In a series of messages on Friday, President Trump told Republican lawmakers that they were barking up the wrong tree by trying to pass bipartisan immigration legislation. After noting the day prior that any reasonable immigration bill would be shot down in the Senate, where the GOP has only a one-vote majority, he said that Republicans should save their breath and simply wait until after the midterms to address any potential immigration bill.
“Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November,” he wrote. “Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solve this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!”
Trump sent the message on a day when House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to avoid the so-called “discharge petition” appeared to fail before his eyes. The supposed hope was that by bringing two immigration bills to the floor for a vote – one Trump-approved, hardline bill and one moderate, “bipartisan” bill – Ryan could pass legislation that would make both sides happy. But after the better of the two bills – a decent piece of legislation sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte – failed to get enough votes, Ryan postponed a vote on the other package.
It remains to be seen if it will ever actually be sent to the floor for a vote.
“Elect more Republicans in November and we will pass the finest, fairest, and most comprehensive immigration bills anywhere in the world,” Trump wrote on Friday. “Right now we have the dumbest and the worst. Dems are doing nothing but Obstructing. Remember their motto, RESIST! Ours is PRODUCE!”
Ryan may be able to come up with a bill that can win a majority of votes in the House, but the changes he’s planning on making will not be popular with Democrats in the Senate. Right now, the bill offers some form of amnesty to 1.8 million “Dreamers” and another 300,000 Indian tech-company workers. In order to gain support among moderate Republicans, Ryan is planning to add an E-Verify stipulation to the bill which would require American companies to verify the legal status of their workers. That in and of itself may be enough to kill the bill over in the Senate, where Pelosi’s minions are determined to get amnesty for absolutely nothing in return.
Trump is right that this bill should be shelved, but we’re not so sure that Republicans – even with a clear, hefty majority in both houses of Congress – can pass the immigration legislation that we really need. There are too many defectors in the ranks – too many Republicans who would rather sell out to the Chamber of Commerce than protect American workers. Until we purify this party, a truly Trumpian immigration bill may be impossible.