Okay, I'll start right off by admitting that you're likely to see a whole lot of mixed metaphors jumbled together in the course of this short blog, starting now.
The problem with opening Pandora's box is that you don't know exactly what's going to pop out. Or, to use Forrest Gump's more recent wisdom: Life [and apparently politics] is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you're going to get ... unless you begin opening the door to illegal alien amnesties, as the president did with the way he's chosen to s-l-o-w-l-y phase out the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and more recently the decades-long grant of "temporary" protected status (TPS) to various nationals, including most significantly and populously, aliens from El Salvador.
Doing it that way probably seemed like a good idea at the time — be humane, give aliens a chance to get their affairs together, prepare for the eventuality of departing, etc. My guess is that the president was counseled to take this approach by such luminaries as White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who is very much a centrist on immigration matters, despite the near dearth of experience or knowledge he actually has in administering America's immigration system. His instincts are human, but his naiveté is great.
The problem with this polar opposite of the "strip the band-aid off quickly" approach is that it presupposes that aliens ever really think they're going to be forced out; it presupposes that aliens' open borders allies in advocacy groups, legal organizations, and even Congress, will sit still waiting for that eventuality to happen. Instead, as anyone with substantive experience realizes, this just gives them time to plan their lawfare and other strategies to defeat these "go away, go home, not today or the next, but sometime in that hazy future" mandates from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its lesser organs on behalf of the president.
Now, compound that open invitation to dispute the end of these programs by all means fair and foul, with a very direct comment from the president, repeated from time to time for good measure by him or other White House figures, that he "expects" Congress to do something to actually eviscerate his "go home" mandate by means of amnesty legislation, and you have all the ingredients needed for where we find ourselves right now: Bring in the ponies!
These are the same one-trick ponies who are always trotted out once the amnesty ball gets rolling. They're decked out a little bit differently each time to distract the public eye, but it's the same old pirouette. They dance in a circle around ever wider amnesty schemes:
- DACA recipients!
- Then an even wider pool of "Dreamers" who include many who weren't eligible even by DACA's liberal standards!
- Then parents of the Dreamers, despite them being the ones who paid smugglers to jeopardize their children's lives in bringing them here illegally in the first place!
- And now, aliens who came illegally and serendipitously benefited from TPS for years and years, and who now (gasp!) are being told to leave since they didn't have the right to be here in the first place.
Who will get added to the accumulation of amnesties piling up in these bills next?
And what do real immigration reformers — the ones who want to see a system of immigration laws that are enforced fairly and uniformly — get in return?
Well, is anyone catching a whiff of the ponies' leavings as they dance this endless circle — one that is redolent of the Gang of Eight's abysmal and duplicitous (and, thank heavens, failed) "omnibus" bill of 2013?
That's what you'll get in the way of real border or interior enforcement, or a curtailment of disastrous chain migration, or an end to the dangerous visa lottery program. Droppings, and a vague and never-to-be-fulfilled "promise" to look into that stuff at some indefinite time in the future.