Federal government shut down over Illegal Aliens (DACA)
(Featured Image from Toronto Star)
I doubt if you would have noticed that “the government” shut down Saturday morning, or that it fired up again today, but for the mainstream media’s attempt to wring as much advantage out of it for their Democratic party patrons.
Last week Congress reached an impasse, and lost opportunities to do important work on a budget deal, because the Democrats needed to make a really big show on behalf of the “Dreamers.” That is right, the federal government shut down over illegal aliens.
In a leaked memo earlier this month, a former Clinton communication director and Democratic strategist Jennifer Palmieri identified the 700,000-800,000 “Dreamers” as vital to their electoral future:
“The fight to protect Dreamers is not only a moral imperative, it is also a critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success,” reads Palmieri’s memo, obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“If Democrats don’t try to do everything in their power to defend Dreamers, that will jeopardize Democrats’ electoral chances in 2018 and beyond,” reads the memo. “In short, the next few weeks will tell us a lot about the Democratic Party and its long-term electoral prospects.”
But the Democrats were nervous about the move, and worked to come to an agreement, albeit short-term, over the weekend.
I was contacted by The New York Times today on the DACA issue but when I told the reporter I supported a resolution that would lead to some kind of legal status for at least some “Dreamers,” she replied: “I’m only interviewing people who do not believe Dreamers should be given legal status. Sounds like that’s not you. Can you suggest someone who does feel that way?”
Here is how I responded:
I hang out with a lot of conservatives and I don’t know anybody who feels that way (deny all Dreamers any legal status). I do know a lot of people, and I include myself, who do not think it should be automatic. In other words, Congress gets to set the criteria. And the “Dreamers” should have to get in line behind the legal immigrants who are already in the queue.
The conservatives I know do not believe that people should be living in our country who do not have a path to legal status or eventually citizenship, because then they don’t have a stake in our future.
The irony is that the Republican Party, at least according to Democratic strategists, are helping the Democrats come up with their majority for the future. Their assumption is that all “Dreamers” will become Democrats, or to the extent that they’ve already figured out how to vote illegally, vote for Democrats.
I think that’s an interesting angle.
Yet Republicans are going ahead and doing it anyway.
That’s because they believe (or hope) that Dreamers will make up their own mind about politics and who to vote for. I hope that’s true, and that the “Dreamers” understand that they are not legally entitled to anything–that this is an ethical dilemma–and how lucky they are to come to a country that thinks and acts so generously.
I also hope that most of them come to the conclusion that the free market, not socialism, has produced the greatest prosperity for the greatest number of people in history. I hope they help us keep and grow that model.
A few additional but by no means complete or final thoughts.
Language is important to getting the right solution.
The Dreamers are not “Americans” as I heard a U.S. senator describe them on NPR News today. They are illegal aliens, as are their parents who brought them here, mostly from Mexico.
Some of them are still on the younger side but most are adults, having arrived before the age of sixteen many years ago. They are not “kids” and the ones who are young kids can go back to Mexico with their families.
When I was in DC last week, DACA demonstrators were all over the Capitol demonstrating loudly, rudely outside of Republican lawmakers’ offices, without consequence. I cannot imagine feeling so entitled that I would taunt lawmakers in a country where I had no legal status, while demanding legal status. Yet these demonstrations are commonplace.
As for “Dreamers?” I think (OK, hope) there are lots of DACA aliens who are quietly getting an education, getting a job and getting on with their lives in hopes that they get to stay and become Americans. They are the true Dreamers, not the brats I see in the media, and on the Hill.