Didn’t Pelosi tell us that Trump privately agreed to this when she and Schumer met with him to discuss a DREAM deal? Trumpers scoffed — our border-hawk president would never concede on full amnesty — but watch Michael Dougherty’s exchange with Lindsey Graham at this morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration. Dougherty’s the assistant secretary for border, immigration, and trade policy in Homeland Security’s Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans. Graham leads has him jumping through the hoops during the entire five-minute exchange. Are DREAMers an asset or liability to the contrary, he asks? An asset for sure, says Dougherty. If we grant them legal status, should we forever bar them from citizenship like disaffected immigrants in Europe sometimes are? Nope, not such a hot idea, says Dougherty. Does the president agree with you that citizenship should be on the table? Yessir, replies Dougherty. That’s not controversial in the abstract, as most Republicans agree that DREAMers should have a crack at becoming citizens subject to certain conditions. It’s a little controversial with Trump’s strongest supporters, though.
The last, best hope of border hawks in wrecking a deal involving a major amnesty for DREAMers appears to be … DREAMers themselves:
Fearful of concessions to Mr. Trump that could increase immigration enforcement aimed at their families and friends, the activists are targeting Democratic congressional leaders with loud political protests. And Democratic politicians may be vulnerable. They have already shifted to the left on a number of issues, such as health care, as they try to take advantage of liberal fervor stoked by the Trump era…
Immigration activists reject [Republican security] demands as meanspirited and too far-reaching. Previous legislative efforts during the administrations of George W. Bush and Mr. Obama considered that breadth of immigration enforcement, but only in exchange for a path to citizenship for all 12 million of the undocumented immigrants in the country, not the smaller pool of so-called Dreamers.
Those young immigrants and their allies say they will not accept what they consider draconian measures in exchange for a deal on DACA, or on the Dream Act, the bill dating back to 2001 that would provide a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants brought in illegally as children.
Pelosi got a taste of this in person a few weeks ago, you’ll recall, when DREAMers descended on one of her press conferences and started screeching about total amnesty for all. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Nothing would be more amusing than watching the left blow up Trump’s attempt to sell out his own base by legalizing hundreds of thousands of illegals because he simply won’t agree to legalize millions instead. Imagine if, after endless hype about how “radical” his voters are, he convinces his fans to accept a DREAM-for-enforcement deal — and then open-borders fanatics force Pelosi and Schumer to walk away.
Watch to the end and follow the exchange between Graham and Dougherty on what should become of DREAMers’ parents once the DREAMers themselves become citizens. Dougherty refuses to take the bait, simply saying that the administration will work with Congress on it. I can’t tell which way Graham is trying to lead him, though. He uses the phrase “chain migration,” which is usually pejorative, but this is a proud member of the Gang of Eight and a veteran of pro-amnesty efforts on the Republican side. I *think* Graham’s trying to get him to say that we need to find a “solution” for the other 10 million illegals inside the U.S. too. Dougherty won’t bite. Smart guy.