Democrats Should Beat Up Trump Over Immigration

Andrew Sullivan says Democrats are blowing it on immigration:

They seem unable to attack Trump for his colossal failure in his core campaign pledge. The ads write themselves. Obama kept illegal immigration to consistent lows, using existing law. Trump is presiding over the biggest influx since the very beginning of the millennium, and acting like a panicked autocrat….He has made things even worse by cutting aid to the very countries that are losing their populations to America….His record is a miserable festival of incompetence and sadism, a wide open vulnerability.

I think there’s something to this. I mean, this chart is devastating:

But I think Sullivan goes adrift when he criticizes Democrats for not offering an immigration plan of their own:

This doesn’t mean competing with Trump on xenophobia, cruelty, or bigotry. It means laying out a comprehensive immigration plan that tightens asylum laws so they exclude economic migrants, invests massively in the immigration court system to speed up the process, moves the processing of asylum cases to a foreign country, mandates national e-verify, beefs up the border to wall-like impermeability, and then grants current undocumented immigrants a reprieve. Yes, that’s a big reach — but it has something for everyone, and the problem itself is huge. Elizabeth Warren has a plan for everything — but not this! The working classes don’t seem to matter as much when their wages are suppressed for decades by big corporations exploiting cheap immigrant labor.

Put aside that Sullivan has fallen for the “impermeable wall” silliness. And the fact that American law already excludes economic migrants. And the notion that immigrants suppress native wages. In fact, put aside all the details of what he says. Democrats have offered up comprehensive immigration plans many, many times. Republicans wouldn’t accept them in the Bush era, they wouldn’t accept them in the Obama era, and they won’t accept them now, in the Trump era. Hell, Pelosi and Schumer were ready to give away the store to Trump a year ago, but their proposal went nowhere for the usual reason: Republican leaders are never willing to stand up to their extreme nativist wing. Marco Rubio found that out the hard way.

So there’s really no point to any kind of detailed plan, especially when you’re competing with someone who just bellows “Build the wall!” and then calls it a day. For my money, I’d bellow “Mandatory E-verify!” plus a couple of EZ-to-grasp bullet points about DACA kids and a path to legal work status for current undocumented immigrants—and then call it a day. That’s enough for a campaign. Once President Warren is in office, she can decide if it’s worth trying to cut a more comprehensive deal with Republicans.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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