President Trump has long promised he will secure the U.S.-Mexico border with a “big beautiful wall,” but a major bargaining chip in his negotiations possibly could flip four or even five traditionally Republican-leaning states to Democrats in future elections.
Those states are: Texas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.
Of the five, Texas, with 34 electoral votes, has the most impact on presidential election outcomes. Florida has 29; North Carolina, 15; Georgia, 16; and Arizona, 11. In 2016, Trump won Texas 52.2 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 43.2 percent. His winning margin in Florida was much tighter at 48.6 percent to 47.4 percent. Trump took North Carolina with 49.8 percent to 46.2 percent; Arizona, 48.1 percent to 44.6 percent; and Georgia, 50.4 percent to Clinton’s 45.3 percent.
But political trends in those traditionally Republican-leaning states could see a shift if illegal immigrants known as DREAMers, or illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors, are offered amnesty and particularly if they’re eventually given voting rights. Those fives states host large numbers DREAMers, as Fortune magazine reported last January.
The issue began in 2012, when then-President Obama signed an executive order giving work permits and temporary residence to more than 800,000 noncitizens under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. In making his announcement, Obama stated: “Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people. Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.”
The Obama administration, through a memo by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, claimed the actions were legal and within executive authority due to “prosecutorial discretion.”
Obama further expanded his immigration actions in 2014 to include illegal-immigrant parents under the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. Under Obama’s actions, many illegal immigrants who were granted deferrals received assistance funded by the states.
In September, Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan reported that, if DACA recipients are given amnesty, at least 1.4 million legal immigrants would enter the U.S. through chain migration, which is when legal migrants and naturalized citizens are allowed to bring foreign family members into the country. When those family members get legal status, they, too, can bring in more foreigners.
In one study, Princeton University researchers found that 618,342 illegal-immigrant DACA recipients from Mexico could bring in as many as four million relatives.
The Trump administration acted to end Obama’s DACA policy in September. He rescinded Obama’s order but delayed shutting down the program for six months while urging Congress to come up with a legislative solution.
But now President Trump is indicating he’s open to DACA approval, provided his border wall is funded.
On Tuesday, Trump held a televised immigration and budget meeting at the White House and invited a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
“We want to see something happen with DACA,” Trump told the members of Congress. “It’s been spoken of for years. And children are now adults, in many cases.”
Trump also said, “Truly, it [a DACA fix] should be a bill of love.”
Conservative pundit and “In Trump We Trust” author Ann Coulter called it the “lowest day of his presidency.”
“Trump, flanked by Dems & open-borders GOPS, announces plan for 100% open-ended amnesty (per courts),” Coulter tweeted before she posted a string of additional comments blasting the president’s immigration statements.
Related column: Turns out Bannon was Trump’s brain by Ann Coulter
Later that day, President Trump tweeted: “As I made very clear today, our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval.”
Whatever the DACA result, the issue could have a major impact on U.S. elections.
As WND reported, William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, has warned that any grants of residency or a path to citizenship to DREAMers would mean a surge in Democratic Party voting rolls.
Gheen tweeted Sunday that giving DACA recipients legal status without voting rights is a “dirty trick.”
“[W]ithin a year, activist judges will award full citizenship,” he said. “Right now, illegals are law-breaking criminals, but if Congress tries to create a second class tier of citizenship without voting rights, the courts will shoot that down quickly.”
On Wednesday, Gheen elaborated on his concerns in exclusive comments to WND:
The GOP dirty trick is to try to grant a legal status without voting rights so courts can do the dirty work, and they can claim they didn’t see that coming. Illegal immigration and amnesty are part of a big chess game being played by billionaires and elite powers intent on forcing American citizens into a regional and then global governance construct that destroys our borders forevermore. In chess, people use gambits to win the game. They will give up a chess piece or two in order to take the piece they need to win the game.
Trump passing DACA or comprehensive amnesty in exchange for some concessions on border security, visa lotteries and chain migration is a gambit and all of those “wins” will eventually be reversed by Democrat socialists who get to take permanent control of U.S. elections, laws and governments within 10 years of millions of illegal immigrants obtaining voting rights, which equals checkmate America! They win, we lose. Trump has made it clear in his White House meeting Tuesday: He is one of them, not one of us.
Democrats admit that DREAMers are a “critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success,” according to a leaked memo obtained recently by the Daily Caller News Foundation. In the memo co-authored by Clinton’s former communications director, the leftist organization Center For American Progress Action Fund calls preservation of DACA a “moral imperative.”
“The fight to protect Dreamers is not only a moral imperative, it is also a critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success,” the memo states. “… If Democrats don’t try to do everything in their power to defend Dreamers, that will jeopardize Democrats’ electoral chances in 2018 and beyond. In short, the next few weeks will tell us a lot about the Democratic Party and its long-term electoral prospects.”
Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, a federal judge issued a ruling ordering deportation safeguards for Obama’s DACA recipients while a legal challenge to keep the program proceeds. The Trump administration said it plans to challenge the ruling by U.S. District Judge William Alsup. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the ruling “outrageous.”
“An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative process,” she said. “President Trump is committed to the rule of law, and will work with members of both parties to reach a permanent solution that corrects the unconstitutional actions taken by the last administration.”
On Wednesday evening, more than 100 CEOs sent a letter to Congress, demanding that lawmakers pass a bill to keep DREAMers in the states permanently. The CEOs included Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook of Apple, Microsoft president Brad Smith, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.
“We write to urge Congress to act immediately and pass a permanent bipartisan legislative solution to enable Dreamers who are currently living, working, and contributing to our communities to continue doing so,” the letter stated. “The imminent termination of the DACA program is creating an impending crisis for workforces across the country.”
The CEOs continued: “In addition to causing a tremendous upheaval in the lives of DACA employees, failure to act in time will lead to businesses losing valuable talent, cause disruptions in the workforce, and will result in significant costs. While delay or inaction will cause significant negative impact to businesses, hundreds of thousands of deserving young people across the country are counting on you to work in a bipartisan way to pass permanent legislative protection for Dreamers without further delay.”