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Dreamers wake up to reality that Democrats stand for nothing

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

That's not called complicity. It's called democracy.

If we play that game, I could submit that Republicans are to blame for murders committed by illegal immigrants because many GOP lawmakers accept campaign contributions from individuals and companies that put out the "Help Wanted" signs that lure illegal immigrants to this country in the first place. At that suggestion, conservatives would yell "foul."

But boy, was the ad effective. Democrats seem to have quickly decided they wanted no part of any suggestion that they condoned or contributed to murders committed by illegal immigrants. So they caved. And the shutdown was over.

The poster boy for both the shutdown and the cave-in was Schumer, who is a hot mess on the immigration issue.

One minute, he's vowing to protect recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from being deported when the program expires in March by giving them legal status.

The next minute, Schumer is trying to seem reasonable to mainstream voters by telling reporters that he agreed to the funding that Trump asked for to build his "big beautiful wall" on the U.S.-Mexico border; while the senator wouldn't reveal the actual figure, two Republican senators said Trump and Schumer considered a $25 billion package.

The minute after that, Schumer gives in and walks away with nothing -- except a promise by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate will address DACA down the line.

A promise, eh? Former President Obama promised to prioritize comprehensive immigration reform. How did that turn out?

And then, after Schumer was hammered by progressives and immigrant rights groups for folding under pressure, he makes an abrupt U-turn and insists that the funding for the wall is off the table. He may have just sunk the chances for DACA relief.

All this back-and-forth tells you everything you need to know about where Democrats like Schumer really stand on the immigration debate -- as opposed to where they want various groups to think they stand.

They stand on the defensive. They stand with their own interests. They stand in fear of being perceived as weak on border security. They stand several steps behind the Dreamers, as the followers have become the leaders. They stand conflicted, trying to please everyone and anger no one. And so they stand on the periphery of this national dialogue, somewhere between incompetence and irrelevance.

Given that, why in the world would the DACA recipients -- or anyone else -- want to stand with them?

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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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