Is the welfare of the “Dreamers” as they are called really a priority for the Democrats? Or are they of more value as potential future Democratic voters?
That’s an unpleasant question to ask. But the disposition of the matter of the Dreamers is a very highly-charged political issue. So the question is appropriate.
It’s also a complicated one. President Trump has ordered the phasing out of DACA. Which means if accommodation is to be made for these illegal aliens, it has to be done soon.
Since the president has also indicated some flexibility on legislation that might benefit the Dreamers, a goal of the Democrats, matters become more complex.
It turns out that at least some Democrats are ready to dump the Dreamers in order to pass other legislation that must be more important to them.
Regardless of where one stands on how to resolve the Dreamer issue, using over a million individuals as political pawns is unacceptable. Unacceptable, but not unexpected. This is Washington we’re dealing with.
Senate Democrats are willing to drop their demand that relief for Dreamers be tied to any long-term budget agreement — a potential boost for spending talks, but one that could face opposition from their House counterparts.
The shift comes in response to the deal struck between Senate leaders Monday to reopen the government and begin debate on an immigration bill next month.
Meanwhile, budget negotiators are expressing optimism that a two-year agreement to lift stiff caps on defense and domestic spending is increasingly within reach.
Budget negotiations necessarily impact the states and districts which senators and congressmen represent. This, by way of where the money is spent.
And that, clearly, is a bigger deal for at least some of the Democrats than the fate of the Dreamers. Again, not much of a surprise here.
Note that the Democrats are not at all united on these issues.
“We’re viewing [immigration and spending] on separate terms because they are on separate paths,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “procedural concession means we’ve got a deadline and a process,” Durbin added. “That to me is a significant step forward. It’s not everything I wanted, that’s for sure, but it’s a step forward.”
But House Democrats have signaled they are not ready to go along with a long-term budget deal without a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Donald Trump is ending.
To add to their problems, President Trump has imposed a deadline. And that is something that is hated in Washington since it forces action and responsibility as opposed to delays and obfuscation.
And here it is. You have to love it when politicians feel the same pressure to get things done that the rest of us do on a regular basis.
The division among Democrats is complicating negotiations, as lawmakers in both parties face intense pressure — and a two-week time crunch — to show progress on government funding, immigration and a raft of other issues that have resulted in the government operating on stopgap spending bills since September.
So, at least some Democrats are willing to “throw the Dreamers under the bus” in order to deal with other priorities.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), another member of Democratic leadership, said that although she would prefer a deal to protect young undocumented immigrants be part of budget negotiations, the agreement reached with McConnell could make that impossible.
The Kentucky Republican has said the Senate would turn to an immigration bill only if the government is still funded, and few Democrats seem to want another shutdown.
If immigrants, legal or otherwise, are convinced that the Democrats are their champions… If they think Democrats are supporters on whom they can rely… They are about to get one heck of a lesson in power politics.