There was cause to doubt whether or not President Trump’s pick to replace John Kelly at the top of the Department of Homeland Security was the right fit for the MAGA agenda, but she proved this week that she has her head on straight when it comes to border security. In an interview with the Associated Press this week, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that lawmakers trying to make a deal around the so-called Dreamers needed to first allocate money and resources to build Trump’s wall across the southern border.
“The secretary said she was hopeful the White House and Congress can reach a deal that includes border and immigration enforcement measures,” the AP reports. “She said building a wall along the Mexico border was ‘first and foremost,’ and the administration wanted to end ‘loopholes’ on issues that include handling asylum claims and local police working with immigration authorities.”
It is welcome news to hear that the White House has not abandoned Trump’s signature campaign promise on immigration. The wall was a central focus of Trump’s campaign for president, particularly during the primaries where it was perhaps the biggest clear symbol of how he was different from every single other Republican on the ballot. It’s not too much to say that the wall (and everything it stands for) is the biggest single reason that Donald Trump is president today; it would be a betrayal of unprecedented magnitude for him to walk away from that promise while simultaneously signing Obama’s illegal DACA order into permanent law.
It is certainly not enough that Republicans negotiate some minor token of “border security” out of the Democrats in exchange for amnesty. Yes, both Trump and many top Republicans have expressed sympathy for the Dreamers, but that doesn’t mean they should look at this as any sort of important priority. It’s hard to imagine that Trump – or any other Republican in Congress – would lose a single vote if they failed to do a DACA deal. On the other hand, giving away amnesty for nothing more than junk concessions…that could lead to another conservative revolt, re-opening the deep fractures of 2014 that ultimately led to Trump’s rise.
Republicans need to see this issue for what it is: A glorious opportunity to force Democrats into a political corner. The left has made promises to illegal immigrants that they can’t afford to walk away from. Time to take advantage of their lawless stupidity. Amnesty for these Dreamers isn’t the worst thing in the world to grant, as long as we get everything we want in return. An end to chain migration, an end to the Diversity Lottery, more manpower at the border, and a significant down payment on the wall. If Democrats are willing to go along with all that, give them their Dreamers. If not…well, tough luck, DACA, you had a good run.