Dems in disarray as the border crisis roils immigration politics
Excellent article in the Washington Post by Karen Tumulty on the circular firing squad forming in Democratic ranks over the border crisis.
President Obama has come under harsh criticism by some Democrats for not dealing adequately with the crisis, while liberal immigration activists are livid with the president for suggesting that the 57,000 illegal alien children in our custody should be deported.
And the president’s own party is deeply divided over what must be done now — particularly on the sensitive question of deporting children who have traveled thousands of miles and turned themselves in to U.S. authorities to escape from the desperate situations they faced in countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The emergency has also renewed questions about the administration’s competence, reminiscent of those raised during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, last year’s botched rollout of the health-care law and more recent revelations of mismanagement that jeopardized care of patients at veterans hospitals.
Obama’s goal now is to make clear to adults in Central America that there is no payoff for sending their children on the dangerous journey northward, said Cecilia Muñoz, the White House domestic policy director. “He feels intensely a responsibility to prevent an even greater humanitarian crisis,” she said.
That, however, means speeding the deportation of most of those who have already arrived, which many in Obama’s own party are resisting.
“It is contrary to everything we stand for as a people to try to summarily send children back to death . . . in a place where drug gangs are the greatest threat to stability, rule of law and democratic institutions in this hemisphere,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said in Nashville, where the National Governors Association was meeting.
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.) agreed in an interview: “I would like to see him place greater emphasis on the interests of these children who are refugees from extreme violence and instability in their home countries” instead of “an acceleration of the deportation process at the expense of these children.”
But O’Rourke added that he has been surprised by the anger he has heard toward the immigrants from many of his El Paso constituents, who “feel like we can’t take care of everyone, and these children and their families are gaming the system.”
Every time a Democrat opens their mouth about taking pity on the kids and allow them to stay, American citizens get angrier. And as long as parents in Central America see the US government releasing these kids so they can lose themselves in illegal alien communities already established, they will continue to send their children north.
Most Democrats are in a bind. They don't want to upset the immigration activists who don't want the kids deported, but neither do they want to anger their constituents who demand we send the kids home. They try to finesse the situation by saying we should treat the children "with compassion," and grant them their rights before sending them home - failing to note that by granting the illegals due process, few will ever leave the US.
Republicans should pass a measure that would keep the kids from starving and include a revision of the law that would allow the government to deport these kids immediately. As for the rest, insist that immigration reform is dead until the Obama administration can prove it is serious about defending our borders.
Immigration as a campaign issue was thought just a few months ago to give an advantage to Democrats. Now the field has flipped and the GOP potentially holds the upper hand. It's another blow to Democrats who have precious little to run on already.