Trump to congressional GOP: Forget about immigration reform until the mid-terms add lots more Republicans to your ranks

By Dan Calabrese

The man believes in what’s possible. I suppose we would never have had The Apprentice if he didn’t.

But I’m not sure how much difference it would make even if you got 55 or 56 Republican senators (which is not impossible given the electoral map) and 10 to 15 more Republicans in the House (which seems unlikely given the dynamics of midterms for the president’s party, but who knows?). You still have a very restrictionist wing of the GOP that won’t accept any path to citizenship for those who came here illegally, and thinks anything short of deporting all 12 million illegal aliens currently in the country amounts to “amnesty.”

And you’re going to need some Democrat votes to break a filibuster, and Democrats essentially want no enforcement action at all against those who came here illegally. How does even a significant change in the makeup of Congress overcome the forces closing in on both sides?

Got me, but Trump seems to think it’s worth a shot:

“Elect more Republicans in November and we will pass the finest, fairest and most comprehensive Immigration Bills anywhere in the world,” Trump said on Twitter.

“Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!” he said.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a bill favored by conservatives that would have halted the practice of splitting up families and addressed a range of other immigration issues.

The bill was defeated in a 231-193 vote, with 41 Republicans joining the opposition. The House also postponed, likely until next week, a vote on a more moderate bill in order to try to drum up more support.

He’s right about the Democrats, but that’s really not his problem. There is no consensus within the GOP about how to deal with immigration. The “what part of illegal don’t you understand” people don’t want to give current illegals any way out apart from deportation. The more chamber-of-commerce style Republican sees that a lot of businesses benefit from the presence of these people as workers, and in fact, that a lot of businesses would face an instant labor crisis if the dreams of the restrictionists were realized.

That’s why yesterday’s bill failed. Without the 41 Republicans voting in opposition, it passes. The Democrats don’t have the votes to stop it.

And Trump has to take some responsibility for the political dynamics here, since he railed against illegal immigration as a major theme of his campaign (although not as viciously as the media claimed he did), and emboldened the very same restrictions who now don’t want to create any sort of path to legality for those who remain in the shadows.

Immigration enforcement has been a mess for decades. You can’t lay that on Trump at all. The family separation issue that reared its head this week stemmed from the government having to decide between a catch-and-release policy that removes all risk from crossing the border illegally, or separating families in keeping with what the law currently says. There was no way to win no matter what they did, because the law as it’s currently written makes no sense, and people wanting to sneak into the country know there isn’t a political consensus here for us to enforce our own laws.

But we also don’t have a consensus in Congress to write new ones that make any sense, because too many members of both parties would rather pat themselves on the back for their high-minded commitment to “principle”, such that it is, instead of actually solving anything.

Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!