Why Trump may le­gal­ize ‘Dream­ers’

The Week (US) - - 12 News - Jonathan Chait


“It would seem bizarre for Don­ald Trump’s sole leg­isla­tive achieve­ment to be the nega­tion of his cen­tral cam­paign theme,” said Jonathan Chait. But “the im­plau­si­ble has be­come sud­denly plau­si­ble”: With Demo­cratic votes, Trump could ac­tu­ally pass leg­is­la­tion pro­tect­ing the “Dream­ers,” the 800,000 im­mi­grants brought to this coun­try il­le­gally as chil­dren. Trump “rode anti-im­mi­grant sen­ti­ment to the pres­i­dency,” but he “cares more about pos­i­tive feed­back and good press” than about any pol­icy po­si­tion. In­deed, he’s re­cently pro­fessed “a love” for the Dream­ers. His re­cent bi­par­ti­san deal with Democrats on the debt ceil­ing got him the pos­i­tive at­ten­tion he craves, and he “will prob­a­bly want to tap the bar for another plea­sure hit.” Be­cause of the cult of per­son­al­ity that is Trump­ism, he could eas­ily sell his base on a com­pro­mise with the Democrats. It would cou­ple Dreamer le­gal­iza­tion with height­ened border se­cu­rity mea­sures—per­haps in­creased drone sur­veil­lance and ad­di­tional fenc­ing—that “Trump can call a ‘wall’ and Democrats can call ‘not a wall.’” Both sides could claim vic­tory, “the clas­sic lu­bri­cant of any po­lit­i­cal ne­go­ti­a­tion.” Thanks to the pe­cu­liar pol­i­tics of the Trump era, le­gal­iz­ing the Dream­ers “is not just a dream.”

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