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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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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