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Another Government Shutdown Showdown In the Works Over DACA

Another Government Shutdown Showdown In the Works Over DACA

Both sides afraid to act on DACA

After clearly stating that as president he had no power to change immigration law, then-president Obama went ahead in 2012 with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  Obama himself referred to DACA as his “action to change the law,” a power vested in the legislature, not the executive.

In 2010, Obama told an audience of amnesty proponents that he’s “not king” and “can’t do these things just by myself.”  In 2011, he explained further, “that he couldn’t “just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. … That’s not how a democracy works.”  And in 2012, he did it anyway.

Then-presidential candidate Trump campaigned on ending DACA, and in September, he announced his decision to end DACA after giving Congress six months to pass it into law.  Passing DACA or some equivalent into law is perfectly within the purview of Congress.

Unsurprisingly, Congress has done nothing, and now it looks like another government shutdown showdown is in the offing.  Both parties are paralyzed and unwilling to act because they fear being blamed no matter what course of action they take.  The result is inaction.

Politico reports:

Concern is growing in both parties that a clash over the fate of Dreamers will trigger a government shutdown this December.

House conservatives have warned Speaker Paul Ryan against lumping a fix for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors into a year-end spending deal. They want him to keep the two issues separate and delay immigration negotiations into 2018 to increase their leverage — which both Ryan and the White House consider reasonable.

But many liberal Democrats have already vowed to withhold votes from the spending bill should it not address Dreamers, putting Democratic leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York in an awkward spot if they don’t go along.

Democrats know Republicans need their votes to fund the government past the current Dec. 8 deadline, and many want Pelosi and Schumer to stand firm against the must-pass bill until leaders save the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

. . . .  For now, both Ryan and Pelosi are falling in line with the more combative wings of their parties.

Ryan told reporters in early November that there was no need to address DACA by year’s end because the program expires in March under President Donald Trump’s orders.

Pelosi vowed at a news conference earlier this month, “We will not leave here without the DREAM Act passing, with a DACA fix,” adding: “We’re not kicking the can down to March.”

But privately, both sides are worried — fearful of either enraging the party’s base or getting punished at the polls for a government shutdown.

Democrat lawmakers are insisting on a bill that does more than enshrine DACA into law; they want the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) resurrected.  To that end, they are rebelling against Democrat leadership who don’t want a government shutdown that will be pinned, in large part, on them given that Trump tossed it back to Congress where it belongs.

The DREAM Act, in various incarnations, has been bouncing around Congress since 2001 when Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) first introduced it in the Senate.  In 2010, when Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress, they failed to pass the bill; this failure ultimately led to Obama’s unconstitutional DACA “fix.”

Politico continues:

“We want a clean DREAM Act,” said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), referring to legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for the young adults. “That is what it’s going to take for me and others to sign on.”

Ryan (R-Wis.), Pelosi, Schumerand Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are already discussing a short-term government-funding extension to buy themselves more time to negotiate, likely culminating in a Christmastime collision.

For their part, Congressional Republicans know that DACA is a bone of contention with the base and understand that ending DACA was a key promise of President Trump’s campaign.  Meanwhile, some in the GOP do want to see a legislative DACA fix this year.

Some senior GOP sources believe they may have to address DACA before 2018 begins; if the government closes even in part because of Democrats, Republicans fear they’ll get the blame from voters since they control Washington.

GOP leadership is also getting an earful from centrist Republicans who want to strike a deal now. “I want to see it done by the end of the year,” said Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a moderate Republican of Cuban descent who’s trying to bring both sides together. “We don’t want this to spill into next year. No. 1, that means more drama here. It means a lot of worried young people and a lot of anxiety.”

The right is trying to ensure Ryan and McConnell don’t make any immigration deals. They’ve taken their case to the White House and convinced Trump, at least momentarily, that government funding and DACA should be negotiated separately.

“We do not want DACA on the [spending] bill,” said House Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

. . . . Moderate Republicans, who rarely go against GOP leaders, recently held a news conference calling for Ryan to act on DACA by the end of 2017. Centrists in the Tuesday Group huddled last week with the New Democrat Coalition and agreed to find a bipartisan solution.

Ultimately, the DREAM Act is dead-in-the-water unless Democrats take back the House next year.  DACA’s immediate future in Congress seems equally uncertain, largely because of efforts to tie it to a budget bill, thus the concerns about a government shutdown.

The question Congressional Republicans should be asking themselves (and the president) is “will President Trump sign into law a DACA bill that lands on his desk?”.


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Anybody else see the makings of a DC Two-Step?

1) A limited amnesty for DACA, restricted only to children brought into the country before the age of X and before the date of xx/yy/zz, and allowing some sort of limited green card where they can stay in the US, but can’t vote, hold office, collect welfare, or bring in any relatives.

2) The moment the Dems get the House/Senate/Presidency back, all the restrictions get tossed. Welcome to all, and Democrat voting cards to sign.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to georgfelis. | November 22, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    And the GOPe will brag about it as a victory and claim it as a reason that we should re-elect them and let them continue screwing us over.

    I will give them a credit for a clean sweep for consistently breaking every promise to their voters.

    They have never fought the Democrats with any consistency.

IIRC, DACA is a POTUS creation under Obama.

T-rump promised to end it “immediately”, which was completely under his power to do.

He didn’t. He still hasn’t.

What he HAS done is continue it to this day, with a promise to continue it into the future.

He’s always been for amnesty. But he’s lied to the dupes.

    I can’t believe that you have such a limited grasp of POLITICS.

    One of Trump’s campaign promises was that he would end DACA. He has done this, to the extent of not issuing any more DACA waivers. As all such waivers will expire by 2019, this effectively ends the program. But, by not revoking the existing waivers, the administration does two things. The first is that honoring the existing waivers, whether unconstitutional or not, presents the public appearance of being fair to the DACA waiver recipients while reducing the changes of extended litigation where DACA recipients would likely be able to stay in the US until the cases were all settled at the SCOTUS level. Second, it noe places the onus for continuing the program back on the Congress, where it belongs. And, Congress will not pass anything legitimizing DACA, or any other immigration bills before the midterms. The Congress Critters know that for the majority of them, changing the immigration laws would likely see them out of a job.

    Trump is keeping his promises, to the extent that he can without Congressional support and against the liberal/Progressive inertia existing in the federal bureaucracy. But, as I have pointed out before, he is operating on HIS timetable and priorities, not on yours.

      The first is that honoring the existing waivers, whether unconstitutional or not, presents the public appearance of being fair to the DACA waiver recipients….

      The problem with this approach is that President Trump has a messaging problem. In that, it’s not being messaged. At all. NO ONE is out there shouting on the rooftops that President Trump is being “fair” by not having revoked the DACA waivers immediately, and thus he is being bashed by BOTH sides

      * the Conservatives are bashing him for not immediately ending the program and using the data to deport every single individual that applied for it;

      * the Progressives are bashing him for not granting any more waivers and allowing the program to self-terminate from no more renewals or applications being granted.

        Trump has no messaging problem. The PTB are spinning the situation to serve their own ends. Trump could stand on the roof of the WH and yell that he has stopped the DACA program but allowed the existing waivers to stand, until they expire, in order to be fair to those who trusted his predecessor and to reduce the potential for extended litigation. But, it would do no good. All the Establishment supporters would simply scream that he was lying, as they do now.

        The Liberal Establishment is part of the greater Establishment and they are dedicated to destroying Trump and his agenda. The Conservative Establishment is also part of the greater Establishment and they want to destroy Trump as well. It is telling that the one member of Congress who one would expect to back Trump to the hilt, seeing as how Trump ran on that Congressman’s planned platform, is Ted Crus. Yet, Ted is strangely silent on these topics.

        There are three main factions in this country at the moment. Yu have the Establishment and its supporters. You have the groups hell-bent on destroying this country by any means necessary. And then you have the Trump supporters who only want to be left alone to earn an honest living and raise their kids in peace. And, only one of those groups supports Trump in any way.

          Mac, I love your posts, but wow, this is out there. Trump wants DACA, and frankly, he wants serious immigration reform that includes a near-blanket amnesty. We knew this before he won the nom, and we certainly knew it after he won it. Trump wants America to be a country, with borders and decent trade agreements, but he also thinks (well, states, I doubt he believes it) that no American would want to be a waiter or waitress. He’s said this a lot, and his loathing of “mean” illegal immigration enforcement has been on the record for decades, up to and including during his presidential campaign.

          Trump is not one of you, and that is the mistake the entire Trump-linked movement has made. Obama wasn’t ever going to endorse, much less march with (as he promised) union leaders. He knew that if he said that he’d win their vote, and that it didn’t matter whether or not he followed through (he did not).

          Unlike Obama, Trump is not ideological. At all. He has no innate distrust of government, having used it and financed it (on the Democrat side) for decades. He would gleefully sign a DACA bill, but he won’t get the chance.

          The biggest hurdle Trump faces right now is his base’s belief that he has an ideological core. He does not, and if he did, you and me and the likes of us would be the least, the last of his considerations. He’s a pragmatist, a businessman, and I do believe him to be, a patriot. What he is not, however, is a thoughtful man, a man anchored to Constitutional principle, or a man who is averse to a DACA bill.

          Better than Hillary? By MILES. Someone able or even willing to drain the swamp? Not on your life. The swamp to him is business as usual; how to wrangle the upper hand, how to best manipulate circumstance and people, how to play puppet master to a divided GOP. He’s given up on the latter and will be just as happy to work with the new Dem House in January 2019.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | November 23, 2017 at 11:44 am

          No fuzzy, you are mistaken. Trump is not one of YOU, an ideologue.

          Trump may favor increased immigration, many people do. He may favor allowing the DACA recipients to remain in the country. Again, many people also want to see this. What Trump has done is what WE want a President to do, strictly adhere to the law.

          Trump is not an ideologue and never was. And, he did not run as one. He ran on a very specific agenda. And, he has followed that agenda, scrupulosity, where the law and politics have allowed him. Ideology is fine, if you still get the job done. But conservative ideologues have not gotten the job done. But, that is what Trump is doing.

          When the Establishment was firmly in control of national politics, all that was left for those opposed to the Establishment was ideology. Though the conservatives made no difference and got nothing done, they could use the “ideology” to make the case that they were not part of the problem. That was kind of useless, but made them feel superior. Then along came Trump, the pragmatist. He was elected by other pragmatists. And, he has proven to be wildly successful. He has delivered on nearly all of his promises, except where he requires the support of the Republican Congress and the federal bureaucracy, both of which are actively working to spike the realization of the goals of his agenda. This is not only highly embarrassing to ideologues, but is disastrous for most conservative groups and organizations which rely upon identifying themselves as being opposed to those who hold power in DC. Trump is accomplishing their stated goals. If he is successful, it will make these organizations superfluous.

          Noe, about national unions. Unionism had a place in the early 20th Century. However, today it is nothing more than a parasitic apparatus which uses politic clout to make money. The Republicans, notably “conservative” Republicans, have been actively attacking national unions for the last decade, or more. Scott Walker being a prime example. What Trump did with the Unions was set them up. Trump’s goal was to put people back to work. The unions are now in a position that any call to increase wages, until that is accomplished, makes them look like the villains. This has proven correct in two instances where unions have demanded higher wages since the Trump inauguration. In both cases, the unions backed off.

          Trump may not share YOUR ideology or prioritize his agenda to YOUR desires, but he is getting the job done. When he stops gettin’ er done, then we can complain about him.

          Come on and join the anti-Establishment forces, not just the anti-liberal Democrat forces. WE are having a ball.

I’m surprised that Planned Parenthood funding isn’t the “shutdown” issue this time.

Let the Democrats bring legislation to the floor…you know…like they are SUPPOSED TO! Let Democrats OWN this!

Bucky Barkingham | November 22, 2017 at 11:31 am

The Roll-Over Party will cave on the issue. The LibDems have them conditioned to do son. The ROP is scarred spit-less by the threat of a gummint shutdown. Then Granny McConnell and Boehner-lite Ryan will do their “Nothing Can Be Done” song and dance routine.

Shut it down. The entire matter is a fraud. If a person can prove they were in America continuously before the age of 6 by school records, then that person can apply for a visa. But no ladder. That person should have no right to sponsor another immigrant.

    Aarradin in reply to puhiawa. | November 23, 2017 at 12:58 am

    Deport them along with their parents.

    They are here illegally.

    If they want to apply to come here legally, they already have a path to citizenship:

    1) Go back to your home country

    2) Apply to come here legally, like everyone else

“Both sides afraid to act.”
Yet only one side has the power to act, but is too scared to use it. Which is odd, considering how they were elected to act.

“Unsurprisingly, Congress has done nothing, and now it looks like another government shutdown showdown is in the offing.”

Government shutdown? Goody! Promise?? Please?!

A shutdown? Promise? Can they make it permanent for a few Departments/Agencies?

Never seen such innate wimps as the GOPe.

Is there a single leader in the bunch?

Trump also hinted he wanted to allow illegal alien children to stay. I hated it. But he was the only one even suggesting action on illegal aliens at all, so I voted for him.

But without vetting being actually DONE, it’s 99% poison.
Welcome to “After America.”

    Precisely. Trump does want them to stay, and the WH specifically said they were bouncing it back to Congress because the executive doesn’t have the authority to continue it. That’s why he tweeted that Dreamers should relax and not worry about deportation. He’d sign a (reasonable and narrow) DACA bill in a New York minute, and everyone on the hill knows this and also knows that he won’t lose support from the base if he did so. Neither the Dems nor the GOP want to give him a “win.”

      You, like most of the people who are invested ni the political status quo miss Trump’s point. He is not against immigration. He is only against unchecked illegal immigration.

      There are estimated to be somewhere between 11 and 20 million illegal immigrants in the US. Due to Trump’s enforcement of immigration laws, that number is probably closer to 11 million at the moment. These people are here illegally and are largely unknown to the government. There are only about 700,000 DACA waiver holders. They are known to the government. Most can be easily found. And, if they became citizens tomorrow, it would not change the status quo in any significant way. It is up to the Congress to decide if those people are to be granted a legal change in immigration status and allowed to stay, not Donald Trump.

      But, the majority of American voters do not want any change in the immigration laws. It has been that way for the last thirty years. And, the Congress Critters know this. A majority of them would stand a very good chance of being voted out of office if they passed any bill changing the immigration laws, to make them less strict or to grant any group of people here illegally amnesty to any degree. So, there will be NO legislation passed to legalize the DACA recipeints before the 2018 midterms. Sorry. This is all about the Congress protecting their phony baloney jobs.

        You’re so funny, Mac! Where on earth did you get the idea that I support the political status quo? That’s a rhetorical question since there is no basis for it but you’re entitled to your opinion.

        What’s interesting about immigration reform is that the entire issue has been purposefully skewed by progressives on both sides of the aisle. Most Americans do support changes to our immigration laws, but immigration reform has been lumped in with and is even used interchangeably with amnesty. And that’s where things get muddied, intentionally so.

        Americans don’t want people who will drain our system for benefits and skew our job market flooding across our borders illegally, but we also don’t want the bizarre nightmare that legal immigration currently is. It makes no sense for a legal immigrant to have to jump through hoops for a decade or more while truckloads of uneducated, unskilled people flood across our border illegally.

        The left and progressive Republicans have intentionally tied illegal immigration in the form of amnesty and “paths to citizenship,” etc. to any talk of reforming our legal immigration system. Changes to which could slow the flood of illegals. If we could reform legal immigration and let Trump fulfill his wall and illegal immigrant promises, we’d be in a very good place. I, however, am not the problem. 😛

Paul In Sweden | November 22, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Close the govt. down! It won’t effect DHS, ICE and DOJ from rounding up the DACA who are in violation of US law if AG Sessions follows through with what he has been saying. Let congress rot on Capital Hill in budget limbo as leaks of the whitewashes of sexual assault and sexual harassment multiply and are tried in the alternative media.

Any Amnesty passed will be a death nail for any GOPe in the upcoming primaries.

Attorney General Sessions Delivers Remarks at the Federalist Society 2017 National Lawyers Convention
Washington, DC

~ Friday, November 17, 2017

Similarly, no Cabinet Secretary has the power to wipe entire sections of immigration law off the books. But that’s what the previous administration did with its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy. Under DACA—without the consent of Congress—individuals here illegally who met certain criteria were granted lawful presence in the United States, work authorization, and the right to participate in Social Security. No matter what one thinks about immigration policy, it cannot be reasonably disputed that DACA exceeded law.

Once again, the Department advised and the administration to put an end to it—and it is being ended.

This is great. Beautiful. Yuge.

They can’t play the shutdown game with impunity anymore. They could with Obama; he went out of his way to make the most trivial and ineffective shutdown as obvious and painful as possible. All just show, no substance. But they can’t count on Trump to do that. He might axe entire departments, claiming that the Congressional shutdown forced it, and then never reconstitute them after the impasse ends. Government might actually shrink permanently in both size and power—and Congress will have nothing to blame but itself. The Dems will avoid that possibility like death, and the Repubs will play along. They won’t even be able to blame Trump for the shutdown, because they don’t control the dreaded Tweets.

Hey, when I call this the

Best. Election. Ever.

… I’m not doing it just to practice my typing.

I could go along with amnesty for the dreamers is we have comprehensive immigration reform also. This would erect a legal wall to exclude illegals from our society.

Make being an illegal and aiding illegals a felony.

    tom_swift in reply to ConradCA. | November 23, 2017 at 3:38 am

    “Comprehensive immigration reform” is liberal code for “blanket amnesty”.

    They always put in “comprehensive” when they want a ginormous porkulus of a bill, big enough to hide all the stuff we don’t want until after it’s passed. “Comprehensive” is how something useful—say, a sensible provision about insurance and “preexisting conditions”—turns into a monster, like ObamaCare.

    It’s actually a good “tell”—when someone insists that we need a “comprehensive” anything, it means they’re trying to sneak something evil past us.

Trump needs to step up and put an end to this DACA nonsense as he promised to do “on day 1”.

If I were an R POTUS, I would absolutely LOVE a “government shutdown”.

I’d use it to defend, to the tune of about $1 Trillion, all of the Lefty organizations that live off of our tax dollars.