Posted: 07/12/15 08:39
by Dave Mindeman
Republicans are digging a deep hole on immigration and as usual they are trying to push their own inaction on the issue onto Democrats in some kind of desperate attempt to move the spotlight away from them.
The latest diversion is sanctuary cities. Cities that do not move against illegal immigration unless some other law enforcement issue comes into play. The San Francisco tragedy (a woman murdered by an illegal immigrant who had been deported several times) has become Donald Trump's latest exploitation on the immigration issue.
Sanctuary cities are regarded as a necessary status for law enforcement in many largely hispanic communities. If undocumented residents are not routinely targeted via routine police actions, the police can get the cooperation of the community on other crime related matters. Undocumented residents are still investigated for illegal activity and deported when convicted of crimes. But without the sanctuary status, the police get silence and no cooperation.
However, let's review how we got here. In 2013, the US Senate passed a bipartisan version of a decent immigration bill that addressed the majority of issues that are such hot potatoes right now. That bill has since sat in the US House awaiting action; getting none. This bill would have eliminated the need for sanctuary cities. And it would have addressed the problem of undocumented immigrants by giving them a path to citizenship.
But the House has refused to act... and immigration thrives as the most divisive issue in America.
Even now, Republicans could end this debate by taking up the immigration bill and fixing the problem. But the issue has gotten out of control. Facts are lost. And action is impossible.
Now, it seems, we want to build an impenetrable fence when the net border crossings is actually approaching zero. The Mexican economy has improved so much that many families are moving back.
Donald Trump convinces his vocal followers that Mexico is exploiting us. That they are dumping their undesirables across our borders. That the US is getting duped in trade agreements.
All of this is made up by a man who has never had a handle on the truth and does business by saying what people want to hear.
But there is also a willing and receptive group that want to hear this rhetoric. They are also willing to act on it. Trump has found the way to stir the pot.
And if facts are not deployed....if the rhetoric continues to heat up...and if the Republican Party as a whole is not strong enough to meet this anger head on, then the battle lines of division may move beyond the point of no return.
Donald Trump may be delighted at the attention and probably doesn't care where it leads....but that only proves that Trump doesn't really care about this country and if the Republican Party is too cowardly to put a stop to it, then they don't care about this country either.