Democrats have been lobbying hard for a "clean DACA bill". For us regular folks, that means granting the opportunity for citizenship to people who were brought here illegally as children with no other changes to our immigration policy. It appears in his "bi-partisan" effort, Senator John McCain is trying to give them exactly what they want. Legal status for those eligible for DACA with no funding for a wall or other reforms to our immigration policy.
Say what you will about President Trump, but his priorities in this debate are as clear as any he has articulated. And love him or hate him, polling shows Americans agree with his stated priorities in the State of the Union address.
- The latest Monmouth poll says 66% of Americans feel that DACA recipients without criminal backgrounds need to be allowed to stay. The result is greater than 60% across all political affiliations.
- In the same poll 59% say it would be inappropriate of Congress to hold up a spending deal if the issue is not resolved.
- A Harvard-Harris poll says 65% of Americans support ending the policy of chain migration and this includes 60% who wish to limit a DACA recipient's ability to bring additional family members
- The same poll showed that 70% of Americans support ending the visa lottery
- A stunning 80% want skills to take precedence over family relationships in the immigration process.
- 80% prefer secure borders to open borders
- 61% believe border security is insufficient and 54% support physical barriers along the border
- Though not included in Trump's pillars, 80% want lower levels of immigration
What is even more stunning, is Senator McCain himself proposed a 10 point plan to improve border security and construct or replace outdated physical barriers in the Border Security Enforcement Act of 2011. He even produced campaign ads on "finishing the fence" during his 2010 campaign.
Securing American citizens against threats, both foreign and domestic, is the primary responsibility of the federal government. This includes securing our nation’s borders and ensuring we have an immigration system that works by preventing terrorists and other from entering the country that wish to do us harm while maintaining a robust immigration system that welcomes the best and brightest in the world.
So why is John McCain backing off his promises to Arizona voters to propose a bill the President has already said is dead on arrival? The answer seems pretty clear when you understand he also torpedoed the clean Obamacare repeal in spite of campaigning vigorously to end it in 2016. Senator McCain seems to be willing to scuttle any election promise in his endeavors to oppose President Trump on major policy wins.
Perhaps an even larger question is why members of Congress as a whole are so tone deaf to the clear preferences of American voters. It is obvious that Democrats pander to their extreme left wing base on immigration just as they do on the 20 week abortion ban and many other policy issues. However it is somewhat stunning that McCain and other Republicans who campaigned on border security and enforcing our immigration laws insist on buckling for a "bi-partisan" deal rather than using the support of the American voter to influence their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
Chuck Schumer thought the shutdown stain would land on Republicans. In three days he learned his political calculus was way off. I am not sure which aide told him prioritizing illegal immigrants over Americans was a winning strategy, but they should probably be made available to the market.
As President Trump said during his address to the nation, in his proposed compromise no one gets everything they want. It seems he might be the only guy in the room who understands what a compromise is. And in this case, he has large majorities of Americans who prefer his stated policies even if they are not fans of the President himself. Might be time for Congress to get a clue on this one and for Senator McCain to stop caving.