As a wise man once said, “‘earned path to citizenship’ is basically code for amnesty. It’s what they call it.” Whatever happened to that guy, anyway? He seemed to have a bright future nationally.
It’s not clear here whether Pelosi means that Trump agreed last night to a path to citizenship or if this is just a Democratic demand that’ll need to be worked out with a reluctant president. It sounds like she *does* mean to include Trump but then a reporter notes his tweets this morning, to which she says, “I’m not here to respond to tweets, you asked me about the meeting. I’m telling you where we are after the meeting.” This is the peril of trying to get Trump to commit to legislation as politically fraught as DREAM. Not only does he tend to say contradictory things even under the best circumstances, he’s apt to rethink his position here after his friends on the nationalist right spend the next 72 hours beating him to a pulp. He probably did tell Pelosi and Schumer last night that citizenship is on the table, then remembered that he’d have to somehow sell this to Bannon fans. So he altered the deal, at least in his own mind.
Or did he?
WH spox: Trump 'will not be discussing amnesty' but will discuss 'legal citizenship over a period of time'
— Dan Merica (@merica) September 14, 2017
Doesn’t matter. The clip below is short but Pelosi still finds time to show you why anything short of citizenship will lead to citizenship anyway. If DREAMers end up stuck with permanent resident status, Democrats won’t wait a minute before they begin shouting that that’s an intolerable “second-class” status. If the GOP doesn’t quickly cave and create a path to citizenship in the next few years, Democrats will surely do it themselves once they’re back in control of the government. Letting DREAMers stay, which Trump is vocally willing to do, means letting them become citizens sooner or later. And Pelosi may not need to wait. Via Kyle Dropp, have a peek at these results from Morning Consult:
Among Trump’s own voters, a plurality supports citizenship for DREAMers while a strong majority of 67 percent supports either citizenship or permanent residency. Just 20 percent are with Coulter and Steve King in backing deportation while another 12 percent aren’t sure. Imagine how that 67/20/12 figure will shift if Trump himself gets behind the DREAM deal and pushes it hard on Fox News and talk radio. We’ll end up with something like an 80/15 split if not better among MAGA fans. This is why I think Trump’s in little danger of losing his base despite the howling from populist media today. Even most populists are willing to cut DREAMers a break.
Schumer was caught on a hot mic in the Senate today, by the way, telling a staffer that Trump sure does seem to like him. The media must be *dying* to taunt POTUS with “President Schumer!” headlines about this DREAM deal but they know that if they bruise Trump’s ego it’ll blow the whole thing up. For the sake of amnesty, they need to stick to positive reinforcement.