The last government shutdown ended because Democrats stood firm against President Trump’s border wall. But funding will soon run out again, talks between Democrats and Republicans are in crisis, and Mr. Trump remains committed: “The Wall will get built one way or the other!” he tweeted on Saturday.
The Senate’s minority leader, Chuck Schumer, has made it clear that Mr. Trump won’t get his way: “Democrats are against the wall.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has admirably enforced party discipline, has called the wall “immoral.”
Yet at the same time, Ms. Pelosi has emphasized that “Democrats are committed to border security.” She has critiqued the wall on the narrow grounds that government should instead employ “evidence-based knowledge about how we best secure our border.” James Clyburn, the majority whip, fleshed out what that might look like: a “smart wall,” including more Border Patrol agents. This, too, is immoral.
It’s also bad politics.
Democrats should follow their voters, who increasingly want more open borders, and reframe the immigration debate by rejecting the very notion that the border needs more “security” and making it clear that the real problem is the denial of migrants’ rights. The time has come for the Democratic Party to push for concrete policies to make the border more open.
There is plainly no need for more security on the border. Illegal entries to the United States (as measured by Border Patrol apprehensions, which the government has long used as a proxy) began to fall at the turn of the century, and have plummeted since 2006. They remain at historic lows today. Those who are coming to the country are often Central Americans fleeing violence that United States policy in the region helped foment.
And when it comes to drugs — a favorite justification of Mr. Trump’s for his wall — evidence shows that more “border security” does not stop trafficking. From the 1970s on, every crackdown on a drug-smuggling route, whether it was heroin via the French Connection or cocaine through the Caribbean, has only led to new innovations in the trade that have empowered murderous Mexican cartels. Some scholars even argue that the rise of fentanyl can be traced to drug interdiction.
Then why, if there isn’t truly a crisis on the border, do the Democrats continue to invoke the need for more “border security”? Largely because the conversation about the border and immigration has moved so far to the right over the past 30 years. As the linguist George Lakoff and Sam Ferguson, his student at the time, wrote more than a decade ago, the narrow framing of the “immigration” debate “has shaped its politics, defining what count as ‘problems’” and, as a result, “constrains the solutions needed to address that problem.” When the “problem” is defined as “illegal immigration,” it becomes about “the illegal act of crossing the border without papers,” and so “the logical response to the ‘wave’ of ‘illegal immigration’ becomes ‘border security.’”
Since Bill Clinton’s presidency, the Border Patrol has grown from 4,100 agents in fiscal year 1992 to more than 19,000 today. The United States has built hundreds of miles of border fencing since the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton voted for. “Well, I voted for border security, and some of it was a fence,” Mrs. Clinton feebly said in 2016 when pressed about the 2006 vote that within a decade had become controversial.
Democrats have for far too long let their political opponents define the terms of debate. Now they’re doing it again: House Democrats’ proposal heading into the negotiations with Republicans didn’t include funding for new physical barriers or additional Border Patrol agents, but it did offer significantly increased funding for “border security technology.”
That’s not only bad for immigrants who, as a result of militarized borders are more likely to be kidnapped, violently assaulted and driven to cross via the lethal desert. It’s also bad for Democrats, who are handing ammunition to the nativist right at a time when Republicans are on the back foot and polls show that Democratic voters are moving decidedly leftward on immigration and the border.
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Voters used to overwhelmingly favor less immigration, but opinions have changed fast amid an immigrant rights movement that took off in 2006 and partisan polarization driven by aggressive enforcement. In 1994, just 32 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning Americans and 30 percent of Republicans agreed that immigrants strengthened the country, according to the Pew Research Center. But by 2016, the share of Democrats who said so had skyrocketed to 78 percent. In 2006, 37 percent of Democrats said that immigration levels should be decreased, while only 20 percent said that it should be increased. In 2018, 40 percent said that it should be increased, with just 16 percent calling for restriction. The same trend has held on border politics: In 2010, 47 percent of Democrats said that they equally prioritized legalizing undocumented immigrants and “better border security and stronger enforcement of immigration laws,” while just 29 percent prioritized legalization alone. By 2018, the number prioritizing legalization alone skyrocketed to 51 percent.
Under President Trump, polarization has accelerated — and that’s a good thing. The vanishing bipartisan consensus orchestrated mammoth deportations and militarized the border in the quixotic hope of placating the nativist right and winning it over to supporting immigration reform. This strategy only inflamed the right’s paranoiac ravings and helped move the goal posts to new extremes. Which is why we find ourselves, in 2019, with the possibility of beginning a second government shutdown over the wall.
So, what should the Democrats pursue instead? A break with a failed bipartisan consensus.
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, all Democrats who are new to the House, have drafted a letter urging opposition to any deal that increases Department of Homeland Security funding in any form. That’s a good start.
The border must be demilitarized, which would include demolishing the already-existing wall and dramatically downsizing the Border Patrol. Criminal sanctions on illegal entry and re-entry must be repealed. Opportunities for legal immigration, particularly from Mexico and Central America, must be expanded. The right to asylum must be honored. And citizenship for those who reside here must be a stand-alone cause, unencumbered by compromises that are not only distasteful but also politically ineffectual — and that today would provoke opposition from the nativist right and the grass-roots left. If Democrats stick to the center on immigration, they will find themselves fighting on two fronts. A fight against Republicans, with the left at their back, will be far easier to win — and a more noble victory.
Simple realism dictates that no legislation to grant citizenship to the millions of undocumented Americans who deserve it will be passed until the Republicans are defeated. There’s no use trying to appease them. The bipartisan consensus supporting harsh immigration and border enforcement has fractured. Democratic elected officials need to catch up.
Daniel Denvir (@danieldenvir) is a visiting fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and the author of the forthcoming “All-American Nativism.” He also hosts “The Dig,” a podcast from Jacobin magazine.B:
【林】【阳】【来】【的】【时】【候】，【我】【站】【在】【过】【道】【上】【抽】【烟】，【他】【皱】【了】【皱】【眉】，【把】【我】【撵】【去】【一】【边】，【两】【个】【女】【孩】【在】【一】【个】【女】【警】【安】【慰】【下】【问】【询】。 “【怎】【么】【哪】【都】【有】【你】？【柯】【南】【吗】？” 【我】【递】【给】【林】【阳】【一】【支】【烟】，【他】【摆】【了】【摆】【手】【指】【着】【天】【花】【板】【的】【烟】【雾】【报】【警】【器】。 “【你】【小】【子】【都】【知】【道】【什】【么】？【我】【记】【得】【你】【不】【是】【导】【游】【吗】？【怎】【么】【像】【是】【变】【成】【侦】【探】【了】？” 【但】【林】【阳】【还】【是】【接】【过】【烟】【没】【有】【点】【燃】，【问】【我】
【房】【间】【的】【一】【切】【都】【没】【有】【变】【化】，【维】【持】【在】【南】【子】【衿】【离】【去】【时】【候】【的】【样】【子】。 【南】【子】【衿】【轻】【靠】【在】【床】【沿】【之】【上】，【本】【想】【直】【接】【闭】【眼】【歇】【息】。 【但】【是】【却】【被】【一】【阵】【冲】【天】【的】【喊】【杀】【之】【声】【惊】【扰】，【南】【子】【衿】【起】【身】，【透】【过】【微】【开】【的】【小】【窗】【看】【向】【南】【边】【的】【方】【向】。 【隐】【隐】【的】【火】【光】【乍】【起】，【就】【在】【镇】【子】【的】【南】【边】【亮】【起】。 “【来】【了】【吗】？” …… 【兽】【潮】【比】【李】【都】【统】【想】【象】【的】【来】【的】【要】【早】，【根】【据】【探】东方心经2017年69期【显】【而】【易】【见】，【古】【一】【即】【将】【被】【死】【亡】【女】【神】【召】【唤】，【奥】【丁】【即】【将】【死】【去】【的】【这】【段】【时】【间】【是】【地】【球】【乃】【至】【九】【界】【防】【御】【力】【最】【为】【空】【虚】【的】【一】【段】【时】【间】。 【两】【位】【强】【者】【用】【尽】【全】【力】【拖】【延】【那】【一】【天】【到】【来】【的】【本】【意】【是】【想】【给】【予】【他】【们】【的】【传】【承】【者】【更】【多】【的】【时】【间】，【从】【而】【使】【得】【阿】【斯】【嘉】【德】【以】【及】【地】【球】【不】【至】【于】【空】【门】【大】【开】。 【可】【惜】【的】【是】，【无】【论】【是】【斯】【特】【兰】【奇】【还】【是】【索】【尔】【到】【现】【在】【别】【说】【是】【成】【为】【地】【球】【以】【及】【阿】【斯】【嘉】
【二】【十】【余】【年】【前】，【江】【湖】【上】【名】【望】【最】【重】，【声】【势】【最】【大】【的】【人】【不】【是】【铁】【胆】【神】【侯】【朱】【无】【视】，【亦】【非】【少】【林】【方】【丈】【了】【结】，【而】【是】【不】【败】【顽】【童】【古】【三】【通】，【无】【痕】【公】【子】【以】【及】【霸】【刀】【三】【人】。 【古】【三】【通】【力】【挫】【八】【大】【派】【高】【手】，【威】【风】【无】【俩】，【即】【使】【最】【终】【落】【败】【于】【朱】【无】【视】，【也】【不】【是】【武】【功】【不】【如】，【而】【是】【输】【在】【算】【计】【谋】【略】【上】。 【无】【痕】【公】【子】【人】【如】【其】【名】，【夭】【矫】【似】【天】【外】【游】【龙】，【遁】【迹】【无】【形】，【不】【可】【捉】【摸】。
【椒】【房】【殿】【内】，【皇】【后】【陈】【阿】【娇】【冷】【眼】【盯】【着】【面】【前】【桌】【案】【上】【的】【榜】【文】，【目】【光】【冰】【冷】【却】【又】【隐】【隐】【闪】【着】【兴】【奋】【的】【光】【芒】。 【这】【是】【今】【日】【皇】【上】【一】【大】【早】【命】【全】【国】【各】【地】【张】【贴】【出】【去】【的】【榜】【文】，【上】【面】【的】【内】【容】【很】【简】【单】，【就】【是】【广】【招】【名】【医】，【为】【的】【是】【入】【宫】【诊】【治】【卫】【夫】【人】【的】【失】【语】【症】。 【没】【错】，【自】【从】【卫】【子】【夫】【那】【日】【醒】【来】【后】，【她】【就】【没】【开】【口】【说】【过】【一】【句】【话】，【总】【是】【失】【神】【的】【望】【着】【窗】【外】，【甚】【至】【就】【这】【么】【发】