The best way out of this pickle is to give Trump his big, dumb wall. Yes, the wall is idiotic and a big waste of money — but it isn’t that big of a waste of money. The president wants $18 billion over ten years; the Pentagon spends about $125 billion on needless bureaucracy every five years — according to the Pentagon. And Trump’s No. 1 priority on immigration also happens to be his most harmless: A jobs program that pays underemployed, border-state construction workers to stack concrete in the desert will hurt far fewer people than restrictions on family-based immigration. And yet, Democrats appear more comfortable supporting the latter, even though the former would surely buy them bigger concessions.
Chuck Schumer should offer to fund Trump’s wall, in full — if Trump agrees to give every immigrant whose Temporary Protected Status just got revoked permanent, legal status, and a pathway to citizenship to all Dreamers and their parents — or, heck, to all 11 million undocumented immigrants. That was Trump’s position as of two years ago, after all. And would this president really want to turn down the opportunity to have his border wall — and the accolades from the mainstream media for his historic, bipartisan legislative achievement, too?