The debate on immigration started with the “dreamers” and “illegals.” But as it began to look like Republicans and Democrats reached a very conservative deal, Trump blew the deal up and said he also wanted restrictions on legal immigration from “shithole” countries that happen to have a lot of black and brown people.
Suddenly we went from no “illegal immigrants” to “no immigrants,” but since Trump used foul mouthed language to make that point, people focused more on the curse word than the message. Trump is now demanding that we put immigration law back to the 1950s, where only white people could get in. That changed in 1965, during the civil rights era, when immigration rules became more race neutral.
The Democrats for their part are in chaos. They don’t know what their own position is. Hell, I don’t know what their position is on immigration. All we know is they want to save the “Dreamers” (people who were brought here illegally when they were young children and who only know the US and no other country as home). The Democrats drew themselves into a box by saying they’d shut down the government if they did not get a Dreamer deal. Hard to make a bargain when you take an extreme position up front.
The Democrats need a unified message on what they stand for when it comes to immigration, and they need to make sure every American knows what they stand for on the issue. The 2018 elections are going to simply be whether people like Republicans or not, and the Democrats just need to present an alternative. It’s crazy that so far they can’t even do that.