Just as John Derbyshire has argued
, and as the Democrats' rout in the brief shut-down battle
seemed to show, President Trump does seem to have gotten himself into a strong position on immigration—above all with whites, known until the 1965 Immigration Act as "Americans," holding and extending his grip
on whom is vital to his re-election.
A February 5 poll
by Rasmussen Reports shows 52% of Likely U.S. Voters "favor a proposal that would create a pathway to citizenship for those brought to this country illegally when they were children, build a wall on the Mexican border
and change legal immigration to a more merit-based system
." (Emphases added
—i.e. as opposed to all other Amnesty proposals, which make no move to limit the damage caused by Amnesty.
But there are significant differences among races, revealed in Rasmussen's cross-tabs which are available to its Platinum Service subscribers
. Whites support the President's proposal 2-1 (55%-28%); blacks opposed 2-1 (30%-29%). Oddly, the group Rasmussen calls "Other," presumably Asians and Hispanics, support the President's proposal 54%-34%.
This points to a typical weakness in immigration polling: no-one really knows what the terms mean. Perhaps in this case Hispanic respondents focused on the Amnesty (which is also why I personally would have told Rasmussen pollsters No) and ignored the Wall and other reforms, whereas whites did the opposite.
Similarly, nationalist critics of Trump's proposal (and apparently some White House supporters of it
) point out that it might not actually reduce immigration for many years, if at all, despite being reflexively denounced by Democrats.
But the bottom line is that it is President Trump who holds the popular ground
I continue to think—OK, hope—that Trump intends the negotiations to fail
, in which case he will run against Democrat immigration intransigence in this fall's election campaign.
I notice that the appalling Al Hunt
agrees with me, sort of:
The immigration free-for-all that starts in Congress this week will test the character of House Speaker Paul Ryan, the courage of Republican moderates, the cunning of President Donald Trump and the sensibilities of the Democratic left.The odds are that any deal will fall part, and all of the above will be losers. Washington will prove to be as dysfunctional as the public perceives.If, however, those politicians rise above that standard, it could be a win for all but the immigration-haters.Nearly Everyone Loses If Immigration Deal Fails, Bloomberg, February 11, 2018
So obviously all Americans must hope the "immigration deal fails." Beltway immigration patriots tell me that odds on No Deal vs. Disastrous Deal are still
50-50 right now. Not for the first time
, much depends on grassroots pressure [The Daily 202: Freewheeling immigration debate in Senate will test power of conservative outside groups,
by James Hohman, Washington Post
, February 12, 2018].