Once again, there is an uproar among some Trump supporters. DACA, DACA, DACA is all they talk about. They post #NoAmnesty at the end of their long posts to Trump about how "he better not". Most famously, internet sensation Dennis Michael Lynch got an online "lynching" from his fans as he penned his own "I'm mad at Trump" letter over the president's mention of DACA in talks with the Democrats over their recent shut down of the government over the DACA program.
DML and others in this latest Trump tizzy are unfortunately merely suffering from a lack of art education. Namely, the art of the deal. Trump is deep into negotiations with Congress and in particular the Democrats, he's got all of them right where he wants them. Trump is just about to win the entire "deal", and these nervous Nellies are in panic mode over the tactics Trump is using to win.
Now as anyone who has lived by the "deal" knows, sometimes you might allow the other side to put things "on the negotiating table" that you do not want and have no intention of giving. In sales, you might discuss additional bonuses to increase the perceived value/price, only to take them off to provide perceived "savings" while closing the deal. You also might let a customer ask for an unreasonable request, only to use it as an opportunity to provide a reasonable solution.
Sadly, not everyone has had the chance to know the thrill of the art of deal making. Not everyone understands what Trump is doing when it comes to DACA. But for those who know the deal, Trump is right on point. So let's take it step by step and see if we can't bring some art into our fellow Trump supporters lives and calm their nerves a bit as Trump prepares to close the biggest deal in politics today.
We should first start with asking why is DACA the point of contention in the first place? How did it get to be the central talking point in the huge issue of immigration reform?
Short answer: The democrats are desperate.
The Democrats are stuck in a web of their own making. By spending the last year insisting they will only "resist" the president, they have shown everyone their hand. They are the party of NO and Never Trump.
As such they picked as their main line in the sand the DACA program. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy was created by Obama administrative order in 2012 that allowed certain illegal immigrants who were brought here as children to be given a renewable 2 year deferment of deportation and a work permit. This is distinct from the Dreamers, which refers to the Dream Act, a yet unpassed piece of legislation that seeks to create a path to permanent residency for illegal minors that meet certain requirements such as college or military service. DACA was Obama's fix to the unpassible Dream Act.
The Democrats felt they could control the sympathy narrative with DACA. They could accuse Trump of racism for "ending" the program and rejecting the "poor innocent children". They could link the issue to spending appropriation, requiring a 60 vote margin to pass, which then requires bipartisan Senate support which the Democrats can withhold, thus shutting down the government to "save the children".
Except it backfired. Trump called their bluff. He offered to negotiate over DACA in exchange for passing his platform on immigration: the Wall, ending chain migration, merit based system put in place, reforming visa programs, etc. When the Democrats refused to even talk with Trump under those conditions and then threatened to shut down the government, he let them.
Despite the Democrat efforts to blame Trump, main stream media including CNN placed blame for the government shutdown on the Democrats. The DACA recipients themselves protested on Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer's lawn for his unwillingness to negotiate when Trump offered to and caving into pressure to reopen the government. Trump has won the first round of negotiations handily, while putting the Democrats in an even weaker position of negotiation then when they started.
Trump's Poker Face
If you've ever watched a professional poker player go "all in", you know the feeling of tension this move creates in the audience. Does he have the cards? Will the other players call? How can he have the guts to risk all that money on a single card flip? Then the cards are flipped, the "all in" guy wins, he is now in the high chip position, and we all see that his move wasn't reckless at all, but rather highly calculated for winning.
Trump's mastery of the DACA "negotiations" has been equally calculated. He knew the Democrats would go all in on DACA, but he also knew they would in no way negotiate with him, Trump, even if he offered.
The offer itself was the gamble. Knowing Trump's base and it's trigger sensitivity to anything they think even smells like amnesty, many of his followers in the poker watching crowd clucked at his calling the Democrat's all in bet. "How dare he" bet so much, how dare he even offer to play with DACA. Trump's brilliant poker move to call the Democrat's DACA bet was a little frightening to a base who felt as betrayed as a wife who just saw her husband bet his wedding ring.
To a few jilted Trumpers, they may never forgive Trump for even risking DACA in the "game". The fact that Trump won the hand, and is now in position to win the next one too is irrelevant to a few hurt feelings over Trump's expert gamesmanship. Perhaps folks like DML will feel better after they see what our Trump has just won for us.
To the winner go the spoils...
Trump's winning hand has left the Democrats with little political capital to bet with. Another shutdown would be deemed even worse by the electorate, and Trump has already agreed to negotiate on DACA, so the Dems would have no argument for a shutdown other than the fact they want open borders. The President has cornered his opponent nicely in a lose/lose situation, leaving them without a card to play. If they don't come to the table they will lose all of DACA. If they do come to the table, they will lose their #resist base, who will see any negotiation with Trump as betrayal. Their ploy for new amnestied voters may lose them more votes than it gains.
The GOP will be able to lure a few Dems in Trump won "blue" states to support a new immigration bill that will fund the building of the wall, end chain migration, set up merit based immigration, reform visa programs, and yes, deal with the situation of the millions of DACA recipients currently in legal limbo.
Much ado about DACA
The #NoAmnesty crowd has been in a media driven panic about DACA. They fear a Reagan-esque mistake of giving amnesty for nothing in return but unfulfilled promises, and have equated any talk of DACA with Reagan style dreaded amnesty.
Most of these same folks call Reagan their favorite president, suggesting that the amnesty "mistake" wasn't ultimately that damaging. Still, their threats to "dump Trump" as the Left loves to say seem sincere. If Trump gives amnesty to illegals, they say, then they are no longer for Trump.
So what exactly is amnesty? Is it citizenship? In 5 years, or 10, or 15? Is it residency, as the DREAM Act seeks, without citizenship? Is it a temporary visa, or is it a green card? Does it have work or school requirements? Or demand recipients be of "good moral character"?
Most of the crowd screaming #NoAmnesty will actually not be happy with anything other than immediate deportation of all of the DACA recipients. One is compelled to wonder if they even would allow these DACA "kids" to reapply for legal citizenship once they return to their country of origin.
While a deportation purge of "Dreamers" sounds fun for immigration purists, the practical reality of that happening is much more slim. ICE has just begun the process of deporting convicts and individuals with long criminal records. They have barely begun the process of enforcing legal status in our labor laws. Any mass deportation would lead to a legal nightmare that would end up with the same result: the Dreamers would still be in this country in limbo, and the Democrats would retain the "poor children" mantra for the 2018 elections.
What Trump has done by including the DACA recipients in the negotiations is actually prevent amnesty, not grant it. None of the DACA participants will be "granted" citizenship or legal residency. Even Trump's preliminary "offer" to democrats will have "dreamers" earning their legal status through work, military service, college studies, and living a clean, law abiding life.
Time restrictions, age restrictions, and program compliance will all shrink and contain the DACA voting block the Democrats crave. The end to chain migration will rob the Dems of their dreamed of voters of the future. The physical wall, increased security and visa reform will finally prevent new cohorts of illegals getting into the country to create this problem that leads to amnesty in the first place. Merit based immigration will bring smarter and less controllable voters to our shores. And any future Dreamers will have no DACA, no deferred action on their deportation, because by including DACA in his immigration reform, Trump both defines the group and the laws regarding them.
The Democrats "trump" card will have been Trumped, and President Trump will have lived up to yet another campaign promise to "end DACA" once and for all, to secure the border, and build the wall. With the current group of DACA "dreamers" included in the "deal" on immigration reform, DACA as a democrat political weapon will be gone forever, and the only leverage the Democrats have in Congress will be eliminated. Trump will have won what even Reagan himself could not: true immigration reform and border security.
It's all in the art of the deal, my friends. Now all we have to do is figure out how to get Mexico to pay for that wall.....