Reflections on a "Dreamers 2.0" Bill Introduced into the Senate

By Dan Cadman on July 26, 2017

The media report that the Democrats are planning to introduce a bill to grant amnesty to so-called "Dreamers", nearly 800,000 of whom have been registered under the DACA program initiated via executive fiat under the prior administration. (That program, by the way, is the focal point of a lawsuit being pursued by a consortium of states led by Texas, which successfully blocked DACA's successor, DAPA, in the courts).

The problem with DACA, of course, is that since it's only a dubious exercise in presidential power and because it relied on absolutely no statutory authority as undergirding, it can be undone. Thus the wish to embed it in law, even though a prior attempt to pass "Dreamer" legislation failed miserably.

"Stop!" I say to the Democrats. "Don't do it. Your party is already in disarray and shedding governorships and state and local legislative seats nationally like fur from a mangy dog. Wait and let the Republicans wade into the swamp along with you. It'll give you all the groundcover you need."

Sure enough, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) has joined with Sen. Dick Durban (D-Ill.) to introduce a bill into the Senate that would do exactly as the Democrats wish, despite the obvious unpopularity of any amnesty bill with the American public right now given the out-of-control nature of illegal immigration to the United States.

Both senators, parenthetically, were members of the notorious Gang of Eight, which authored the abysmal and deceptive omnibus immigration bill, with its various amnesty provisions, (see here, here, and here) that was passed by the Senate in 2013 but blocked in the House of Representatives. Where immigration is concerned, the good senators look increasingly like one-trick ponies.

But back to the introduction of the latest incarnation of this "Dreamers" bill: Well, why not? The Republicans, who control the majority in both chambers of Congress, have been unable to pass health care reform, tax reform, an infrastructure bill, or even a budget. And they've come nowhere close to enacting important immigration law reforms that would toughen our borders, enhance public safety and security, or moderate the effects of large-scale chain migration that pays scant attention to national needs and interests. So why not do something odd like introduce a bill to legitimize the illegal and unconstitutional acts of the previous Democratic administration? It makes as much sense as anything else they're doing (or not doing) these days.

Call me a jaded cynic, but it seems increasingly to me like congressional Republicans — particularly those in the Senate, which looks like it's in need of an institutional dose of Miralax, given the clogging of House-passed bills that go nowhere there — not only don't know how to lead the troops, but may not even know where the front is.

Topics: DREAM Act