The House has voted on the funding package that will avert another government shutdown, passing 300 to 128. Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 83 to 16 to approve the almost 1,600-page spending bill. This just leaves the president himself to sign off and proceed with the next stage in his efforts.
While interested parties have been predicting that Trump will either agree to the Democrat-constructed deal or go the National Emergency route in order to build the southern border wall, few expected him to do both. Is this a viable method of fulfilling his most vaunted campaign promise, or is it a fig leaf to cover a capitulation? This is the question that will be dividing the nation this weekend.
Media pundits traditionally favoring President Trump have already lambasted his decision, criticizing the content as an open amnesty and a “green light” to all those wanting to cross the border illegally. Fox host, Laura Ingraham tweeted:
“So the president has his hand forced to sign a 1,159 page bill that we KNOW is filled with amnesty, PORK and wiggle room? Total SCAM! @realDonaldTrump wasn’t elected for this.”
And she is far from alone in her indignation.
What remains to be seen is whether Trump can use his executive powers to curtail the flow of illegal aliens by building a wall without being tied up in courts.
The President’s Position
For those who have been long-term supporters of the president, and for those who are detractors, it appears that they have been willfully ignoring what the man’s actual position is on immigration. He has stated it often enough, and even tried to get laws passed that Congress seems to ignore or fight against: President Trump is pro-immigration.
Trump wants more immigration, but he wants it managed, legal, needs-based, and free of crime risk. During his recent El Paso rally, he even announced on stage that he wanted more immigration … this is not a dark secret he is trying to hide from his supporters. He said:
“We proudly welcome those who come lawfully, and support our values in the United States, and that want to strengthen our society and help us with all of the companies moving into the United States …”
“But illegal immigration hurts all Americans, including millions of legal immigrants, by driving down wages, draining public resources, and claiming countless innocent lives.”
This is a pretty clear statement of intent. So where does the disconnect come in? Why do both sides seek to demonize what many would consider an extremely mainstream position?
Posturing for Power
There is a large faction on the pollical left that would rather nothing be achieved in terms of safeguarding citizens (legal or otherwise) if it comes from an opposition party, and this goes double if it comes from Trump. Not being from the political classes, he has upset their tried and tested system of order.
Like the Soviet athletes in the 80s who would take their turn at winning, both sides of the power-hungry mob on the Hill assumed that if they kept their noses clean and followed the party line, then their day would come. With the election of Donald Trump, that path is no longer as straight forward.
Congress has been offered countless opportunities to secure a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, they have been courted with immigration reform that would both remove an illegal underclass and secure legal workers for an ever-expanding economy … yet still they balk.
This is about the Status Quo, keeping it, maintaining it, and protecting it from those who dare try and make changes the voting public actually want. President Trump may have made the biggest mistake or the greatest victory with his actions this week, but he has achieved one thing of benefit for the America people: He has exposed the political elite in the swamp as self-serving demagogues uninterested in serving the country they represent.