Trump, for example, abandoned the horrible Trans-Pacific Partnership [Trump Wastes No Time Undoing Obama Legacy, by Garth Kant, WND, January 23, 2017]. Not only is this a major step towards reclaiming American sovereignty, it also is an important political move by the new president to consolidate his base of Rust Belt workers. It won praise from the AFL-CIO and even from Bernie Sanders [Sanders, joined by Rust Belt Democrats, praises Trump for nixing TPP, by David Weigel, The Washington Post, January 23, 2016].
And Trump is delivering for pro-lifers (by stopping funding for foreign abortions), fiscal conservatives (implementing a hiring freeze), and business leaders (meeting with executives to discuss tax cuts.) And he is showing he is not afraid of sparking new protests by moving to approve the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines [‘A Big Priority’: Spicer Suggests Keystone XL Approval Is On The Way, by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, January 23, 2017].
Yet immigration patriots, the core group of ideologically-motivated supporters who delivered him the presidency, are unmistakably disappointed.
At the top of their list of concerns: the Trump Administration has not immediately reversed Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had plenty of time and energy to fight with reporters over crowd sizes and other trivia but backed down when pressed on DACA, squeaking that it was not a priority. So the DHS continues to merrily process DACA applicants just as when Obama and Jeh Johnson were in charge [Trump administration signals no immediate reversal on Dreamer program, by Josh Gerstein, Politico, January 23, 2017].
Even more concerning: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is already making ominous noises about a “long-term solution” which will be put together “with the House and Senate leadership” [Priebus hints Trump has no immediate plan to end Obama’s DACA for young illegals, seeks long-term fix, Fox News, January 22, 2017].
Even Republicans who are weak on immigration were disgusted with Obama’s unilateral high-handedness in implementing the DACA Amnesty. So Trump will pay no political price for doing this. But he will if he fails to repeal it—especially when he condemned Hillary Clinton for DACA during the campaign [Donald J. Trump’s Vision – Immigration, DonaldJTrump.com, Accessed January 23, 2017].
Immigration patriots are also wary that the Trump Administration’s supposed focus on deporting “criminals” may not be anything other than a dodge. After all, as Time Magazine notes:
[I]n fiscal year 2016 98% of enforcement actions and 99% of removals aligned with the Obama administration enforcement priorities and some 90% of people who were deported from the interior of the U.S. had been convicted of serious crimes.Echoing Obama, in kind if (hopefully) not in degree, is not really good enough, especially when Trump vowed the deportations of criminals was supposed to happen “day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone” [Trump’s busy Day 1: Scrap Obama orders, deport illegals, by Michael Mathes, AFP, January 14, 2017].
[White House Says Criminals Will Be Trump’s Priority on Immigration, by Maya Rhodan, January 23, 2017].
What Trump really needs to do: use strategic deportation to prod all illegals into starting leaving the country voluntarily. Instead of just deporting “criminals” (a meaningless category since all illegals are law-breakers), Trump should instruct DHS and General Kelly to target specifically and deport high-profile illegal immigration activists who are unlawfully present in the country. Among the top priorities: smirking parasite Jose Antonio Vargas, whose almost crazed hatred for this country boils over with his every action.
If we are to be lectured about illegal aliens having to live “in the shadows,” then illegal alien activists should actually have to operate in the shadows—not leading marches, giving speeches, or testifying before Congress.
For immigration patriots, that would be a very welcome change in kind.
Further, Trump should put a stop to the creeping nullification of America’s immigration laws and win another political victory by abolishing “sanctuary cities” as quickly as possible. A recent poll showed more than seventy percent of people in California opposed sanctuary cities [Poll: 74 percent of Californians want to end sanctuary cities, by John Binder, Breitbart, January 23, 2107]. This is also an issue where he has support from the Republican Congress [Trump vs. Sanctuary Cities: Congress Ready to Help, by Bob Price, Breitbart, January 22, 2017].
Again, this was something that was supposed to be done on the first day.
The specter haunting immigration patriots about the Trump Presidency: that it will be George Bush’s third term when it comes to immigration policy. Some of Trump’s personnel choices—Priebus, Andrew Puzder—definitely hint at that possibility. They put an enormous onus on Trump’s personal will to impose change. (Still, it’s good news that Julia Hahn may be on board [Paul Ryan–Hating Breitbart Reporter Joins White House Staff, By Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine, January 23, 2017])But for Trump’s own sake, as well as the nation’s, he cannot cuck on immigration and the National Question. And as Professor George Hawley pointed out recently, if Trump fails to remake American conservatism by following through on his most important promises, he will be a failed president. [How Donald Trump Can Change Conservatism, By George Hawley, January 19, 2017] As it happens, Trump has been provided with an opportunity to seize the initiative by the artificial Main Stream Media firestorm about the WhiteHouse.gov’s lack of a Spanish language website. Spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement the White House was working on putting up a Spanish language site [The White House’s Spanish-language website is gone, for now, by Jessica Conditt, Engadget, January 23, 2016]. This is a mistake.
Which is too bad. During the campaign, Trump lectured Jeb Bush on the need for a common language, saying “This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish.” He spent nothing on Spanish-language advertising—he didn’t even have a Spanish-language website—and weathered criticism from the Leftist press for not pandering in foreign tongues, unlike every other candidate.
Now, however, Trump can turn this controversy to his advantage by endorsing Congressman Steve King’s just-reintroduced legislation. [GOP bill would make English official language of US, by Cristina Marcos, The Hill, February 13, 2015]
Spontaneously, state legislators are also taking action, for example in Nevada [2 Nevada lawmakers back bill to make English the state’s official language, by Sandra Chereb, Review Journal, January 10, 2017].
Polling shows an astonishing 83 percent of Americans favor making English the official national language [Poll: 83 percent say English should be official U.S. National Language, by Carolina May, Breitbart, August 14, 2014].
One of the many valuable lessons the Trump campaign (should have) taught Republicans is that weakness isn’t respected by the Left, but despised. Thus, Trump’s relatively slow Monday on immigration isn’t earning him plaudits for his thoughtfulness, moderation etc.—it’s just being taken as a sign he is running into “unexpected difficulty” [Trump’s “day one” on immigration: soft talk and no action, by Dara Lind, Vox, January 23, 2017].
Wedge issues— where one has slight majority support and can cut into the opposition’s coalition—are the key to success in transformative politics. Trump already has issues, like Official English and Sanctuary Cities, where he has borderline absurd majorities. With the stroke of a pen, he can devastate his opposition and rally his supporters.
The massive opposition to Trump, literally before he has even done anything, shows that his enemies are not giving him a chance. He should return the favor. He wasn’t elected to be a normal Republican, or even a “conservative.” He was elected to be a nationalist.
And he needs to take the offensive on immigration immediately if he wants a second term.
Or even if he wants to finish his first one without being impeached—and convicted.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.