demand.
Just in April, House Democrats unveiled a new immigration proposal that would offer citizenship to millions of immigrants, including those who were brought here undocumented as young kids and are known as “DREAMers,” some of whom are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program that the president has attempted to end.
In other words, it is and remains a complete lie to paint Democrats as neglecting the basic responsibilities of their Congressional positions and instead spending all their time going after the president. He is the one not at the table — literally, considering the recent occasion on which he stormed out of a previously scheduled meeting with Democratic leaders after just a few minutes.
In the time since, he has also attempted to depict Democrats as neglecting the legislative components of their job in favor of scrutinizing his possibly illegal behavior, but that’s still a blatantly false characterization of the situation. Democrats have passed numerous high-profile pieces of legislation, from their monumental campaign reform and government ethics package known as the For the People Act to the currently on the table disaster relief package worth tens of billions of dollars. It’s Republicans who aren’t showing up.
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