Do Democrats really want DACA extended?
Extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is in danger of going down without any action by the six-month deadline – not because "Congress is stumbling," as the New York Times would have you believe, but because Democrats, those supposed great champions of DACA, are repeatedly obstructing all potential deals that would actually get it through.
Whatever you think of DACA, that's where Republicans are at right now. Republicans are bending over backward for a deal on border security in exchange for DACA, hoping both sides can claim victory in the end, yet Democrats are having none of it.
In a Sept. 13 story, the Times unwittingly reports that Republicans have offered multiple compromises to accommodate Democrats on extending DACA's de facto amnesty for illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as children, opening the door to a law to replace the executive order issued by President Obama. Yet according to the Times, Republican are the bad guys for trying cut a deal instead of just giving the store away to congressional Democrats.
Representative Mike Coffman, Republican of Colorado, pulled back a petition he had initiated to force the House to take up legislation to protect so-called Dreamers. A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into the issue was canceled this week. And Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he would not move on any such legislation before he addressed criminal alien gangs and border security.
A close look at all of these actions, plus President Trump's meeting with top Democrats, shows that they were compromise gestures in deference to Democratic sensibilities, efforts to get Democrats to vote yes on some Republican priorities in exchange for yielding to Democrats on DACA. Yet each of these hands out was rebuffed by Democrats, who have an all-or-nothing approach to legislation even as the minority party.
Coffman had worked with Democratic Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez of Illinois to put in an immediate three-year extension of DACA. The Times reported that Coffman called it off after Speaker Paul Ryan said he wanted to tie it to enhanced border security. Why he would call it off instead of jump to Ryan's challenge and make a deal of it, adding it to border security, is inexplicable, unless he knew that there was no way Democrats would consent to any border security deal. That is the real reason why the measure was called off, even if not explicitly stated.
Next up, a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting was postponed because the Trump administration wanted to get border security legislation in place first. Again, it was an effort to make a deal – get one thing done first, then the other, and enable both sides to claim victory. Why, again, is that a bad thing? It would enable Republicans to vote for DACA more easily than they would in a straight up-or-down amnesty with no border provisions. But to the Times, this, too, is Republican obstruction, as well as acting "leisurely," as the Times worded it, rather than building a foundation for a workable bipartisan solution for all sides of the issue.
Goodlatte put it most bluntly, according to the Times:
Goodlatte said this week that he would hold no DACA hearings until border security legislation is drafted.
So why would Democrats oppose that? Compromise is each side giving a little to ensure that all sides get what they want. Democrats are apparently so opposed to border security legislation that they are willing to sacrifice DACA, and apparently, they are putting their hopes in the New York Times blaming Republican "obstructionism" as cover. Any sane legislator who is serious about extending DACA would be willing to give up other things to make it happen. But not Democrats.
So, in fact, it's they who are doing the obstruction, blocking any compromise deals.
Trump met with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats, and all of them underlined their no-deals position in spades:
In a meeting at the White House last week, Mr. Trump pressed Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, for 15 minutes about paring funding for a border wall with protections for Dreamers, according to a person familiar with the meeting, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not cleared to discuss internal deliberations. Both Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi rejected the deal.
Rejected the deal? After all their demonstrated care and concern for the children of DACA? Apparently, they aren't going to sacrifice anything to get those kids squared away. The wisdom of Solomon and the two women with the baby this is not. What they want is amnesty for DACA recipients and no border security, and they are willing to sacrifice DACA to ensure that both states of affairs are the result.
What's more, Gutiérrez has vowed to shut down the government if a unilateral, no-strings-attached DACA deal is not passed on strictly Democrat terms.
Yes, Republicans are squishy on DACA, but at least they have the gumption to want something in return. Democrats are telling them no dice, and who cares if the DACA kids are deported? They've got the Times to blame Republicans for them, so they aren't budging.
It sounds like a loser of a strategy – and a verification of the suspicions of some that Trump threw DACA to Congress knowing full well that Congress would get nothing done.
Here we have Republicans holding their hands out on a DACA deal and Democrats continuously rebuffing it. They really can't move on border security? It's just too terrible an idea? Then obviously, they don't value DACA as much as they say they do.
If DACA isn't extended, Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves.