It was laughable to hear retiring Senator Jeff Flake proclaim that his give-away-the-store DACA proposal was the only game in town. Although, Flake insisted that the Democrats were negotiating in good faith, he obviously was not on the same page as the president or the majority of GOP Senators who want to enact an immigration policy that benefits existing citizens, does not grant amnesty and ends the inexplicable policy of chain migration.
The “good faith” Democrats to whom Flake was referring offered Trump nothing. They wanted amnesty for those covered by DACA and in return they offered Trump nothing: no end to chain migration, no wall. Is this what Flake calls “good faith” negotiating?
As Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine notes,
The deal Graham helped write and then took to Trump lurched to the left in every significant particular. For example, it included litigation land mines for the border wall. It retained the Diversity Lottery under a different name. It provided work permits for the parents of the DACA population.
When he viewed this insulting proposal, understandably Trump expressed his strong disapproval.
It is beginning to look as if the Democrats have no interest in a DACA resolution. After his meeting with Trump, Senator Dick Durbin took Trump’s comments completely out of context by leaked to the press that Trump had used disparaging words to describe some countries that the United States accepts many immigrants randomly. As Mollie Hemingway in The Federalist observes,
The media weren’t interested in understanding the context of the remarks, just pushing the narrative that if you disparage certain countries you are obviously racist and all virtuous and well-meaning people in politics are disgusted by it.
What this entire episode reveals is that on the issue of immigration, there is still a wide gap within the Republican Party between establishment Republicans, like Graham, McCain and Flake, who favor amnesty in exchange for weak promises of border enforcement and the rank and file. Fortunately when Graham approached Trump with his DACA capitulation proposal, sensible conservative immigration advocates Senator Tom Cotton and Representative Bob Goodlatte were both present in the room.
What Republicans like Flake fail to understand is that the Democratic Party has abandoned the white working class in flyover country. Illegal immigrants are the new preferred constituency for the Democratic Party. This was made manifestly clear during their convention in 2016 when they paraded illegal immigrants on the stage as rock stars to wild cheers. Hillary’s infamous “deplorables” comments further underscored Democrats future political strategy.
As demonstrated by his willingness to play the role of useful idiot for the Democrats, there is a reason Flake is not running for reelection. His views on immigration are diametrically opposed to those of his constituents.