Over the weekend I wrote about the “caravan” (read: army) of illegal aliens currently coming up through Mexico with plans to enter the United States. The Mexican government is thus far doing nothing to stop them, and some towns and cities along the route are even hurrying them along. You don’t need to look far to find American media outlets cheering them on as if they are striking some sort of blow for equality or whatever.
The President obviously caught wind of the story himself. He sent out a few tweets over the weekend declaring that Mexico has an obligation to help protect the border and if they can’t handle the job there may be repercussions. (WaPo)
Trump thrust the future of millions of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children into peril by promising “NO MORE DACA DEAL,” and he directed congressional Republicans to pass tough anti-immigration legislation.
An hour after he wished Americans a “HAPPY EASTER,” Trump fired off three tweets in which he vented, sometimes in all caps, about immigration laws he derided as “ridiculous” and “dumb” and about border enforcement he deemed dangerously lax.
In his first of the immigration-related tweets, Trump wrote, “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!”
The usual media backflips are on display this morning as Trump’s opponents seek to claim that there’s no relationship between DACA, NAFTA and illegal aliens queuing up to sneak over the border into America. In reality, of course, all of these subjects are interwoven.
First of all, the fact that the so-called “dreamers” were brought here as children doesn’t mean that they aren’t in the country illegally if DACA fully expires and Congress takes no action to address the situation legislatively. And that remedy is going to require some cooperation and compromise on the part of the Democrats if they want to influence the process while they’re in the minority.
NAFTA is involved because Mexico has already agreed repeatedly (at least on paper) that they too are responsible for the security of the border. Their unwillingness to pitch in on building the wall has been a rather obvious jab at the President (who they need to be making a deal with) and it’s clearly exhausting his patience. If they want a better trade deal and the cooperation of their neighbors to the north, they could heal a lot of wounds by stepping up their enforcement efforts, beginning with shutting down this “caravan.”
The Democrats back home are involved on that front as well. If they want any sort of immigration reform passed, a Dreamers deal or anything else, they too should have been able to get much of what they wanted by coming to the table. At this point, it’s not much of a mystery as to why Trump may be reaching the end of his rope and calling on Republicans to go nuclear on the filibuster and pass something.
None of this is meant to imply that a deal is imminent. The players involved are all too hunkered down in their corners at the moment. But that doesn’t mean that the White House has no more cards left to play. If our immigration forces are arrayed at the border when this caravan arrives, with instructions to keep things locked down, the plan may backfire. The travelers are counting on overwhelming our immigration enforcement agencies, asking for asylum and planning on being turned loose in the United States for years until their cases can be heard. If we move some folks around and make room in detention facilities near the border to hold them all while the background work is done that plan may not wind up looking like such a winner.