Democrats Screw over Dreamers
As the old saying goes, three things in life are certain; death, taxes, and Democrats rolling over to rightwing pressure. Spineless and always looking for any and every reason to cave, this past week congressional Democrats did exactly that, as they forfeited any leverage they had on DACA. They voted to throw the 800,000 DACA recipients under the bus, giving them the legislative middle finger. Despite all the huffing and puffing over ‘protecting the Dreamers,’ when the smoke cleared, Democrats voted for a spending bill to re-open the government that made absolutely no mention of DACA and included nothing for the millions of Dreamers currently residing in the country.
Democrats primarily voted for the spending bill due to fear of the political ramifications of keeping the government shut down. Chuck Schumer, speaking on the Senate floor earlier this week, said that while the bill didn’t include everything Republicans wanted or everything Democrats wanted, it included “a great deal of what the American people want.” That was an interesting choice of words considering the fact that 87% of Americans support allowing Dreamers to stay in the country.
What then were Democrats afraid of? The political backlash that they’d be blamed for the shut down? In the same poll, Americans were pretty split 46–48 on whether DACA was worth shutting the government down over. Remember back in 2013 during the last government shut down?
Ted Cruz and a band of Freedom Caucus Republicans led the country over the cliff into a shutdown over funding for Obamacare. At the time, Republicans took the overwhelming majority of the heat for the shutdown and the GOP’s numbers declined. Fast forward one year later and Republicans not only managed to keep control of the House, but they managed to win the Senate back as well.
The Democrats no longer have any leverage on the issue and now their only hope is that the insidious turtle Mitch McConnell decides to cooperate and offer up a clean Dream Act or something of similar nature. In other words, the Democrats basically gave up and decided political expedience was more important than the lives of the 800,000 DACA recipients and the millions of Dreamers in the country. Only a handful of the Democratic caucus in the Senate voted ‘nay’ on the spending bill. Unsurprisingly; Warren, Gillibrand, Booker, and Sanders all voted ‘no,’ all of whom are considering running for President in 2020.
Sadly, this has become business as usual for Democrats. They talk a big game right out the gate and then immediately cave and capitulate to conservatives. To be clear, 87% of Americans support allowing DACA recipients to stay in the country. The Republican Party’s numbers are in the basement and Trump’s approval rating stands at a whopping 40% according to a new Q Poll.
Democrats had leverage on DACA and could have easily survived the shutdown had they decided to grow a spine and fight for an issue that an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with them on. Instead, they chose political expedience and put the lives of millions of Dreamers in the hands of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump.
That’s the best-case scenario. The worst case scenario, in the case of Democrats like Joe Manchin, is that they genuinely don’t care about DACA and the Dreamers and/or actually agree with Trump on the issue. This is why progressives criticize Democrats. We’ve seen this same story play out in different situations time and again. Democrats had zero reason to fold on this issue and instead decided to play politics. Democrats are now complicit in the persecution of and discrimination of Dreamers. Anything that may happen to Dreamers and DACA recipients as a result of no deal on DACA being reached, the Democrats now hold equal responsibility as the Republicans