President Donald Trump surprised a lot of people on both sides last fall when he announced a six-month timetable for Congress to come up with a plan to legalize the status of illegal aliens granted unconstitutional executive amnesty by Barack Obama, otherwise the protection would be revoked. It was a stark departure from his campaign promise to “immediately” end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals regime, but with the deadline looming Trump is signaling that his generosity is reaching a limit.
This morning, the president tweeted that this is Democrats’ “last chance” if they really want DACA recipients to stay in the country:
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Negotiations on DACA have begun. Republicans want to make a deal and Democrats say they want to make a deal. Wouldn’t it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle. This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2018
The Washington Examiner recaps what the last chance Trump has put on the table looks like:
Trump has repeatedly used Twitter to encourage Democratic lawmakers to work with Republicans.
Trump has asked for $25 billion to go toward border security, a skills-based visa program to replace the diversity lottery system, and an end to “chain migration,” in return for a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants, including the up to 800,000 DACA recipients. But Democrats have balked at some of these demands, and the two parties don’t appear to be close to an agreement.
Trump is taking a big gamble here. As I’ve detailed for TFPP, the White House proposal not only forgets the lesson of past administrations that security never seems to come if it’s not delivered before the amnesty, but it preemptively cedes tremendous ground to the forces of amnesty — a stunning oversight from a supposed master dealmaker who’s supposed to understand that rule number one is to demand more than you actually expect to get, not less — including a doubling of the people to be amnestied and a promise of citizenship.
Citizenship means voting rights — in other words, the entire reason Democrats support amnesty in the first place. As Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz explains, this is an existential threat to the conservative movement and the Republican party:
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While not every state will become as blue as California, the lessons of the Golden State should be a stark warning for what happens with salad-bowl rather than melting-pot immigration. Orange County, California, was once the bread basket of GOP dominance in California. As late as 1988, George H.W. Bush won more than twice as many votes as Democrat Michael Dukakis there. As late as 2004, when the broader state was long gone, George W. Bush won it by 20 points. Republicans narrowly carried it for the next two elections, until they downright lost it by 8 points in 2016.
What happened? In 1980, 12.7 percent of the county was foreign-born. In 2016, an estimated 30 percent of the county was foreign-born, and 45.6 percent of its residents speak a foreign language at home. Orange County, California, will now be blue forever.
Although California is lost forever, Texas and Florida are both independently vital to the GOP’s relevance. Dallas County, Texas, for example, has gone from 5 percent foreign-born in 1980 to 23 percent in 2016. Reagan won the county by 59.2 percent in 1980, while Trump lost it by a whopping 26 points in 2016.
Trump is betting that Democrats will be too uncompromising to take the deal, making him look like the generous, responsible one and them looking like bitter partisans uninterested in solutions. If they follow suit, great. But if they realize that this is a fantastic deal for them, then he may have just set himself up to be the last Republican president.