Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Immigration Storm Bears Down on Republicans

Many of the Republican Party's problems are self-created and many stem from the party's self-prostitution to Christofascists and white supremacists (typically, the two groups overlap each other by a wide margin).  Other than perhaps abortion and gay marriage, nowhere is the toxicity of this self-prostitution worse than in the realm of immigration and immigration reform.   Despite the Bible passages on welcoming strangers and norms of common decency, nothing sets off the Christofascists and white supremacists more than the prospect of non-whites entering American, a nation stolen from Native Americans by force of arms and genocide. Insanely, one "friend" who supports Trump and his inhumane policies has lamented being called a racist even though she is, in fact a racist, given the hideous Trump/Pence agenda that she supports.  A piece in Politico looks at the no-win situation in which the GOP has placed itself on immigration.  Here are excerpts:
House Republicans left Washington last week relieved that their ugly, months-long fight over immigration was behind them. The reality? It’s far from over.
Donald Trump has been pestering Congress to send him big money for his border wall with Mexico, a demand that could lead to a government shutdown just weeks before Election Day.
And lawmakers might not even have that long to ignore the issue. A series of court rulings expected in the coming weeks on Dreamers as well as separated migrant families will crank up the heat up on GOP lawmakers and underscore their inability to govern when it comes to immigration.
Trump may enjoy campaigning on immigration, but it’s far from what Republican leaders want to highlight as they battle to keep their majorities this fall. GOP lawmakers have repeatedly shown an inability to unite behind any sort of immigration plan, and Trump has failed to lead on the matter as well — creating a constant whiplash as he changes his positions from day to day. Trump’s reversals are one of the major reasons House Republicans were unable to pass a pair of GOP immigration bills addressing the fates of Dreamers just before the July Fourth recess — even though they’d spent months negotiating among themselves. . . . It went down in a whopping defeat, 121-301, as conservatives panned the bill as “amnesty.” The vote was a rebuke to both GOP leadership, which tried and failed to reach a consensus in the conference, and the president, who endorsed the legislation in an all-caps tweet hours before the vote. The Senate, meanwhile, has been trying to come up with a bipartisan bill to keep families united. Lawmakers fear that a federal court will strike Trump’s executive order intended to ease the firestorm engulfing his administration by allowing children to be detained with their parents beyond a 20-day limit. And the Senate wants to have legislation ready if the problem boils over in July.  But even if the Senate strikes a deal, House Republicans say they won’t take up anything unless the White House fully endorses the plan.
Even as Republicans struggle to pass a modest package on immigrant families, they could face pressure to go broader. A conservative-leaning federal court in Texas is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as early as mid-July, pushing the issue to the fore again.
The case, brought by Texas and several other Republican-dominated southern states, could contradict a previous court’s decision that halted Trump’s move to end DACA. The result could be that Dreamers again face the risk of deportation unless the Supreme Court — or Congress — weighs in.
Should GOP leaders somehow dodge a thorny DACA and family-separation debate this summer, Republicans are still unlikely to wriggle out of an immigration fight before the election. The federal government runs out of money on Sept. 28, and Trump has made no secret of his demand for border wall funding in any spending legislation he signs. In fact, during a meeting with appropriators last week, Trump pressed Republicans to give him $5 billion as a down payment on his wall — well over the $1.6 billion senators had proposed and the $2.2 billion the House had planned.
But GOP leaders know that Senate Democrats will reject the request without relief for Dreamers, and Republicans can’t pass a single appropriations bill in the Senate without them.
It’s possible that Trump allows Congress to pass a stopgap bill that extends government funding into a lame-duck session. But Republicans know by now that it’s not easy to pin down the president. And then they could have a shutdown on their hands.

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