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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Why Trump doesn't want an immigration bill: The Art of No Deal

There's no question that President Donald Trump views immigration as a winning political issue for him.
His plan to build a border wall to keep Latin American immigrants out of the U.S. was the signature promise of his 2016 campaign. He peppers his political rallies with red-meat lines, like the assurance that his administration will be "sending them the hell back." And on Friday, when he tried to end the already-fading House GOP leadership hopes of passing an immigration overhaul bill next week, he did it in starkly political terms.

"Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November," Trump tweeted Friday of the midterm elections that will determine control of Congress for his final two years in office. "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!"

A little while later — and just a couple of days after talking about his compassion for families separated at the border under his "zero tolerance" policy — the president accused Democrats of telling "phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the elections."
But it's Trump himself who has repeatedly sabotaged congressional efforts to work with his administration to pass a major rewrite of the nation's immigration laws. It's Trump who incessantly talks about the politics of immigration. And it's Trump who did a 360-degree turn on the separation issue — first implementing it as a deterrent to future immigrants; then, when confronted with images of detained children, issuing an executive order to try to keep families together; and finally, on Friday, framing horror stories of broken families as a sham Democratic plot to win power in Congress.
There's only one logical conclusion to draw: He'd rather have the political issue than the policy victory.
Call it the art of no deal.

Trump knows hard-line immigration reform remains at or near the top of every issue poll of Republican voters," former Republican Rep. David Jolly of Florida said. "What he lacks in understanding of actual immigration policy, he makes up for with a keen understanding of the dark border security themes that pervade the GOP. He knows anger motivates more than contentment. It's clear he has a deliberate strategy to carry this issue unresolved into November."
On Friday, Trump held an event at the White House with "angel families" who have lost loved ones to violence perpetrated by illegal immigrants.
Rather than slinking away from an issue that has burned him in recent days, Trump is keeping attention on it. His attempt to regain control of the narrative follows a familiar pattern: a move to direct the conversation to serious crimes committed by some migrant adults, rather than the detention of children who have been separated from their parents.

Respect Blues reporting from Washington DC