The swing to the left has occurred with such speed, however, that Democrats have barely paused to consider the risks. A decade ago, Democrats supported measures such as fencing on the southern border. Today, nearly all forms of enforcement or restrictions have become concessions, and many mechanisms to enforce the law are at this point considered unacceptable. These include popular measures such as E-Verify checks for workplace hiring. This is in keeping with a drift in elite sentiment, which has increasingly come to view enforcement as unseemly, reminiscent of how the Beatles, anno 1967, viewed with distaste the idea of cracking down on shoplifters in their short-lived Apple Boutique.
Most Americans may be with the Dreamers in wanting to give them a chance to stay in the country and become citizens. But the equation changes when Democrats shut down the government over the matter. Appearances become even less favorable when such actions seem to be in response to loud demands from foreign nationals whose presence is in the country is thanks to warm lenience overriding cold law. Such episodes threaten Democratic prospects in states that aren’t dark blue.