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Manhattan Institute

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Do Democrats Even Want a Compromise on Immigration?


Do Democrats Even Want a Compromise on Immigration?

The Wall Street Journal January 31, 2018

Schumer and Durbin act as if they’d rather have an issue to use against the Republicans in November.

Officially, Republicans and Democrats in Congress are working to craft an immigration fix before the March deadline set by President Trump to wind down a program that protects the so-called Dreamers brought here illegally as children. Unofficially, you have to wonder how much interest Democrats really have in reaching a compromise.

First, we had Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, stroll out of a private meeting with the president and share with the media Mr. Trump’s crude remarks about immigrant homelands. Mr. Durbin had to know that by publicizing the alleged comments, he was jeopardizing any potential deal. His intent was to sabotage the discussions, not advance them.

A few days later, after the White House released an immigration framework detailing the president’s priorities, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rejected it out of hand as a “wish list” for “anti-immigration hard-liners.” Given that those hard-liners dismissed the very same White House framework as a sop to Democrats like Mr. Schumer, the senator’s criticism seems rather curious.

The administration’s proposal includes a multiyear path to citizenship for Dreamers, an end to the Diversity Visa lottery, a reduction in family-based migration, an increase in merit-based visas, and funding for additional barricades along the Mexican border. None of those provisions, mind you, come out of the blue. All of them were included in a bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate in 2013, with support from Messrs. Schumer and Durbin, before dying in the House. At least the immigration restrictionists are being consistent.

Read the entire piece at The Wall Street Journal


Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator.

Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein / Stringer