If the Democrats want to play hardball on DACA and other immigration matters, they’re playing with fire — at least, that’s the message coming out of President Donald Trump’s White House.
In a speech given before the GOP congressional retreat at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, Trump told the audience that if the Democrats didn’t pass his four-pillared immigration plan by the 2018 election, he was floating the possibility of trying to pass a much more stringent rewrite in 2019, or perhaps nothing at all.
“We have to get help from either side (to pass a bill in 2018), or we have to elect many more Republicans,” Trump told the GOP legislators, according to Breitbart.
“Really, that is another way of doing it. And based on the (election related) numbers we just saw, we have a real chance of doing that … (immigration) is now an election issue that will go to our benefit, not their benefit.”
Trump’s plan, announced during the State of the Union address, would involve amnesty for 800,000 DACA enrollees plus an additional 1 million illegal immigrants who arrived as children before 2012.
However, the deal would only be approved provided that the border wall was funded, chain migration and the visa lottery were ended, and legal reforms on border enforcement.
“We’re getting very little help from the Democrats, but I hope when I leave this room I get a call from these people saying ‘Let’s go,’” Trump said.
“You know, ’18 is going to be very interesting. But we’ve got to do one or the other: either they’re going to have to come on board — because they talk a good game with DACA, but they don’t produce — … either they come on board or we’re just going to have to really work and we’re going to have to get more people so we can get the kind of numbers that we need to pass in a much easier fashion legislation (in the next Congress).
“And to get it done (in 2018), we’ll all have to make some compromises along the way to get it done this way, Now to get it done the other way (in 2019), if we win more (seats), we don’t have to compromise so much, OK?”
And that could be a possibility. Previously, with the president’s low approval ratings and the Democrats holding a serious lead in theoretical congressional polling, it looked like even a bad Senate map couldn’t stop the opposition party from having a great midterm.
However, a Monmouth poll released Wednesday showed those numbers taking a massive turn toward the GOP in January. President Trump’s approval rating, while still 42 percent, was up 10 points from December (and this was taken before a generally well-received State of the Union).
Meanwhile, 47 percent of voters said they favored voting for a generic congressional Democrat in the poll, compared to 45 percent who said they would vote for a generic congressional Republican.
While not great, that was still within the 3.5 percent margin of error, and it wiped out a 15-point advantage the Democrats had in that category during the December iteration of the poll (51 percent to 36 percent).
Immigration is what propelled Trump to his unlikely victory in the presidential election. If this becomes a one-issue midterm, it could mean that Democrats are left out in the cold, big league.
And, if we’re reading the president’s words right, that means if the Democrats don’t reach a compromise on his immigration plan soon, they could end up with nothing at all.
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