On DACA, Let’s Make a Deal

Two headlines in today’s news are, I hope, related: “Trump expected to end program for young immigrants,” and, in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, an op-ed by President Trump himself: “We must fix our self-destructive tax code.”

Paul wrote earlier today about Trump’s reported DACA decision, considering it on a stand-alone basis. Everything he wrote is, I think, true. DACA was obviously unconstitutional, and Trump has merely stated (or is expected to state) that his administration will enforce the law. But the leaked preview of Trump’s announcement–intentionally leaked, I assume–has provoked howls of outrage from Republicans as well as a solid phalanx of Democrats. So why not use Congressional support for DACA, or something like it, as a bargaining chip?

As such, DACA strikes me as ideal. If Trump does the right thing and enforces our immigration laws with regard to illegal immigrants (“illegal” being, of course, the key word missing from the Associated Press’s headline), we will hear little in the news for the next three years but sob stories about the hardships imposed on America’s most sterling, albeit unlawful, residents. Better that Congress should make honest green card holders of them, putting its money, so to speak, where its mouth is.

Could President Trump yield on the so-called “Dreamers” in exchange for votes on a robust tax reform program, or other high administration priority? Very possibly, I think, assuming strong leadership by Congressional Republicans. That’s the rub, as the timid Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are anything but tough negotiators. But perhaps Trump can find a way to take the lead in the negotiating process as some other presidents have done. That, I suspect, is what he will have in mind when he makes the anticipated announcement about DACA tomorrow.


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