Short take: Littwin on the plight of Dreamers and why Trump rejected his wall

The Democrats caved. They were ready to give Donald Trump his $25 billion ransom for his wall if he would free the 2 million or so Dreamers he was holding hostage.

You remember the wall. It was Trump’s big campaign issue. Sure, he insisted Mexico would pay for it, even though he knew that would never happen. Then he insisted that Democrats agree that rest of us suckers should pay for it. Whoever thought they’d go for that?

Personally, I was torn on this issue. If you truly want to make America great again, you don’t build a wall that symbolizes everything that America shouldn’t be. It would be a waste of money. It would be a use of medieval technology in a time of drones. What I mean is, tell me when the Chinese start building a new wall.

But. It’s only $25 billion — Republicans, these days, are willing to toss away a trillion to their rich buddies — and if that was the only deal you could get to put the DACA kids on the path to citizenship, well, a dreamer’s gotta do what a dreamer’s gotta do. I couldn’t decide.

But Trump solved the crisis of conscience by rejecting the wall. Somehow, it wasn’t enough. I have no idea why he didnt just take the $25 billion and declare victory. Instead, he also wanted to reduce legal immigration, cut back on so-called chain immigration (which is how my family came to America and probably yours did, too), get rid of diversity lottery picks from shithole (read: nonwhite) countries.

Trump didn’t come up with any of this, of course. Supposedly, his right-wing aide Stephen Miller did. It was all whispered in his ear as if all this could ever happen. In the Congressional vote, the Trump plan received only 39 votes — 21 fewer than it needed. And among those who voted against it were 13 GOP defectors. All the other plans failed, too, but thanks to Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner for coming up with a failed plan of their own.

The entire exercise was a joke, but not a funny one, particularly if you’re old enough to remember last month when Trump was meeting with lawmakers as the TV cameras rolled, and he said he would sign any bill that Congress sent him. Of course, at one point, he also said he favored a “clean” DACA bill. Instead we get the usual dirty politics, in which Trump is blaming the Democrats for the DACA failure.

I assume politics are at work here, but I can’t quite figure out the strategy. It’s hard to imagine that Republicans want the images of Dreamers being deported flashing on our TV screens in the run-up to the November midterms. More likely, some short-term fix will pass, or ICE will let the Dreamers quietly slip back into the shadows or Trump will blame it all on Obama.

In any case, with DACA sidelined, Congress can concentrate instead on refusing to consider any life-saving gun-safety legislation. Maybe we should ask Mexico to pay for a wall around our schools.

Photo by Quim Gil via Flickr: Creative Commons


  1. Elections have consequences

    “Hiding news that doesn’t fit an ideological or a partisan agenda is perhaps the worst form of media bias. And it’s one more reason the public holds the press is such low esteem.” – Investor’s Business Daily

    “(Mr. Trump) won’t be president. He was sliding in the polls before the video, and the video now means that he has no way to climb back. Which independent voter, which suburban woman, which Main Street Republican on the fence is going to vote for Trump now?” – Mike Littwin

    Magical thinking: The belief that one’s own thoughts, wishes, or desires can influence the external world. It is common in very young children. – Radiotherapy



    There were three major contributing factors to the tragedy that took the lives of 17 teachers and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida: guns, mental health and an inept FBI.
    Predictably, Mr. Littwin devoted almost all of his narrative-affirming column to only one of those .factors: guns. He mentions mental health in passing and mentions an inept/incompetent FBI almost reluctantly.

    He devotes a great portion of his column to blaming President Trump for failing to use the word, “gun” in his tweets about the tragedy. That’s Mr. Littwin’s contribution.

    American’s have been told to “see something, say something”. Well, according to Buzzfeed that’s exactly what 36-year-old Mississippi bail bondsman Ben Bennight did last September when he emailed a screenshot of Nikolas Cruz’ threat to become a professional school shooter.

    Mr. Littwin did not find that noteworthy because “see something, say something” is not a part of his anti-gun narrative while it’s-all-President-Trump’s-fault is.

    And here’s another FBI failure Mr. Littwin ignored: according to the New York Times “The F.B.I. failed to act on a tip in January from a person close to Nikolas Cruz warning that he owned a gun and might conduct a school shooting, the bureau acknowledged on Friday, an admission that prompted Gov. Rick Scott of Florida to call for the bureau’s director to resign.”

    So, to recap, the FBI had two separate opportunities to prevent the tragedy at Parkland, Florida that took the lives of 17. They failed both times to connect the dots.

    Even more remarkably, Mr. Littwin mentioned only one of those two failures and devoted only one sentence to that one. That’s right, only one sentence devoted to the fact that the FBI could have, but failed to, prevent the deaths of 17 students and teachers. And as astonishing as that omission is Mr. Littwin then completely ignored the New York Times story of a separate FBI failure to prevent the Parkland massacre.
    You can’t make this stuff up.

    So what, you might ask, does Mr. Littwin believe will solve this problem? Outside, of course, of President Trump writing better tweets. Well—-and this should surprise no one—-he doesn’t say.

    Earlier in the week Mr. Littwin wasn’t angry but he was embarrassed and here’s why:

    “At the same time the U.S. Senate is busily debating a way to protect the Dreamers, an effort that will almost certainly fail, America has officially fallen in love with the daughter of Korean immigrants who had emigrated to America with next to nothing in search of a better life.”

    It’s hard to argue with Mr. Littwin on this one because he’s right, it is embarrassing……..for him. In an effort to strengthen his open borders let-em-all-in-who-cares-if-they’re-skilled immigration stance he presents a maudlin and misleading apples and oranges comparison.

    Dreamers are undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Olympic Gold Medalist Chloe Kim was born in the United States and is not, repeat, is not, a Dreamer. Then Mr. Littwin tries to equate Kim’s dream—the Olympics–with “The same kind of dream all those Dreamers are dreaming.”

    And here’s why Mr. Littwin wants to present his false equivalency between Chloe Kim and Dreamers: Kim’s father was unskilled and President Trump wants to limit immigration to skilled workers.

    Mr. Littwin wants readers to believe he champions unskilled workers because maybe, possibly, perhaps, conceivably at some time in the future a unskilled immigrant may parent an Olympic Gold Medal snowboarder.

    November 08, 2016

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Flags of Valor
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation

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