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Trump is in over his head on Dreamers issue

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

Take funding for the wall, which is expected to run as high as $25 billion. Forget Democrats. Republican budget hawks will never sign that check, not for a publicity stunt on the border that won't keep out the desperate, destitute and determined.

Or the administration's war on alleged sanctuary cities, those make-believe municipalities where federal immigration law doesn't exist and illegal immigrants live happily ever after. If you want to visit one of these places, follow the signs for Fantasyland.

Then there's the targeting of chain migration, where immigrants bring in family members. What many people are really worried about is changing demographics. But you don't say so because you don't want to be called racist -- even though you kind of are.

Finally, there's the offensive idea of making America tougher to get into than the Ivy League -- with an elitist point system that would have kept out most of the Italian, Irish and Jewish immigrants who helped build this country. It's absurd. There is all this loose talk about how the United States should only admit immigrants with high education and valuable skills. Yet the people pushing this idea aren't smart enough to understand the value of the skills most immigrants bring to this country -- like ambition, perseverance, optimism, ingenuity or work ethic.

Trump probably thinks that, by asking for a slew of concessions on immigration, he is showing Americans that he's a tough negotiator. But all the president is demonstrating is that -- on this issue -- he is in way over his head.

And that's a big deal.

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Ruben Navarrette's email address is ruben@rubennavarrette.com.His daily podcast, "Navarrette Nation," is available through every podcast app.

(c) 2018, The Washington Post Writers Group


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