As Peter Beinart has pointed out in The Atlantic, Democrats have only grown more and more extreme on the issue of immigration—and more shrill. Democrats seem to have imperceptibly, but genuinely, shifted from a policy of “some restriction, some enforcement, some amnesty, some increase” to a much more expansionist policy. While most Democratic politicians still gesture in the direction of some form of enforcement and limit, in practice they seem to find it impossible to find any sort of immigration that they don’t approve of. While politicians follow, as always, the intelligentsia leads. How many progressive intellectuals don’t believe that borders are in some sense immoral? Meanwhile, the self-styled resistance, in response to Trump’s disgraceful treatment of children, is pushing forward with its “abolish ICE” campaign, a slogan so hilariously short-sighted I’m still not 100 percent convinced it’s not the RNC (or perhaps Putin) who coined it.
As Business Insider’s Josh Barro has argued, Americans think immigration is fine, but they also want their immigration system to be controlled by people who believe they have the interests of American citizens at heart when designing and implementing immigration policy—not those of foreign citizens.
And this may be why Stephen Miller’s gambit—this debate was purposefully provoked by Miller, President Trump’s notoriously anti-immigration policy adviser, with the intent of causing a big ruckus ahead of the midterm elections—might yet pay off. The majority of Americans might dislike Trump’s actions, but they might dislike even more the alternative of open borders, if that’s what they see Democrats offering.