How Democrats' Amnesty Push May Destroy All Prospects of a 'Blue Wave' in November

Amnesty for illegal aliens has never been a winning issue for Democrats.  Barack Obama seemed to operate with this knowledge.  But his successors obviously don't share his political cunning. 

Obama, you see, always played his cards close to the vest when it came to the politics of this issue.  He paid lip service, at least, to constitutional protocol: "I'm not a king," he told many audiences who desired that he unilaterally cease deportations for criminal trespassers. 

Deportations had to happen by law, he asserted.  But beneath the table, he was undermining the laws of the people as only the shiftiest despot might. 

Take what's commonly become known as his "catch and release" policy, more formally known as his administration's "prosecutorial discretion" guidelines.  Under these guidelines, ICE data from 2013 reveal, "hundreds of thousands [of illegal aliens] who were identified in the interior of the country were released instead of removed."  In that year, only 25% of criminal trespassers in America were charged with their crime.  To make matters worse, a large number of those released were criminals, even beyond their having committed the crime of entering this country illegally.  In fact, 68,000 (or 35% of the illegal aliens encountered by officers) had "criminal convictions," and they were released into the population "without formal notice to law enforcement agencies and victims."

For the record, more than 80% of Americans disagree with this "catch and release" policy to this day. 

All of that leaves little to wonder as to why Obama, and the media he carried in tow, hid this "prosecutorial discretion" policy from Americans to the greatest extent possible.  But he was unable to hide it for long, and particularly among those seeking to break our laws by coming here illegally.

Three quarters of illegal trespassers not being charged with a crime and being released into the "shadows" is not something easily missed by those desiring to break the law, you see.  The summer of 2014 saw illegal aliens, and peculiarly massive numbers of unattended children, surge across the border by the tens of thousands.  The American people witnessed this spectacle and became angry at the policies of the administration that led to it.

Obama was met with a political conundrum of his own making.  Should he admit that he has no respect for the rule of law as written or provide an outward show of a desire to enforce it?

He chose the latter.  In mid-June of 2014, he told the Mexican government, then facilitating much of the flow-through of migrants from Central America, that immigrants crossing illegally "won't qualify for legalized status or deferred deportation, including children."

This was damage control in anticipation of the coming election, and in response to his dismal approval polling (which, by the way, was significantly lower in June 2014 than Trump's current approval rating).

Perhaps here is as useful a time as any to observe that the longstanding legal precedent of not allowing children to remain incarcerated with a trespassing illegal alien parent for longer than 20 days was being firmly enforced at that time.  In 2013 alone, the administration's Health and Human Services Department had "as many as 25,000 unaccompanied children in its care across 80 shelters."  That is, these were the same shelters being hyperbolically likened to Auschwitz by some sympathetic observers now that Donald Trump is the president but that went curiously undiscussed in previous years.

November of 2014 was the most immediate reckoning for all of Obama's shenanigans around illegal immigration.  Republicans showed up in huge numbers to vote Democrats out in November of 2014, and few honest observers would say that the election was not predicated upon the central issues of Obamacare and illegal immigration policy.

It created a funny sort of circumstances, politically speaking.  The American people clearly wanted enforcement of existing immigration laws, yet we were assured, even by conservative pundits, that Republicans' refusal to legislate amnesty for some illegal trespassers would spell doom in 2016.  Brit Hume went on record saying that "Republicans will go forward into 2016 election without their name associated with immigration reform which will make it very difficult for any Republican to become president."

Yet history took us forward to November of 2014, where Democrats were shellacked into a greater deficit in the federal and state legislatures than even the landmark 2010 election had done (the greatest shift in legislative power in over 60 years).  It carried us forward to 2016, where a Republican president was elected after campaigning upon the fundamental promise to "build a wall" and strictly enforce existing immigration policy.

There is value in observing that in 2014, Barack Obama recognized the danger in the American people recognizing that Democrats actually desire unsecured borders and blanket amnesty.  Today, Democrats seem to see their victory in openly expressing that they desire both things.

Make no mistake: they now have no choice.  Donald Trump has thoroughly exposed them.

When Democrats argued that 800,000 DREAMers should be made legal citizens legislatively earlier this year, Trump upped the ante by offering that 1,800,000 of them be made legal citizens – but only in exchange for stronger border control measures to curb illegal immigration.  Democrat legislators defiantly walked away from that deal.

And recently, Democratic hopeful for the presidency in 2020 Kamala Harris said that Trump must "end the zero-tolerance" policy in regard to separating children from their parents who've been incarcerated for having broken our immigration laws.  Trump responded by instructing federal border enforcement to hold children and the parents in incarceration together.  Within four hours of her demand, Kamala Harris said the solution "will not fix the problem."

So what is the problem?  The problem, as initially offered (and as has been the political football media outlets have been running with these last two weeks), is that children are being "ripped" and "torn" from their parents as they await potential deportation.  It is a "problem" that preceded Donald Trump.  But when Trump offers a solution – that they can remain together as they are processed for either asylum or deportation – the problem is no longer that they're being "ripped" or "torn" from their parents, but that the children get to stay with their parents in incarceration for having broken our laws.

Removing children from their parents was a travesty to Kamala Harris, and not even four hours later, having them remain with their parents was also a travesty.

So just what is she demanding?

She is demanding no less than the absolute decriminalization of illegal entry into this country.  This is precisely what Democrats (and some Republicans) want, but those calling for it before have been shrewder in their demanding of it.  Kamala Harris is demanding "catch and release" of lawbreakers, without any sort of vetting.  She is openly demanding what Barack Obama tried to hide as covert policy, and for which Democrats were shellacked the last midterm election once it was meaningfully exposed.

Absolute amnesty is still not a winning position with the American people.  Democrats would do far better by going back to the drawing board to drum up new outrage about climate change or doubling down on transgender rights as their flagship issue, something like that.

Trump has forced Democrats to show their hand on illegal immigration, and in so doing, he may have ensured that the "blue wave" Democrats were once optimistic would sweep America this November will become little more than a fanciful myth some media outlets and college professors told to hopeful leftist dupes in early 2018.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.

Amnesty for illegal aliens has never been a winning issue for Democrats.  Barack Obama seemed to operate with this knowledge.  But his successors obviously don't share his political cunning. 

Obama, you see, always played his cards close to the vest when it came to the politics of this issue.  He paid lip service, at least, to constitutional protocol: "I'm not a king," he told many audiences who desired that he unilaterally cease deportations for criminal trespassers. 

Deportations had to happen by law, he asserted.  But beneath the table, he was undermining the laws of the people as only the shiftiest despot might. 

Take what's commonly become known as his "catch and release" policy, more formally known as his administration's "prosecutorial discretion" guidelines.  Under these guidelines, ICE data from 2013 reveal, "hundreds of thousands [of illegal aliens] who were identified in the interior of the country were released instead of removed."  In that year, only 25% of criminal trespassers in America were charged with their crime.  To make matters worse, a large number of those released were criminals, even beyond their having committed the crime of entering this country illegally.  In fact, 68,000 (or 35% of the illegal aliens encountered by officers) had "criminal convictions," and they were released into the population "without formal notice to law enforcement agencies and victims."

For the record, more than 80% of Americans disagree with this "catch and release" policy to this day. 

All of that leaves little to wonder as to why Obama, and the media he carried in tow, hid this "prosecutorial discretion" policy from Americans to the greatest extent possible.  But he was unable to hide it for long, and particularly among those seeking to break our laws by coming here illegally.

Three quarters of illegal trespassers not being charged with a crime and being released into the "shadows" is not something easily missed by those desiring to break the law, you see.  The summer of 2014 saw illegal aliens, and peculiarly massive numbers of unattended children, surge across the border by the tens of thousands.  The American people witnessed this spectacle and became angry at the policies of the administration that led to it.

Obama was met with a political conundrum of his own making.  Should he admit that he has no respect for the rule of law as written or provide an outward show of a desire to enforce it?

He chose the latter.  In mid-June of 2014, he told the Mexican government, then facilitating much of the flow-through of migrants from Central America, that immigrants crossing illegally "won't qualify for legalized status or deferred deportation, including children."

This was damage control in anticipation of the coming election, and in response to his dismal approval polling (which, by the way, was significantly lower in June 2014 than Trump's current approval rating).

Perhaps here is as useful a time as any to observe that the longstanding legal precedent of not allowing children to remain incarcerated with a trespassing illegal alien parent for longer than 20 days was being firmly enforced at that time.  In 2013 alone, the administration's Health and Human Services Department had "as many as 25,000 unaccompanied children in its care across 80 shelters."  That is, these were the same shelters being hyperbolically likened to Auschwitz by some sympathetic observers now that Donald Trump is the president but that went curiously undiscussed in previous years.

November of 2014 was the most immediate reckoning for all of Obama's shenanigans around illegal immigration.  Republicans showed up in huge numbers to vote Democrats out in November of 2014, and few honest observers would say that the election was not predicated upon the central issues of Obamacare and illegal immigration policy.

It created a funny sort of circumstances, politically speaking.  The American people clearly wanted enforcement of existing immigration laws, yet we were assured, even by conservative pundits, that Republicans' refusal to legislate amnesty for some illegal trespassers would spell doom in 2016.  Brit Hume went on record saying that "Republicans will go forward into 2016 election without their name associated with immigration reform which will make it very difficult for any Republican to become president."

Yet history took us forward to November of 2014, where Democrats were shellacked into a greater deficit in the federal and state legislatures than even the landmark 2010 election had done (the greatest shift in legislative power in over 60 years).  It carried us forward to 2016, where a Republican president was elected after campaigning upon the fundamental promise to "build a wall" and strictly enforce existing immigration policy.

There is value in observing that in 2014, Barack Obama recognized the danger in the American people recognizing that Democrats actually desire unsecured borders and blanket amnesty.  Today, Democrats seem to see their victory in openly expressing that they desire both things.

Make no mistake: they now have no choice.  Donald Trump has thoroughly exposed them.

When Democrats argued that 800,000 DREAMers should be made legal citizens legislatively earlier this year, Trump upped the ante by offering that 1,800,000 of them be made legal citizens – but only in exchange for stronger border control measures to curb illegal immigration.  Democrat legislators defiantly walked away from that deal.

And recently, Democratic hopeful for the presidency in 2020 Kamala Harris said that Trump must "end the zero-tolerance" policy in regard to separating children from their parents who've been incarcerated for having broken our immigration laws.  Trump responded by instructing federal border enforcement to hold children and the parents in incarceration together.  Within four hours of her demand, Kamala Harris said the solution "will not fix the problem."

So what is the problem?  The problem, as initially offered (and as has been the political football media outlets have been running with these last two weeks), is that children are being "ripped" and "torn" from their parents as they await potential deportation.  It is a "problem" that preceded Donald Trump.  But when Trump offers a solution – that they can remain together as they are processed for either asylum or deportation – the problem is no longer that they're being "ripped" or "torn" from their parents, but that the children get to stay with their parents in incarceration for having broken our laws.

Removing children from their parents was a travesty to Kamala Harris, and not even four hours later, having them remain with their parents was also a travesty.

So just what is she demanding?

She is demanding no less than the absolute decriminalization of illegal entry into this country.  This is precisely what Democrats (and some Republicans) want, but those calling for it before have been shrewder in their demanding of it.  Kamala Harris is demanding "catch and release" of lawbreakers, without any sort of vetting.  She is openly demanding what Barack Obama tried to hide as covert policy, and for which Democrats were shellacked the last midterm election once it was meaningfully exposed.

Absolute amnesty is still not a winning position with the American people.  Democrats would do far better by going back to the drawing board to drum up new outrage about climate change or doubling down on transgender rights as their flagship issue, something like that.

Trump has forced Democrats to show their hand on illegal immigration, and in so doing, he may have ensured that the "blue wave" Democrats were once optimistic would sweep America this November will become little more than a fanciful myth some media outlets and college professors told to hopeful leftist dupes in early 2018.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.