The border wall between Tecate, Mexico and Tecate, CA last month
Multiple sources report that Donald Trump stabbed Dreamers in the back last night — as well as Democratic leaders who were foolish enough to give Mr. Trump the time of day (emphasis mine):
WASHINGTON — The White House on Sunday delivered to Congress a long list of hard-line immigration measures that President Trump is demanding in exchange for any deal to protect the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, imperiling a fledgling bipartisan push to reach a legislative solution.
Before agreeing to provide legal status for 800,000 young immigrants brought here illegally as children, Mr. Trump will insist on the construction of a wall across the southern border, the hiring of 10,000 immigration agents, tougher laws for those seeking asylum and denial of federal grants to “sanctuary cities,” officials said.
The White House is also demanding the use of the E-Verify program by companies to keep illegal immigrants from getting jobs, an end to people bringing their extended family into the United States, and a hardening of the border against thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America. Such a move would shut down loopholes that encourage parents from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to send their children illegally into the United States, where many of them melt into American communities and become undocumented immigrants.
Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi, who declared after a White House dinner last month that they had reached a deal with Mr. Trump to protect Dreamers, denounced the president’s demands as failing to “represent any attempt at compromise.” They called it little more than a thinly veiled effort to scuttle negotiations even before they begin in earnest.
There was absolutely NOTHING “pragmatic” about the high-profile photo-op in the Oval Office last month, where Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi eagerly sought the limelight of a “deal” (and, of course poured salt and lemon into the wounds of the GOP inflicted by Mr. Trump since taking office). Mr. Trump is an out-of-control lunatic and sociopath. He cannot be “negotiated” with. He has no “allies”, no “friends”, and respects no boundaries — legal, constitutional, truthful, factual, rational, personal, or otherwise.
I was told that I was advocating “Jihad” (a characterization to which I plead “Guilty as charged”). I was told by some that I was ignoring the Dreamers (as if Mr. Trump and the GOP were ever going to relent in their xenophobic hostility towards them). I was told I needed to be more “pragmatic”.
Here’s what I think the much-vaunted “deal” accomplished:
1. Took the debt-ceiling off the table so that the GOP could launch another round of attacks on the ACA
2. Made Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi look like simpering fools
3. Gave the GOP time to plan the next stage in their economic war against the 99% (and especially Democrats)
4. Made “increased border security” look more palatable (instead of the sheer bigotry that it actually is)
How’s that pragmatism working out for us now?
Regarding the above item (4), fellow BMG participant tedf cited a marvelous NYTimes piece with hard actual data about the immigration issue. In particular, the following figure jumped out at me from that piece (sadly, the numbers are not in the image. The top of the chart is 400,000. The top number at the right edge is about 250,000. The bottom number at the right edge is about 150,000):
Blue: Overstayed visa
Gray: Crossed over Mexican Border
The top two ways illegal immigrants arrive in the U.S., 1985-2013
Note that border crossings — the only vector that “increased border security” can affect — decreased from 400,000 per year (ironically, during the George W. Bush administration) to less than 150,000 through 2013. During that same time, the number of immigrants who became illegal because they overstayed their visa has climbed to about 250,000 in 2013. So the number of “overstayers” is about twice the number of “border crossers”. The cited source for the data in the graph says this:
Overstays accounted for about two-thirds (66 percent) of those who arrived (i.e., joined the undocumented population) in 2014.
If the purpose of “increased border security” is to slow the rate at which undocumented immigrants enter the US, then it ignores the largest single source of the “problem” it purports to address.
Another lie revealed
Since the campaign, the GOP has been spreading another lie about immigrants — that they are “rapists” and “killers” (“bad hombres”, a term with special significance, was used at least once). Here are the facts, from the same piece (emphasis mine):
Few nemeses loomed larger in the narrative of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign than the figure of the illegal immigrant who threatened Americans — one of the “rapists” and “killers” from Mexico, as Mr. Trump has put it.
Such people do exist. The Migration Policy Institute has estimated that 820,000 of the 11 million unauthorized have been convicted of a crime. About 300,000, or less than 3 percent of the 11 million undocumented, have committed felonies. (The proportion of felons in the overall population was an estimated 6 percent in 2010, according to a paper presented to the Population Association of America.)
Let’s just see the instant replay of that.
The proportion of felons in the overall population was an estimated 6 percent in 2010. The proportion of felons among the 11 million undocumented immigrants is THREE percent.
The lie: “Illegals” are rapists, killers and felons
The truth: Undocumented immigrants commit felonies at about half the rate of the population as a whole.