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President Donald Trump faces a defining moment as he considers what to do about the DACA mess and the wall along the southern border that was the central promise of his campaign. Will the president make good on his repeated vows to establish a pro-citizen, pro-worker immigration policy, including a wall? Or will he accept the same old "amnesty now, enforcement later" bargain that has been on the table for years?

Trump supporters like me are understandably nervous. To be clear, we are not upset about the president's willingness to find a deal that would allow the "dreamers" who were brought to this country as children to remain here legally. We support the president's interest in finding a legislative solution to replace the unconstitutional executive action that President Barack Obama imposed with his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

What we cannot support is a DACA deal that deals with the dreamers alone without paying for the wall and making other efforts to enforce and strengthen immigration laws. Accepting a dreamers-only deal would enrage and alienate the president's base.

The bill proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte is a good place to start. It includes all the elements that are essential for both Republicans and Democrats. The basics are this: DACA recipients will receive immunity for prior immigration violations and a renewable non-immigrant visa that will allow them legally to live, work and attend school in this country. This is a big improvement over the current arrangement, which can be changed by unilateral executive action.

In exchange, Democrats will agree to full funding of the border wall, an end to chain migration, re-allocation of diversity lottery visas to the H-1B program, and implementation of the E-Verify system for employers.

Note that this measure does not address other big issues such as how to deal with the other 10 million to 12 million illegal immigrants estimated to reside in the United States or how to reform our legal immigration system. But it would represent a positive first step.

The Goodlatte bill is a fair representation of what the president promised and what his supporters expect. It's also good policy in that it fixes the current problem and helps ensure that another generation of minors is not brought to the country illegally and placed in the same jeopardy.

If the president were to break faith with his voters on this signature issue, it would be more consequential than when President George H.W. Bush infamously renounced his "Read my lips: no new taxes" pledge in the 1990s. It would strike at one of the basic tenets of Trump's presidency and set the stage for a low-energy election for Republicans, leading to a loss of the House, perhaps a loss of the Senate and everything that portends. And Trump would have no one to blame but himself.

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Christopher Buskirk is editor and publisher of the website American Greatness.

Editorial on 01/22/2018

Print Headline: Mr. Trump, don't abandon base

Comments

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  • hah406
    January 22, 2018 at 7:59 a.m.

    The Goodlatte bill isn't bad except for he wants the visa to be non-immigrant. Why? They have lived here their entire lives, since childhood. This is their home country. Why not a path to citizenship, other than GOP partisan fear.

  • 23cal
    January 22, 2018 at 8:57 a.m.

    " It includes all the elements that are essential for both Republicans and Democrats. "
    Let me see....the Donald gives back what he just took away, and gets everything he wants. What a deal. The right gets 4 big things, the left gets one little thing that was taken away.
    *
    It seems Mr. Goodlatte and others have chosen to ignore that only the extremist base wants the overwhelmingly expensive and ineffective wall, and that most of the nation is against it. Trump is supposed to represent more than the extremist base. I suspect Mr. Goodlatte doesn't know that.
    *
    Nearly nine in 10 Americans (87 percent) favor allowing young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the U.S. – a policy known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This is a view that spans partisan lines.
    *
    Most Americans continue to oppose building a border wall. This and the above information is based on an SSRS poll for CBS news January 13-16, 2018. ht tp s://w ww.cbsnews.co m/news/most-americans-support-daca-but-oppose-border-wall-cbs-news-poll/
    *
    About "We support the president's interest in finding a legislative solution to replace the unconstitutional executive action that President Barack Obama imposed with his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program." We DON'T support throwing them under the bus arbitrarily because congress and the president are inept and the conservatives have taken them hostage as negotiating chips which they are perfectly willing to lose because their extremist base will cheer if that happens.
    *
    I note "Christopher Buskirk is editor and publisher of the website American Greatness." Virtually any time a website has liberty, freedom, American, or some such, you can bet your sweet bippy it is nestling in the farthest right fringe crazy swamp. This article illustrates that principle.

  • WhododueDiligence
    January 22, 2018 at 9:34 a.m.

    "Virtually any time a website has liberty, freedom, American, or some such, you can bet your sweet bippy it is nestling in the farthest right fringe crazy swamp."
    *
    Yes, and they all complain their liberty, freedom, and American-ism is under conspiratorial attack. Christopher Buskirk reveals he's in the right fringe crazy swamp when he declares DACA unconstitutional, as if he's sitting on a pedestal perched upon some fringe swamp lily pad deciding what's constitutional and what's not. Fact checkers have found that no court has ever ruled DACA unconstitutional, but the fringe crazies continue to insist it is.

  • Slak
    January 22, 2018 at 10:58 a.m.

    Nice to know the proglibs will admit they think American liberty and freedom are from crazy town. Socialist bastards.

  • 23cal
    January 22, 2018 at 11:17 a.m.

    As usual, Slak wallows in reading comprehension difficulties or purposely presents a straw man argument. No one said, as he claimed "they think American liberty and freedom are from crazy town." What was said was that the ones who typically hijack those terms for their website name are from the far right reaches of crazy town. There is a difference between the two, I'm pretty sure Slak is smart enough to figure that out, which means he is dishonest enough to purposely misrepresent it.
    I don't think honest people without reading comprehension handicaps will have a problem with it unless their ideology requires it.

  • 3WorldState1
    January 22, 2018 at 11:44 a.m.

    It's what Slak does.
    WSJ reporting that Dems gave 20 billion for the wall but Repubs turned the deal down. But why not 30 Billion or 100 Billion? Why are republicans so weak on the border? Dems should just come out with a 100 BILLION dollar wall bill and say the Repubs are pansies on the wall because they only want 20 B. That's basically what this whole deal is about anyway. BO was the greatest president in the history of deporting immigrants.

  • Slak
    January 22, 2018 at 11:48 a.m.

    LOL
    Socialist Dog Whistles.
    American Liberty. "Woof, woof."

  • Slak
    January 22, 2018 at 11:49 a.m.

    BO was a stooge for his Iranian handler, Valarie "Spymaster" Jarrett.

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