By: Mark Glennon*
If there’s any major officeholder in Illinois in either party who opposes comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to normalization for illegals already here, I don’t know who it is. That includes the Republican Congressional delegation and Governor Rauner. I support it, too, in case that matters.
“But,” as GOP USA wrote yesterday, “cities that adopt ‘sanctuary’ policies make it much it more difficult to enact sensible immigration reform because they don’t discriminate between a non-dangerous undocumented immigrant and one who is a violent criminal.” They prohibit cities from even inquiring about citizenship, making it nearly impossible to impose the obviously appropriate remedy for violent illegals — deportation. That’s as polarizing as it is senseless.
Leadership in sanctuary cities and many college campuses, however, are stuck on divisive grandstanding about sanctuary status. Among them is the City of Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel returned from a meeting yesterday with President-elect Trump pounding his chest about protecting illegals: “[Trump] heard my passion about people pursuing the American dream,” Rahm said after the meeting at the Trump Tower in Manhattan. DACA and “dreamers” get particular emphasis by Rahm and other sanctuary advocates. DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and “dreamers are kids, or young adults who came as kids, here illegally.
Let’s get real. Trump isn’t going to round up 11 million illegals for deportation, especially not DACA beneficiaries and dreamers, despite his early campaign claims to the contrary. Never was gonna happen. It was never feasible and anybody who believes it now is among the many who wrongly characterize Trump by the most extreme of his rhetoric. Trump has since been clear, repeatedly, that he will confine deportation efforts to illegals who have committed other crimes. More importantly, he recently said this about dreamers:
We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,. They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.
That’s where we are now. That “something” to be worked out should be ensuring that the list of crimes making illegals who have been here for significant time subject to deportation does not include traffic offenses, shoplifting and other petty crimes. Rahm should have said to Trump, “You mean you’ll help us get rid of violent criminals and drug dealers? Great. Ship ’em out.” I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if that’s what he said in the private meeting. He’s not stupid, just dishonest, and we can only hope that the different version he gave to the press was just show for the dopes who trust him.
In case we’re not that lucky, let’s at least hope the sanctuary debate gets pinpointed precisely where it should be: Should dangerous criminals here illegally be protected from deportation or not?
Those who say ‘no’ better look in the mirror if the debate remains polarized and real immigration reform doesn’t happen.
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.