DACA

Trump Is Offering the Country a Sophie's Choice on Dreamers

Lawmakers should be prepared to shutdown the government to escape it

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President Donald Trump is presenting lawmakers with a Sophie's Choice on Dreamers (those who were brought to the United States illegally when they were

Immigrants
Fibonacci Blue via Foter.com

children): Acquiesce to his draconian immigration enforcement designs or watch him banish them.

There are two ways that decent members of both parties can avoid that dilemma: Either insist on attaching a clean Dreamer fix to a government-funding bill or pass one separately ahead of the funding bill. If they wait till after the funding bill is passed, they will lose all negotiating leverage to stop this administration's assault on immigrants.

Dreamers were one group of immigrants whom, during the campaign, Trump had assured he would leave unmolested. Even as he pledged to enact a Muslim travel ban, institute extreme vetting, and restore the notorious Operation Wetback program to eject other undocumented aliens, he promised to "take care" of Dreamers because he had a "big heart." But apparently his heart shrank once in office.

In September, he scrapped President Obama's DACA (Deferred Deportation for Childhood Arrivals) program that gave about 700,000 of about one million Dreamers a two-year reprieve from deportation and asked Congress to enact legislation legalizing them by March.

That wouldn't have been so bad if Trump had actually meant to spur Congress to hand permanent legal status to Dreamers, which only it can do. After all, a whopping 86 percent of Americans feel that Dreamers should not be punished for the "sins" of their parents and exiled to countries that they barely know after calling America home practically their entire lives. Many of them have American families and jobs here and have no ties to their native lands. Instead, Trump is using his suspension of DACA like a loaded gun to the heads of Dreamers to advance a sweeping anti-immigration agenda.

He has undermined several efforts by immigration doves within his own party such as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to pass a standalone Dreamer Act that would give employed or college-going Dreamers with a clean record a path to eventual citizenship after they've met a whole slew of conditions. Indeed, all Senate Democrats and six Republicans already support the bill—which is enough for it to pass. But Trump wants none of that.

The New York Times recently reported that he has drafted a tall and horrid wish list of anti-immigration demands. And he is working with Senate immigration hardliners like Arkansas' Tom Cotton on legislation to advance it.

In exchange for legalizing Dreamers, it involves implementing aggressive border security measures like building the Great Wall of Trump, mandating E-verify, defunding "sanctuary" cities. Even more alarmingly, it would classify visa overstays as a criminal – as opposed to a civil – offense. This would close off practically all their options for regaining legal status, even if their visas expired not due to any fault of their own but the legendary incompetence of the immigration bureaucracy. It would also criminally prosecute those claiming asylum on allegedly "false" grounds, something that would run afoul of international law that will end up "illegalize" more immigrants than it'll legalize. And he would cut family-based legal immigration without any increases in high-skilled, employment-based immigration.

In other words, it's an all-out assault on all immigration.

Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan had originally hinted that they would attach a clean Dreamer fix to the must-pass government-spending bill as a way of getting around Trump's growing nastiness. However, after being summoned to the White House and getting a dressing down by the president, they've meekly fallen in line. They have both stated that Congress has until March to settle the DACA issue and therefore there is no need to put a DACA fix in the government-funding bill.

But this is a clear ploy to neutralize the leverage of DACA backers and put them in a weak negotiating position to help Trump push through his draconian agenda. This is so outrageous that 34 alarmed House Republicans wrote to Speaker Ryan recently urging him not to kick the can down the road given that, since Trump rescinded DACA, every month tens of thousands of Dreamers lose their DACA status. "We all agree that our border must be enforced, our national security defended, and our broken immigration system reformed, but at this moment, we must address the urgent matter before us in a balanced approach that does not harm valuable sectors of our economy nor the lives of these hard-working young people" they urged.

Indeed, given that the 198 Democrats and 34 Republicans favor a DACA fix, there is a clear majority in the House that would vote for a standalone bill except that House Speaker Ryan has no intention of allowing a vote and putting Trump in the uncomfortable position of having to veto it. A similar dynamic is unfolding in the Senate where at least six Republicans would be willing to vote with the 48 Democrats to legalize Dreamers but Sen. McConnell would never let the bill come up for a vote.

Given that there are solid majorities in the public and both chambers of Congress in favor of a DACA fix what should concerned lawmakers do to overcome such obstructionism and protect Dreamers?

Democrats—and likeminded Republicans—should either insist on passing a DACA bill before a government-funding bill is passed or attaching the fix with the bill. Earlier this month lawmakers passed a stopgap-funding bill till December 22 and as that deadline approaches they are getting ready to pass another one till the beginning of January. That delay is fine if it is in the service of buying more time to come up with a relatively clean DACA fix. Under no circumstances, however, should they fall for the Ryan-McConnell line that they have until March to do something. In fact, anything beyond January 20 would jeopardize Dreamers as the Department of Homeland Security will need time to process their applications ahead of the March deportation deadline.

So if the administration tries to drag things out, lawmakers should be prepared to shutdown the government. That is no doubt the nuclear option of last resort. And the Washington Post reports that 10 of 25 Democratic senators facing reelection next year are from mostly rural states that Trump won overwhelmingly, where talk of a shutdown over immigration reform is politically risky. But Democrats should also bear in mind what President Obama's unwillingness to spend any political capital on this issue till very late in his term did to Hispanic voter turnout in the last presidential election.

The country will recover from a government shutdown. But the moral damage from having to choose between these options will persist long after Trump and Trumpism have been relegated to the dustbin of history.

A version of this column

appeared in The Week.

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  1. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Trump is using the DACAs as a negotiation tactic to get the immigration policy he really wants rather than it being a reflection of what he intends to do with these children of illegals. Of course, I do know better and there’s no way Trump is that smart since that would require lots of life experience making deals and we all know he’s just an evil Hitler-like monster who inherited all his wealth and then stumbled his way into the presidency out of sheer luck.

    1. Are you serious or did you forget the /S ?

        1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

        2. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

      1. i think he forgot the /s

      2. i think he forgot the /s

  2. Uhh…Obama is the one that gave those DACA people false hope and kicked the can down the road which directly caused this mess. Why should that political tactic be rewarded? Oh, right, because Dalmia doesn’t believe in national sovereignty or the ability of the FedGov to regulate immigration.

    That this policy would directly lead to the dissolution of the United States can be said to be either an unintended consequence, or an intentional result, is somewhat moot I think.

    1. Oh, right, because Dalmia doesn’t believe in national sovereignty or the ability of the FedGov to regulate immigration.

      True, and that’s what makes her my favorite Reason contributor. Unlimited immigration is always a good thing, and anybody who disagrees is, by definition, a white nationalist.

      1. What about black people that oppose open US borders?

        What about Native Americans that oppose open US borders?

        White Nationalists it is!

        1. OBL is a satire sock puppet. I suppose naming it ‘Poe’s Law’ would have been too obvious.

        2. My sociology professor told me it’s impossible for POC to be racist against whites, because racism = privilege + power. However, that does not mean POC are incapable of reinforcing systemic racism in other ways.

          For example, Clarence Thomas contributes to the perpetuation of white supremacy when he rules against affirmative action, even though he is not white himself. Similarly, a hypothetical African American who opposes open borders would be embracing white nationalist immigration policy, despite not being white.

          Really, this shouldn’t be hard to understand. Women can even be part of the War on Women, which we just witnessed in 2016 when a majority of white women voted for Drumpf.

          1. You being in college makes a bunch of sense now.

            You heard this nonsense from someone else and barf it up at your convenience.

            Affirmative action is racism. It dictates that one race or multiple races are literally better than others based on need to put non-whites in college seats. Its fundamental foundation is that non-whites are so dumb and lazy that they cannot possibly get into college on their own merit.

            The fact that many colleges are pro-affirmative action illustrates how racists their policies are and how college is not about furthering the education of people who did all the things to qualify as an achiever.

            There is no war on women. If you think there is really a war on women then there must be a war on men too because you need two groups to be at war.

            1. *facepalm*

              Ok, seriously LC1789 read this because you’re embarrassing yourself:

              Poe’s Law

              1. Sometimes you just cannot let these people have the last sentence just in case someone is just browsing Reason and thinks OBL is not a TUlpa.

                1. Reason should install de-Tulpafication software.

            2. Well reasoned.

          2. It’s called “internalized oppression”, OBL.

          3. This is some next level trolling. I have mad respect for your skills. Every single time you get people!

          4. “My sociology professor told me…”

            Hah, very nice trolling.

          5. I’m hoping that post was satire – except the lead sentence, which I’ve often heard from people who honestly believed it: “It’s impossible for POC to be racist against whites, because racism = privilege + power.” The very first time I heard it, it was to claim a college professor who discriminated against white students in his class couldn’t be racist – because the nitwit making this claim didn’t bother to think about which _individual_ had the power here. And now it’s even more ridiculous: Were Obama and his POC appointees powerless, or white?

            When I hear an argument of that type now, I know the author of it is so out of touch with reality that listening to him is an utter waste of time.

        3. Oh, don’t be silly! If you are a member of some minority and you don’t vote the Democratic party line, then one of three things apply: (1) you aren’t really a member of that minority, (2) you are self-hating, or (3) “conservative Republican fascists” are using their Russian mind control powers on you.

          As a gay man, I have been told all three at times.

          1. That’s how the modern democrat plantation works. They insist that you be a ‘good one’ for them.

      2. Feel free to inform us how many MS-13 guys you are putting up at your place.

        1. LOL, that’s such a lame attempt at a “Gotcha!” I support unlimited immigration, NOT the abolition of private property. I also oppose the War on Drugs and believe all nonviolent drug offenders should be released from prison immediately, but I won’t invite them to crash at my place either.

      3. “Unlimited immigration is always a good thing, and anybody who disagrees is, by definition, a white nationalist.”

        Are the Japanese “white nationalists” too?

        1. The same way british blacks are ‘african American’.

      4. Dalmia, Democrats and pro-business (thus pro-immigration “establishment” Republicans) advocate is the crime of child stealing and brain drain sabotage to accommodate corporate welfare. support international child stealing for human chattel to provide corporate welfare. Google “child stealing” and “indentured servitude” and “human chattel” then get back to me about Moore’s historical reference Go figure.
        Dreamers are human chattel suffering from Stockholm syndrome. DACA is a system by Globalists that promotes international child stealing for corporate welfare. Funding for what? Globalists want U.S. citizens to pay illegal aliens to jump the border so we can surrender our sovernglty. Surly they don’t still claim these illegal aliens cost the USA nothing. Go figure. I for one do not want to be anyone’s colony.

      5. My only issue is: How can you square the notion the fledgling colonies that birthed a nation of 3 million people that declared our sovereign independence to become the envy of the world with 300 million citizens is not the direct result of the independence we declared in 1776? Should we now allow the advocates of “Dollar Diplomacy” to sell out our sovereign independence at the sacrifice of 242 years of self determination. Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international agreements and regulation i.e. “Dollar Diplomacy”. Free speech and the free press often called the forth estate have conscripted the surge in grassroots progressive activism to become the fifth column to lead activists to dismantle American sovereignty. Just say no to Globalism.

      6. Unlimited immigration is always a good thing, and anybody who disagrees is, by definition, a white nationalist.

        Yes, yes I am a white nationalist then.

    2. Uhh…Obama is the one that gave those DACA people false hope and kicked the can down the road which directly caused this mess. Why should that political tactic be rewarded?

      You might recall that the imperfect stopgap that was DACA was implemented at a time where it seemed like we might actually get a grand bargain on immigration reform. That our politics have devolved significantly since then is probably sufficiently obvious that I needn’t rehearse it.

      Oh, right, because Dalmia doesn’t believe in national sovereignty or the ability of the FedGov to regulate immigration.

      Libertarians have good reason to be skeptical of draconian immigration enforcement efforts. They, of all people, should be able to see how regulations keeping immigrants out of the workforce make them more dependent on state support; how the zeal to crack down on immigration imposes regulatory burdens on businesses and rips away our privacy rights; and how impeding the free flow of labor just props up wages higher than the market would otherwise dictate.

      “National sovereignty” as typically recited by conservatives is, indeed, very hard to square with libertarian principles. Many conservatives seem to think of a nation as a “house” from which anyone may be excluded at will. But who “owns” this “house?” The government? The president? The people? Treating immigration like it’s simply an extension of the principle of private property implicitly embraces a socialist vision.

      1. Nice words but they do not square with reality. A nation exists and rights exist within he confines of a nation, not internationally, not supranationally. Inside a nation.

    3. No one has accused Mexico of persecuting their population therefore asylum / amnesty is not an issue in sending at least 80% of the DACA victims home. Thousands of American college kids vacation there every spring. Under no circumstances should we steal a countries youngsters, indoctrinate them and use them to enrich this country. Imagine the outrage if Russia did that with Ukraine children.
      A person commits the crime of child stealing when, knowing that the person has no authority to do so, the person forcibly or fraudulently takes, decoys, or entices away any child with intent to detain or conceal such child from its guardian, or other persons or institution having the lawful custody of such child, i.e. Mexico. This Stockholm syndrome enabled, cheap labor DACA scheme is not exactly as benign as marketed by Globalist MSMs Madison Avenues schemers make it appear. Return these so called dreamers back to their rightful homelands.

  3. When Dalmia and her ilk rage about things like the wall or E-verify, they give away the game. It’s not about legal immigration for you, it’s about abolishing borders.

    1. Let the dreamers do their dreaming in the countries that they came from. All of the dreamers are brown people from overcrowded sewers. All of the dreamers need White people to fix their lives. Plus, the dreamers vote for Democrats.

    2. I’m against E-Verify because it conscripts businesses into ICE. If employers wanted to be an immigration agent, they would have joined the federal government instead of being engines of the economy.

      1. A fair point, honestly.

      2. That’s true for collexring sales tax as well. How do you differentiate?

        1. I despise phones.

        2. I would suppose the same answer: businesses shouldn’t be collecting taxes for the government.

      3. Riiightttt.

        What about “they didn’t build that”? If they didn’t want to work for ICE, they should have built their own damn roads!

      4. Nonsense, E-Verify conscripts businesses into ICE no more than verifying a youngster’s age conscripts an employer into child protective services. You might compare it to a bus company verifying a drivers license. Where do people get these idiotic notions?

        1. Libertarians in general have good intentions but I sometimes think are complete anarchists in their opposition towards anything government related.

      5. If employers wanted be heath insurance agents they would have joined BCBS or Cigna yet here we are.

        Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water…tweak e-verify so they don’t have to deal with ICE. Just make damn sure they don’t hire the person and leave it at that.

    3. But not all borders

      Ever hear Reason call the Japanese or the Chinese Evil Evil Evil Racist Racist Racist ethnonationalists?

      1. I live in Japan and the Japanese generally treat foreigners pretty well in my experience. I think it is because they are by and large wealthy foreigners with good jobs and they do not come in large enough numbers to be more than passably noticeable. As long as you conform, are not loud and obnoxious, and keep to yourself then you are good. The loud drunk foreigners here are the ones that always make me perplexed, they make the rest of us look bad.

        This is part of the reason I am pro immigration of smaller numbers of highly skilled foreigners to America. Society likes stability and having only the best and brightest immigrate seems like the best way to promote stability. It seems to work pretty well in Japan.

        1. I don’t believe Japan is being invaded and the USA is not getting small amounts of the best and brightest. We are getting large amounts of the bottom of the barrel.

          1. In deed we are being flooded with large amount of the bottom of the barrel.

            Sadly, all this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

            But hopefully if you run a complex system enough times we may get a different result.

  4. President Donald Trump is presenting lawmakers with a Sophie’s Choice on Dreamers

    Remember kids: Sending these people back to their home countries would be like making a mother choose which of her two daughters get’s killed, and which one gets to stay with her in a Nazi concentration camp.

    1. Nicely stated.

    2. Reading comprehension fail.

      No, the “Sophie’s Choice” being drawn here is between forcing the Dreamers back to their “home” countries, where they’d have to somehow start their lives all over again for no fault of their own, and embracing a hefty set of immigration “reforms” that would destroy a different set of lives for no good reason.

      “Concentration camps,” no – for that you’ll have to look to all of those detention facilities where we’ll be sending Dreamers, soon enough.

      1. No one is born into any country through any fault of their own.

        It is not the US governments job, or delegated mandate, to make Americans pay the price for a world of shitholes people would rather not live in.

  5. something that would run afoul of international law

    Oh noes!

    1. I hear if you violate international law it goes on your permanent record.

      1. And undermines the set of principles and conventions that protect Americans when they’re in other nations, but who’s keeping track? America first!

        1. Bilateral agreements with other nations, the American embassy, and American power protect Americans abroad.

          But whose keeping track?

  6. “There are two ways that decent members of both parties can avoid that dilemma: Either insist on attaching a clean Dreamer fix to a government-funding bill or pass one separately ahead of the funding bill.”
    Shikha, you are such a hack.

    Really, the only “decent” members of Congress would only do what you- an open borders person- want?

    How about the budget is done completely separate from any immigration bill since, the budget really has nothing to do with immigration and Naturalization law?

    Deport them all. How is that for leverage?

  7. A version of this column appeared in The Week.

    Was that version not completely garbled up?

  8. “After all, a whopping 86 percent of Americans feel that Dreamers should not be punished for the “sins” of their parents and exiled to countries that they barely know after calling America home practically their entire lives.”
    There you have it 86% of Democrats feel this way.

    Trump was elected because a lot less Americans agree with your inaccurate poll number, Shikha.

    1. I can never figure out if Trump won because he cleverly made the most of the electoral college’s distribution of electoral votes or if it’s because he had a massive mandate, once you exclude those millions of illegal votes.

      You might recall that Trump has promised, several times, to protect the Dreamers. He’s even suggested he’ll walk back his DACA cancellation if Congress doesn’t make progress in time. So is he out of step with what his voters wanted, too?

    2. If 86% of Americans felt that “dreamers” should be given citizenship post haste, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
      What is more likely is that a majority of Americans have sympathy for the dreamers, and anger at the elites who own congress for allowing their parents entry in the first place.
      Trump didn’t become President because he came across as a business as usual servant of the corporations.

  9. In other words, it’s an all-out assault on all immigration.

    Boom. You’ve just been Shikha’d.

  10. Calling all pussyhats!

    Don’t ban me, bro.

  11. Just for the record, anybody interested in some statistics?

    “In FY2017, ICE ERO conducted 143,470 overall administrative arrests, which is the highest number of administrative arrests over the past three fiscal years. Of these arrests, 92 percent had a criminal conviction, a pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive or were processed with a reinstated final order.

    In FY2017, ICE conducted 226,119 removals. While this is a slight overall decrease from the prior fiscal year . . . . These results clearly demonstrate profound, positive impact of the EO. The 17 percent decrease in border removals shows the deterrent effect of strong interior enforcement”

    https://www.ice.gov/removal-statistics/2017

    What I take from these statistics:

    1) Trump has deported fewer people in 2017 than Obama did in 2016.

    Trump deported 226,119, which, as ICE says, is 17% fewer than Obama deported in 2016. Obama deported 434,015 in 2013.

    2) 92% of the arrests were not dreamers.

    3) They seem to be blaming the lower deportation numbers on fewer people coming across the border.

    I don’t know how scaremongers like Dalmia will be able to walk this stuff back once people see the statistics. Trump is underperfrorming Obama on deportations, and it’s probably going to get him in hot water with the anti-immigration constituency who expected him to do more.

    1. Technically the fed’s fiscal year is October to October. Obama evidently barely deported anyone in Sep and Oct 2016. A total tally from Jan 25, 2017 to Jan. 25, 2018 would be 1 year for Trump’s deportation numbers. There is only about 35 days left, so the numbers probably won’t change much.

      The other point is that Trump becoming president caused noticeable drops in illegals crossing the border. Not that border crossings are the easiest way to catch illegals but its probably easier than grabbing law abiding illegals who barely leave their established neighborhoods. Trump’s tough border policy has literally made it harder for ICE agents to find and arrest illegals in the USA.

      Then there are deportation hearing requests holding up actual deportations under Trump. I did not see where these requests have gone up or down under Trump.

      1. I appreciate all of that.

        Notice, Dalmia is calling Trump’s policies “draconian”–even though he’s deporting fewer people than Obama did last year–and half the people Obama deported in 2013.

        If Trump is “draconian”, then, according to Dalmia, what was Obama doing in 2013, “ethnic cleansing”?

        1. It’s Dalmia, she probably thinks it’s draconian because she believes Trump is a dragon. It makes as much sense as anything else.

  12. As an aside, Dalmia once wrote a piece comparing deportation to enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, which was tasteless. Now she’s doubling down by comparing being deported to Mexico to being sent to the gas chamber at Auschwitz a la “Sophie’s Choice”?!

    That should be offensive to everybody. I lived in Mexico myself for a year, and I promise you, it was nothing like slavery. It was nothing like Auschwitz. Have you no shame?

    1. Or maybe the comparison is between giving congress a couple options to choose from on immigration?

      Here’s the analogy:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZ9bht5H2p4

      Somebody tell me how making a holocaust victim who just arrived at Auschwitz choose which of her children goes in the oven is an appropriate analogy for this situation:

      1. Well, it’s obvious that living conditions in the US are so terrible for these people that it’s tantamount to living in a Nazi concentration camp. And Being sent back to Mexico, well, have you seen the crime stats? It’s a literal death sentence.

        But, with that in mind, wouldn’t a quick death be better than being starved to death and beaten in a concentration camp? In a way, isn’t deportation the merciful thing to do?

    2. Ken, Shikha has no shame. She is an open border person and she will say whatever it takes to force everyone to that end.

      1. Bingo!

      2. Just for the record, I’m an open border person. What I mean by that is that I think we should have an open borders treaty with Mexico that lets Mexican citizens go back and forth across the border without a visa–so long as we develop a reliable ID so we can verify they aren’t convicted felons, have been immunized against certain disease, etc.

        The difference between me and Dalmia, however, are huge in several regards.

        First, I don’t want to cut the voters out of the process. I don’t want the elite in Washington DC to inflict an open borders immigration policy on the American people. I want to persuade my fellow Americans that open, legal immigration is what we should have. Immigration policy is and should be a reflection of the desires of the American people. Naturalization (which covers the entire process from visiting with a visa to achieving legal residency and becoming a citizen) is an enumerated power of congress–as well it should be–and I’m not about to undermine the constitution over this, just like I wouldn’t undermine congress’ ability to declare war simply because I didn’t agree with any given war.

        Second, I’m not willing to make bogus arguments for immigration. I’m not about to compare deportation to enforcing the Runaway Slave Act, and I’m not about to compare offering policy alternatives to Congress to a woman picking between which of her children will be burned in the oven at Auschwitz.

      3. Third, I recognize that in order for us to win the support of the American people for an open immigration policy, we’ll need to make sure we have the means to keep out the people we reject at the border–because they’re wanted by the police, convicted felons, etc. If we don’t have a wall or some other means to keep rejected immigrants out, then Americans aren’t about to sign off on a program that lets just anybody come in.

        That last point is a bit like background checks for gun purchases. Convincing people that those background checks don’t work doesn’t make them want to get rid of the background checks. If the background checks don’t work, it makes people want to get rid of the guns through gun control. It’s the same thing with immigration. There are people who will be against immigration no matter what (just like with guns), but if we win enough of the popular vote to open up LEGAL immigration, it’ll be because we addressed the concerns of enough people to get that vote.

        1. “Third, I recognize that in order for us to win the support of the American people for an open immigration policy, we’ll need to make sure we have the means to keep out the people we reject at the border-”

          The number one issue for most Americans is probably the right for the American people to *have* an immigration policy.

          If they felt the rules were being followed, they might be willing to amnesty everyone already here. I think that’s suicide, but most would think I’m just a big meanie, because Mommy Values couldn’t possibly go wrong.

          But the current policy of “your rulers and foreigners will flout the law and you filthy racist peasants can’t do a damn thing about it” doesn’t sit well with a large chunk of America, and never will.

          1. Elitism has its drawbacks.

            Women in Muslim countries may want the freedom to not wear the hijab–because they’re told they have to.

            Women in France may want the freedom to wear the hijab–because they’re told they can’t.

            It really shouldn’t be hard to surmise that maybe women just don’t want to be told what to wear.

            It’s like that with most everybody . . . and most everything.

            I don’t want to be told what to do. You’re shitting all over my ability to have my say on a legitimately democratic issue?

            Then I’m against whatever you’re trying to force on me.

      4. Libertarianism isn’t about picking an issue and saying anything and everything to defend it. Libertarianism is about coming to conclusions based on valid premises. Libertarianism isn’t about using the coercive power of government to inflict libertarian positions on immigration or marijuana or taxes or anything else, either. Our job is to persuade. That’s how Jesus went from having 12 followers (one of which was a traitor) to having Christianity take over the Roman empire. That’s how we got rid of Jim Crow. It’s about changing people’s minds.

        Dalmia’s tactics do nothing but turn people against libertarian solutions. I have more in common with people who oppose me on immigration but share my standards. We might disagree on immigration, but agreeing on things like the importance of the separation of powers, the enumerated powers of congress, the proper place for democracy (spending, taxes, immigration, whether to go to war), intellectual honesty, anti-elitism, etc. is way more important than where we land on any particular issue.

        The only thing anti-immigration people have to fear from me is that I might change their minds. Dalmia’s stance isn’t about to change anybody’s mind on anything.

        1. Well wrote!

        2. “I have more in common with people who oppose me on immigration but share my standards. We might disagree on immigration, but agreeing on things like the importance of the separation of powers, the enumerated powers of congress, the proper place for democracy (spending, taxes, immigration, whether to go to war), intellectual honesty, anti-elitism, etc. is way more important than where we land on any particular issue.”

          This.

  13. Shutting down the government will drive more spending and increase the deficit. And here I thought libertarians were the only ones wwhogo cared about the deficit…

    Huh.

  14. You will all die if the Dreamers aren’t allowed in!!! /Shikha

  15. I would love to see the Dems “shut down the government” in defense of “Dreamers”. Talk about “dustbin of history”.

    1. The lefties know that government shutdowns benefit Libertarians and fiscally conservative republicans.

      1. I think the WaPo and NYT have bent her brain so far as to actually believe that there’s this massive groundswell of support among America for these people when in fact it’s more like a great big “meh”. The Dems wanting to die on this hill is entertaining to say the least.

        1. There are plenty on the right that want the same thing, maybe for different reasons or maybe not, but the end goal is more explicitly illegal immigration for those in power. Those on the ground that want a variety of other things are useful idiots to those making policy.

          1. We do indeed have many useful idiots, as evidenced by the various interviews on youtube.

    2. Best Christmas evah!

  16. In other words, it’s an all-out assault on all immigration.

    …or a negotiation.

    Heads up — you don’t get everything you want, you moron.

    1. She doesn’t seem to have any sense of politicians as our representatives.

      It’s not just that she thinks the elites should make these decisions without any concern for the voters’ wishes; she thinks that’s the world we really live in–despite Hillary getting lost on the way to the inauguration.

      She’d be a lot more persuasive if she were trying to convince the voters to support more legal immigration rather than trying to convince us to forgo any pretense of democracy on the issue–and just let the elites decide.

      It’s not just this post. It’s also others.

      It comes across as being hostile to democracy–because it is hostile to democracy.

      1. “It comes across as being hostile to democracy–because it is hostile to democracy.”

        I’m sure Shika would phrase it as using the mechanisms of the Constitution to protect a minority from the democratic tyranny of the majority.

        I think she would have a point if she made that claim. Unfortunately she loses credibility when she Godwin’s her own article.

      2. Re: Ken Shultz,

        She doesn’t seem to have any sense of politicians as our representatives.

        That’s another way of saying that she’s not as incredibly naive as you.

        It comes across as being hostile to democracy–because it is hostile to democracy.

        Considering that most Americans do agree on legalizing the status of immigrants and immigration reform, the only one acting in a totally undemocratic way is El Trumpo and his merry band of Trumpistas and white supremacists. You know, those that are the good people among the neo-Nazis.

        1. “That’s another way of saying that she’s not as incredibly naive as you.”

          There isn’t anything naive about understanding that setting the rules for naturalization is an enumerated power of congress, or that inflicting an open borders policy on an unwilling populace is like inflicting an unpopular war or an unpopular tax.

          If anything is naive, it’s undermining the separation of powers by pretending that stripping congress of its power to set the rules of naturalization will somehow have no impact on the argument that a war or a tax is unconstitutional because those are enumerated powers of congress.

          You don’t get to pick and choose. Communists, Nazis, Scientologists, and Jim Jones all get their free speech rights protected, too, according to the First Amendment. What some people want to do with the enumerated powers is like trying to undermine free speech for one of those awful groups–without impacting anything else.

          It doesn’t work that way.

          “Considering that most Americans do agree on legalizing the status of immigrants and immigration reform”

          Regardless of the wording of your favorite poll, the constitution gives the power to set the rules of naturalization to congress. It’s called “democracy”. Congress has chosen not offer amnesty–out of concern for public opinion. Not sure how I feel about amnesty, but I hope congress votes to open up legal immigration broadly some day.

          1. Re: Ken Shultz,

            There isn’t anything naive about understanding that setting the rules for naturalization is an enumerated power of congress

            Please stop with the conflation. Immigration reform and providing legal status to DACA immigrants is not the same as “Naturalization”.

            1. You’re the one playing word games.

              Immigration is part of naturalization–naturalization covers the whole process of coming here and becoming a citizen.

              The suggestion that congress can’t decide who can and can’t come here–so long as the rules it makes is in harmony with the First, Fifth, Fourteenth Amendment, etc–is absurd.

              It’s just a forced rationalization you get from picking a side first and worrying about how to support it later. No framer sat down and decided that congress should have no control over whom can and can’t come here and how they become first legal residents and then citizens. That whole story is just tortured ridiculousness meant to strip people of the power of their vote for the legislature. It’s elitism run amok.

              Give yourself, the constitution, and the fight for legal immigration a break. One of the reasons why open immigration is so unpopular is because people think you want to inflict on them despite their votes. You’re hurting the cause of legal immigration with this silliness.

            2. You just called them “DACA immigrants” yourself. Immigration, by its very definition under US law, implies eventual naturalization: you cannot have an immigrant visa without an intent to naturalize, and you cannot have an intent to naturalize and be legally present in the US without having an immigrant visa.

              Pretending that DACA recipients can be granted legal status without ever receiving citizenship is a politically motivated, bald-faced lie. Almost every DACA recipient will eventually receive citizenship, and under current US immigration laws, they will then go on sponsoring their parents who illegally brought them to this country.

        2. Maybe your understanding of democracy is a bit hazy, but “democracy” does not mean “government does what the majority wants”. US democracy, in particular, is a representative democracy specifically designed not to reduce to simple majority rule. Your erroneous understanding of democracy is, in fact, what turns so many countries into totalitarian shitholes.

          And it is you who is arguing based on race. The rest of us want race-blind, skill-based immigration: skilled Mexicans are just as welcome as skilled Indians or skilled Africans. You’re falsely accusing others of “white supremacy” to cover up your own deep-seated racism.

          1. You’re the one confused about democracy.

            Because our rights should not be subject to a popularity contest doesn’t mean democracy doesn’t have it’s appropriate place. “No taxation without representation” is one such place. That only congress has the power to declare war is another appropriate place for democracy. That the rules of naturalization shouldn’t be inflicted on the American people against their will is another appropriate place for democracy.

            Individual rights–by definition–are not subject to democracy, which is why the First Amendment protects them from Congress. That is why it starts, “Congress shall make no law . . .” However, making the rules of naturalization is an enumerated power of congress–like taxation and declaring war–because inflicting an unpopular immigration policy on the American people is like inflicting an unpopular war or unpopular tax.

            The rules of naturalization must be in harmony with the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments, but making those rules is an appropriate place for democracy. I’m not confused about the definition of democracy at all. Trying to cut the voters out of the immigration debate by treating immigration like the First Amendment is inappropriately anti-democratic.

            1. I wasn’t responding to you, I was responding to Old Mexican.

              Trying to cut the voters out of the immigration debate by treating immigration like the First Amendment is inappropriately anti-democratic.

              I’m not trying to “cut out the voters”. I pointed out that we live in a representative democracy and that in a representative democracy, single issue polls don’t decide political questions. Therefore, Old Mexican’s mention of poll numbers is irrelevant.

              (Of course, this cuts both ways: progressives, when in power, can also enact unpopular policies and take their chances with voters later.)

      3. “It’s not just that she thinks the elites should make these decisions without any concern for the voters’ wishes;”

        Progressivism in a nutshell.

      4. “It comes across as being hostile to democracy–because it is hostile to democracy.”

        I have noticed this with some libertarians. If something does not agree with their preconceived notions of what their rights are, any attempt to change said issue is a nonstarter. Seems rather anti-democratic.

        1. For libertarians, basic rights have precedence over the will of the people. This is also true for the original US Constitution. It is also true for Christian conservatives (albeit for a different set of rights).

          Socialists and progressives, on the other hand, believe that the will and well-being of “the people” overrides any individual rights as necessary: socialists and progressives believe that individuals can be deprived of property, liberty, and sometimes life, as long as the “benefit to society” outweighs the individual loss.

          Socialists and progressives incorrectly believe that their “popular will trumps individual rights” position is the only possible form of democracy. But that’s wrong. Libertarians have no problem with democratic decision making for all proper functions of government; the disagreement is over what proper functions of government actually are.

    2. You could call it a “negotiation tactic.” I’m not sure why you’d want to malign Trump’s negotiating skill that way, though.

      Let’s be clear here: Trump’s list of extreme positions and signaling to Tom Cotton isn’t an “opening bid” in a series of negotiations where we can be reasonably confident agreement will be reached, both sides making concessions. Here’s where we started:

      DACA was in place. Citing legal problems with the program, and despite recipients being generally sympathetic to most Americans, Trump canceled it… effective after several months. He had discussions with “Chuck and Nancy,” leading them to believe that they would be able to find a mutually agreeable solution to the Dreamer problem. Sensing that this made him look weak to his base, he immediately backtracked, and eventually came out with this kind of absurdly over-the-top list of “must-haves” dreamt up with the guy who has been greasing up Trump for a plum appointment to lead the CIA. He has suggested that he might move the effective end of the program out a few months, if Congress fails to act quickly enough. So far, they’ve given no indication that they are eager to act.

      This isn’t an opening gambit. This is our incompetent president, reacting to the whims and winds of American politics, trading and re-trading in order to meet the demands of a 24-hour news cycle and twitterverse.

      1. It’s been a while since I read the list but I don’t recall any of the things that Trump wanted on immigration as being all that “extreme.” Most of them struck me more as the “what, you mean we’re not already doing that?” variety.

        DACA was and is unconstitutional. The President has proprietorial discretion to decide how to prioritize limited resources in prosecuting cases. No one seriously disputes that. But that doesn’t give him the power to change the law and grant people who are breaking the law benefits that the law reserves for those who are following the law. That’s something only Congress can and the fact that they haven’t doesn’t mean that it’s okay for the President to do it on his own.

        As far as what Chuck and Nancy may have thought, they’ve lied before about policy issues and there is no reason to think that they weren’t lying about the outcome of their meeting with Trump.

        1. Should be “prosecutorial discretion”

  17. Trump is forcing America into this odious choice: Protect Dreamers but set the stage for the persecution of more immigrants in the future. Or protect future immigrants but persecute Dreamers now.

    The country will recover from a government shutdown. But the moral damage from having to choose between these options will persist long after Trump and Trumpism have been relegated to the dustbin of history.

    I agree. That’s why I support a 3rd option: persecute the “Dreamers” and future immigrants. The country will recover from a government shutdown. It will recover from the “outrage” that leftists will feel. But it won’t recover from granting citizenship and voting rights to millions of additional low IQ barbarians that are incapable of supporting liberty in any fashion, and who overwhelmingly desire desperately to enact the corrupt backwards customs of their homelands..

    1. . . . it may be too late to recover from the damage already done by excessive immigration.

      1. This may be the case. But we certainly won’t recover from opening the floodgates.

        That’s why people like Dalmia want them open. She’s quite cognizant that a few million more votes for corruption and even bigger state programs will put the final nails in the coffin of our founding principles.

  18. Many are not in favor of high levels of immigration – because the increase in population level decreases their quality of life ($ for rent, housing, tuition; crime, welfare). For them, it’s not about immigrants, but immigration – the numbers (see NumbersUSA.org).
    That is why the RAISE Act makes sense.
    Those who benefit from increased population (the 1%) will, of course, use their influence [$] with congress (remember what Charles “I certainly hope so” Keating said – look up Keating five) and their control of the media to prevent the RAISE Act from becoming law. See http://www.washingtonexaminer……le/2631734
    The 1% will be supported by the compassionate [aka useful non-thinkers] who are easily led. Those same compassionates will continue to complain about the high cost of rent, price of houses, college tuition, etc., without understanding cause and effect.
    Compassion is in no way a sound basis for policy.

    1. Re: EirkKengaard,

      Many are not in favor of high levels of immigration – because the increase in population level decreases their quality of life ($ for rent, housing, tuition; crime, welfare).

      Those many you allude to are idiots. If it were true that increased populations drives the quality of life downwards, then city folks would have a much worse quality of life than people living in the countryside, which is not true at all.

      Those who benefit from increased population (the 1%) [sic]

      Leave it to Trumpistas to be so incredibly naive and stupid to open up and let everyone see that they’re just a bunch of ridiculous Marxians who still employ class warfare arguments.

      Imbecile.

      1. If it were true that increased populations drives the quality of life downwards,

        Your problem is that you falsely assume that all human populations are interchangeable; they are not. If you transport all Mexicans from Mexico to California, then California will become as shitty as Mexico, because what makes Mexico such a shitty place is the people who live there, not the climate. Same if you transported all the Greeks to Nebraska: it would turn Nebraska into a place that is as shitty as Greece.

        This isn’t a problem with race or genetics; it’s a problem with culture and political beliefs: adding more people with your kind of broken political beliefs hurts the US.

        So, adding 10 million of the most educated and entreprenuerial Chinese and Indians to the US population would greatly increase our quality of life. Adding 10 million randomly selected Mexicans to the US population decreases our quality of life.

  19. “the RAISE Act makes our immigration system good for Americans by making it affordable, manageable, compatible with our actual labor needs, and consistent with our overall priorities as a nation. Instead of extending the life of our uncontrolled, mismanaged immigration system, the RAISE Act takes an enlarged view of the national interest as well as that of future generations.”
    http://www.washingtonexaminer……le/2631734
    As soon as it was announced ” . . . the predictable eruption of false and deceptive claims spewed forth from every direction.When all else fails, they [the media controlled by the 1%] trot out the emotional argument that the RAISE Act is heartless and tears apart families. This is the last refuge of the scoundrel, and there are a lot of them out there.”
    http://www.washingtonexaminer……le/2631734

  20. Language like “assault on immigrants” is just like the “war on women” language: insipid and childish.

    As the great Thomas Sowell pointed out in the form of a question, when he was still publishing, how is it that American mothers “owe it” to mothers of other, lesser (yes) countries to expose their own children to infectious diseases virtually eradicated here in the US, such as measles or some mosquito-borne virus?

    Foreigners aren’t “owed” citizenship in the U.S. The notion that they are is one of the failings of the libertarians (I am one), which by their own internal admission cannot be perfect because, as their philosophy demands we acknowledge, human beings cannot be perfect.

    You can’t let everyone in, unless you want to be the World Slut.

    1. Police State to the World
      Welfare State to the World

      1. You mean that in addition to US tax payers paying for the aftermath of European colonialism, we are now also supposed to pay for their welfare?

        Fuck that. Leave this crap to Europe.

        How about we send all those illegal immigrants to Spain? It’s Spanish colonialism that created the problem.

  21. We should microchip them and send them all to spend the rest of their lives solely within the sanctuary city or state of their choosing. If they found to overstep that boundary they are immediately deported – that day. Any attempts to re enter the US will be met with permanent exile to some distant island.

    1. Re: Empress Trudy,

      We should microchip them and send them all to spend the rest of their lives solely within the sanctuary city or state of their choosing.

      You mean branding them? Like cattle?

      THat’s sooo 40’s, man.

  22. Keeping ‘Dreamers’ would cost taxpayers $26B over next 10 years, feds say.
    Since our civil war, corporate executive types have lured peasants here with stories of streets paved with gold. Don’t be na?ve. They come for the gold. What Democrats and pro-business (thus pro-immigration “establishment” Republicans) advocate is the crime of child stealing and brain drain sabotage to accommodate corporate welfare.
    Are we Boko Haram now? – Islamist group Boko Haram has gained notoriety with the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria. …Boko Haram means well too. In Africa women are the labor force.
    What Democrats and pro-business (thus pro-immigration “establishment” Republicans) advocate is the crime of child stealing to accommodate corporate welfare.
    A person commits the crime of child stealing when, knowing that the person has no authority to do so, the person forcibly or fraudulently takes, decoys, or entices away any child with intent to detain or conceal such child from its guardian, or other persons or institution having the lawful custody of such child, i.e. Mexico. The purpose is Indentured servitude or contract labor, like slavery, is a form of unfree labor. Unfortunately, the U.S., having abolished slavery, still has pockets of indentured servant labor. This Stockholm syndrome enabled, cheap labor DACA scheme is not exactly as benign as marketed by Globalist MSMs Madison Avenues schemers make it appear. Just say no to the corporate welfare DACA scheme.

    1. Re: seahorsedan,

      Keeping ‘Dreamers’ would cost taxpayers $26B over next 10 years, feds say.

      Not the “Feds”. The CBO makes that claim, which using the same criteria one could argue against having children because “it would cost the taxpayers” something.

      Also, I don’t know how the CBO comes up with this idea that DREAM-ers would only contribute 0.9 billion to the tab. Where is the CBO getting that from? What is possible is that they’re taking into account all eligible people whether they applied or not and then considering their ages and how long before they will be able to work but, again, that kind of number fudging could perfectly be used to argue against letting people (any people) have children. But in fact once a person enjoys legal status, his or her contributions to society are much better assured than if the person works clandestinely. Somehow the CBO and the xenophobic economic dolts (i.e. Trumpistas) miss that.

      A person commits the crime of child stealing[…]

      What you’re suggesting is a crock. It’s massaging a concept to fit your narrative.

      1. which using the same criteria one could argue against having children because “it would cost the taxpayers” something. … that kind of number fudging could perfectly be used to argue against letting people (any people) have children.

        The sad reality is that Hispanic households earn far below the US median, and the statistics get even worse for Hispanic immigrants and illegals. Therefore, indiscriminate migration from Mexico and South America makes American economically much worse off than adding the same number of people via domestic births. That shouldn’t really be surprising either: countries like Mexico and Venezuela are such shitholes because of the political culture of their populations, and those people tend to bring their shitty political culture with them when they come to the US.

        Instead of the immigration policy racists like you favor, the US should have a race-blind, purely merit-based immigration policy: that is the only policy that makes sense, and it is what all other Western nations have.

      2. Google it. Think about a child of yours wandering into a wealthy neighborhood. Can the rich folks just keep your kid? What if the little tyke wants to stay with the rich folks and grow up to be their gardener if he promises never to return home? Is that really a scheme you approve of?

  23. “a whopping 86 percent of Americans feel that Dreamers should not be punished”

    Enforcing immigration law to deport illegals is not *punishment*. The world has billions of people who aren’t American citizens, and aren’t allowed in the country.

    Punishment would be putting them in prison.

    1. Re: buybuydavis,

      Enforcing immigration law to deport illegals is not *punishment*.

      Just like enforcing drug laws is not punishing drug users?

      Trumpistas can’t argue logically, it would seem. I believe they were all dumbed down by Trumpista rhetoric.

      1. You must have missed the part about “Punishment would be putting them in prison.”

        Cognitive dissonance will do that kind of stuff to you
        You lack any argument at all, so you start hallucinating things to argue against

      2. Just like enforcing drug laws is not punishing drug users?

        I don’t think drug users should be put in prison, but they should stop using drugs.

        I don’t think illegal immigrants should be put in prison, but they should be returned to their home countries.

        Trumpistas can’t argue logically

        I have yet to hear any logical argument why the US should let people illegally in the country stay while people legally present in the country are forced to leave: that’s what the DREAM act amounts to.

  24. “So if the administration tries to drag things out, lawmakers should be prepared to shutdown the government.”

    Best Christmas evah!

    Enforce immigration law, *and* shut down the federal government.

    It’s a Trumpmas miracle!

    1. The idea that DACA recipients have an average net positive fiscal impact is laughable. DACA recipients as a whole are less educated and less skilled than Americans as a whole, and even the average American right now has a negative fiscal impact. And that isn’t even taking into account the continued corrosive effect DACA recipients will have on elections and our political system.

      Furthermore, getting illegals out of the country doesn’t need to be expensive: we simply need to have strict enforcement against employers, banks, and other businesses that deal with them. Probably simply requiring proof of legal status for money transfers to foreign countries would take a lot of wind out of the sails of illegal immigration.

  25. Banishing dreamers seems like a “clean Dreamer fix” to me.

  26. Reason editors,

    Why do you publish content from Shikha Dalmia? She consistently exhibits leftist viewpoints that seem to be rooted in mostly Democratic party ideology. She is certainly no libertarian and from what I’ve read of her work doesn’t even try to be centrist. If you’re trying to show the opinion of the other side than I’d rather see a list of links to leftist opinion articles instead of reading bs like this column on Reason.

    1. Seconded.

      Sophie’s Choice. Cute.

  27. i have an idea-come in legally and no problems.do the kids of bank robbers get to keep the money?

  28. What Trump should do if he wants his proposals:

    Tell the Democrats he will allow the DACA stuff in the immigration bill he wants, BUT ONLY IF THEY PASS IT NOW. If they won’t, then he will NEVER sign off on amnesty for the DACA people. Period. And stick to his guns if they don’t do it. Deport them. THAT would make everybody understand how serious it is to negotiate with him. So they would fear him for the rest of his term in office, never knowing if he would back down or not, AND the half or so of the country that is against illegal immigration would probably end up loving it.

    What’s deporting another 700K people who have below average graduation rates, below average incomes, etc. No biggie. I’m part Mexican, and I say fuck ’em.

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