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VICTOR JOECKS: Reminder: Democrats are ones refusing a DACA deal

President Donald Trump reiterated his support for a large-scale amnesty. Rather than rush to the negotiating table, Democrats attacked him.

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Then-President Barack Obama created DACA in 2012. It allows illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children to receive work permits and temporary protection from deportation. Currently, 660,000 illegal immigrants are registered with DACA, including 13,100 in Nevada. Obama instituted the program after he failed to get Congress to pass an amnesty bill.

DACA was unconstitutional from the beginning, according to no less an authority than Obama himself. With “respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case,” he said in 2011. He changed his tune the following year to help his re-election prospects.

In September 2017, the Trump administration announced the end of DACA. Liberals sued, and lower courts have kept the program in place. Most observers believe the Supreme Court will uphold Trump’s DACA reversal. That’s a good thing. The Constitution requires that a DACA-like program come from Congress. Trump would be eager to sign such a bill.

“If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Democrats have claimed for years that they’re desperately concerned about this group of illegal aliens. They should be celebrating Trump’s call for a widespread amnesty. They aren’t.

Responding to Trump’s statement, Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted, “Trump is a liar. He’s a racist.” Joe Biden tweeted, “DREAMers know more about what it means to be an American than you ever will.”

These aren’t comments you make when you want to reach a deal. That’s because Democrats think that avoiding a DACA compromise will help them politically.

Polling shows that more than 80 percent of Americans support providing some sort of legal status to this group. That makes sense. Most were brought here by their parents. Many are productive members of U.S. society. Deportation or the threat of deportation seems to be a disproportionate punishment.

This puts Trump in a tough spot politically. He was right to end the unconstitutional DACA program. Democrats are eager to attack him, however, if the program ends without these illegal immigrants receiving legal status. By announcing his willingness to deal, the president is trying to short-circuit that attack.

But Democrats aren’t going to hand Trump a political victory months before the 2020 election — even to help those they claim to care about. You’ll see a repeat of what Democrats did in 2018. Trump offered an even larger amnesty of 1.8 million illegal aliens in exchange for $25 billion for the border wall. For cynical political reasons, Democrats refused.

Trump is ready to make a DACA deal. It’s the Democrats who keep saying no.

Victor Joecks is a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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