Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Did President Trump Just Outsmart Democrats on Immigration?


Last week, in what will be remembered as one of the shrewdest political moves of his presidency, Donald Trump flipped the script on Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi by revealing their complete indifference towards the lives of DREAMers. President Trump’s reasonable immigration compromise was rejected outright by a Democratic Party so blinded by its hatred to the president that it has taken the lives of undocumented workers hostage — and did so in order to block approximately 200 miles of fencing that many Democrats, including Chuck Schumer, have previously voted for.

I previously encouraged President Trump to put forth a DACA compromise (among other provisions) in exchange for some of his wall funding. President Trump delivered on this by endorsing provisions from the bipartisan “Bridge Act” in exchange for ending the government shutdown. Understated in his doing so was that this amounted to a serious act of political courage from President Trump — he instantly received pushback from hardline immigration hawks on the right.

There is no question that President Trump was aware that proposing this plan would upset some in his base, yet he chose to go forward and offer a compromise that should have brought Democrats to the negotiating table. Instead, they instinctively brushed away the offer. It’s a pity that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi can’t muster anything resembling the political courage it took for President Trump to propose this path forward.

The pettiness displayed by Democrat leaders in ‘resisting’ any movement towards compromise will not go unnoticed. In the Washington Times, supply-side icons Stephen Moore and Arthur Laffer wrote:

It’s the kind of checkmate political maneuver that may guarantee his reelection.

It’s smart because it now puts the onus on Mrs. Pelosi to open the government. It also puts the pressure on Mrs. Pelosi to act on immigration reform. For 25 years Democrats have preferred to politicize the immigration issue — and treat Hispanic voters as political hostages — rather agree to a bipartisan solution to deal with the 10 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States.


[Pelosi] will also now be seen as the obstacle to immigration reform. My Democratic friends on Capitol Hill confirm to me privately that the last thing Mrs. Pelosi wants is for Mr. Trump to steal credit for solving the immigration crisis and making headway with Hispanics. This is why she rejected a previous trial balloon proposal by Mr. Trump to legalize Dreamers.

Many Latino voters will see that she is more interested in political power, rather than taking positive steps to actually help prevent a family member from facing deportation. If Mr. Trump could win 10 percent more of the Hispanic vote, no Democrat can defeat him.

If Democrats continue to ignore President Trump’s middle-of-the-road immigration deal, it will become even more clear that undocumented workers are nothing more than political pawns to them. President Trump has shown he is willing to negotiate real immigration reforms. It’s time for Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to do the same.

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Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Jonathan Decker

Jonathan Decker is the Chief Economic Correspondent for

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