Democrats are missing a prime opportunity to jam “The Wall” up Donald Trump’s ass.
– We already have part of a wall.
– We already acknowledge that the President’s ‘wall’ will have little-to-no affect on illegal immigration.
– We didn’t build a border wall following a war across that border.
– We already know that the nation has been safe for, well, the length of its existence without a border wall.
– The wall is very little different than any of the other trillions of dollars of pork-barrel1 spending that has defined our governance.
– Democrats control a legislative chamber, thus giving them the ability to present legislation as a bargaining point.
We have established that Democrats have a general advantage in the ‘Government Shutdown’ negotiations, and that they can control the production of legislation to be voted on. We have established that the wall has little impact on our safety or on immigration2. I suspect that the President puts far more value on it than the American people do.
This is a huge opportunity. Democrats should not let meaningless symbolism over a meaningless wall and meaningless spending get in the way of a chance to put the President over a barrel. They have all the leverage right now- no one thinks the wall is vital, thus the Administration’s demands to end the shutdown seem ludicrous. Let’s leverage the shit out of these facts to create meaningful change for immigrants, while also allowing the Federal Government to get back to work.
– Offer $10B for wall-funding. It’s twice as much as Trump is asking for.
– Include a pathway to citizenship for all DACA recipients.
– Include language officially ending child separations at the border, unless there is probable cause for a felony against a parent.
– Include language that guarantees a rapid path to citizenship to anyone who holds a long-standing temporary visa (5+ years).
– Guarantee the continuance of the diversity visa lottery at at least Obama-era levels.
There is nothing here that the ‘average American’ would find contentious. There is nothing here that should shock anyone.
On the other hand, it reaffirms our identity as a nation of immigrants, for immigrants. It reaffirms our commitment to a set of ideals that is fair and inclusive.
It would also allow the President to make a decision: What is more important to his base- ‘The Wall’ or ‘Keeping non-white people out of the country’?
(I suspect it’s the latter.)