Trump’s Promised Offensive Against Illegal Immigration Has Become Mostly About Legal Immigration

Trump in Nevada this weekend

President Suggests Elimination Of Due Process For Asylum Seekers…Or “Invaders” As He Characterizes Them


This would be really difficult to make into law, and even then there’s strong legal precedent against it holding up. As University of Texas Law Professor Steve Vladeck points out, the Supreme Court issued an opinion more than 30 years ago stating:

Aliens, even aliens whose presence in this country is unlawful, have long been recognized as ‘persons’ guaranteed due process of law by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”.

But whether it’ll score political points is a different question, and one Trump’s probably more interested in. And as Trump likes to say “who the hell knows?” (This weekend, Turkey’s President Ergodan got sweeping new powers that eliminated most “checks and balances” in that country’s political system. So it’s not entirely unrealistic for someone like Trump to think his wish of just saying this kind of thing and making it happen might someday be fulfilled.)

And we should’ve seen it coming: back in January during his State of the Union Address, the President introduced what he called “4 pillars” that had to be part of any immigration reform package he’d sign. Only the first two of the “pillars” address illegal immigration:

  1. “A path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age.” Interestingly, that number covered not only the 800-million or so people in the DACA program, but an additional 1-million who might’ve qualified but never signed up. Trump explained it by saying he was being “generous”. We still find it somewhat mind-blowing, since Trump’s all about “unfairness” and we don’t agree that people who chose to trust the government, provided the government with information about themselves, and then checked in and complied on a regular basis should all of a sudden be lumped in with everybody who didn’t. But with immigration (as with a lot of stuff) Trump’s policies often argue with themselves.
  2. “The wall.”
  3. Ending the visa lottery.
  4. “Protecting the nuclear family by ending chain migration”. In other words severely limiting people once they’re in the U.S. legally from sponsoring other family members.

The 3rd and the 4th “pillar” involve making illegal perfectly legal forms of immigration, at least for now. Should those windows be slammed shut by the government? Is the fact that people under threat in their own countries can legally apply to the the U.S. for asylum a scam; a loophole that needs to be closed?

So when Trump further Tweets:

No! He’s also got a target on the backs of those people who have been patiently “waiting in line for years”.

And when he Tweets:

No! If Republicans could “easily pass a Bill” they already would’ve. Last week. Even if every single Democrat in Congress voted against it, it would’ve flown through. But that’s not what happened. The latest Republican immigration bill failed–and by a lot. That means a lot of Republicans didn’t support it too.

And a so-called “compromise” bill that was due for a vote was withdrawn, although it could go up for a vote this week. (As we’ve mentioned the “compromise” bill is hardly a compromise: although it sounds bipartisan, it’s a compromise between Republicans and other Republicans.)

And when Trump Tweets:

First of all, we could find no such headline in the Drudge Report. Trump provides no link (and usually Trump’s excellent at providing links).

And there’s one critical distinction, as the Washington Post’s Nick Miroff points out: Obama never employed the tactic of ripping children from their parents as a form of deterrence.