Judge Roy Moore’s blowout victory rebukes the establishment GOP’s tacit support for a no-strings DACA amnesty, and it also refutes claims that GOP voters will quietly accept an immigration flip-flop by President Donald Trump.
The 18-point win, amid a hurricane of spending for incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, comes as Trump considers a proposal by Democrats and business leaders, in which he would expand the 2012 DACA amnesty and flip-flop on his promise to build a border wall — but would only get an empty bag of “border security” promises.
CONSERVATIVE VICTORY HAS COME TO #ALSEN!
Because of you, tonight, the establishment has been DEFEATED in Alabama!
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) September 27, 2017
Strange avoided the hot-button amnesty proposal — which is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — but Moore used the September 21 candidate debate to directly reject proposals to expand the expiring DACA amnesty for 690,000 illegals into a record-breaking, hugely expensive ‘Dream Act’ amnesty for 3.3 million younger illegals. Moore said:
Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals – it’s very simple. DREAMer? DREAMer development, relief, education of alien minors. There’s no such thing as a DREAMer. You know why? It was never passed by Congress. And when it didn’t pass by Congress, Obama himself, through his Homeland Security, decided to implement a program and violate the law. That’s why we’re here today. That’s why we’re having a problem today.
Instead of backing an amnesty, Moore won votes by supporting the popular RAISE Act, which was drafted by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and Georgia Sen. David Perdue, and is backed by Trump. The act would raise Americans’ wages by cutting chain migration, and by awarding green cards to the foreigners who are most able to raise Americans’ productivity and wealth.
DACA is wrong. DREAMer is wrong. We need to look at the RAISE Act … the Reform of American Immigration for a Strong Economy. We need to look at vetting these people coming into our country. And pick people that are going to do something for our economy. That’s what [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions says. I think we can take care of DACA very easily. By turning them to the RAISE Act. Pass the RAISE Act in Congress … then we can let [in] the most qualified. A lot of the people on DACA simply aren’t qualified. They haven’t been asked the questions about their entry and where they stand on things. It’s been family-oriented. I support firmly the RAISE Act and I think it should be acted on by Congress and the sooner the better,” Moore said.
Strange dodged the issue throughout the campaign, despite polls showing that huge majorities of Americans strongly prefer immigration rules which help Americans get decent jobs before companies can hire foreign workers. His website said:
It is our duty to uphold and enforce immigration law. Individuals who enter our country illegally should not receive the benefits that taxpaying Americans do. Immediate deportation of criminal aliens, building President Trump’s border wall, and cutting off funding for sanctuary cities are all effective means to enforce America’s laws and strengthen its borders.
Enforcing immigration law is also crucial to protecting Americans from terrorists seeking entry into our country under false pretenses. Luther Strange stands with President Trump and supports banning refugees in terrorist countries from entering our borders.
In Washington D.C., the term “border security” is a substitute term for Trump’s 2016 package of a border wall, quick repatriation of illegals, reduced use of visa workers and higher wages for Americans. Most “border security” proposals consist of a temporary uptick in funding for surveillance and policing, all of which can be quietly defunded in a year or three.
Business groups oppose curbs on immigration, which is now used to stimulate the economy by adding 1 million consumers and workers each year. That inflow inflates company revenues and profits, but it deflates Americans’ wages and salaries.
Before the election, progressives argued that Trump’s supporters would meekly accept a huge amnesty if Trump flip-flopped. For example, MSNBC host Chris Hayes declared September 14:
There is predictable caterwauling from institutional white nationalist/populist outlets and figures like Coulter and Breitbart, but I think it’s very likely that the actual voters that make up his base would be absolutely fine with Trump cutting a deal on DACA … I think that with Trump leading the charge, that will bring along even some of the most ostensibly anti-immigration core of his voters.
Hayes’ claim is based on his view that Trump’s voters are powered by racial resentment, not by rational preferences about the impact of cheap-labor immigration on jobs, wages, and civic conflict. He wrote:
[The 2016 election] was never about the policies anyway, it was about who rules. Who has power. Whose voice is heard. If Trump is the one making the deals, then the deals are being made on the terms of him and his coalition and are therefore, by definition, not existential threats. But if/when Obama took those actions, they represented some kind of intolerable incursion, and further cementing of the power of his multi-racial coalition.
Establishment pollsters sang the same tune:
For what it's worth, I've seen/done enough polling that suggests most Republicans are A-OK w DACA esp if they're told Trump backs it.
— Kristen S Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) September 14, 2017
Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake declared September 20, a week after Trump supposedly agreed to a no-strings DACA amnesty, that:
Trump diehards have stuck with him, even when they acknowledged his flaws. So it should be no surprise that they’re giving him a total pass for working with Democrats rather than Republicans.
Jennifer Rubin, a Washington Post columnist and never-Trump advocate of greater immigration, predicted Moore’s win would be a loss for Trump — even though it is a win for Trump’s 2016 election-winning policy promises. She wrote:
A loss for Strange would be a stunning rebuke to the president and to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a sign that Trump has unleashed extreme, unhinged populist sentiments that not even he can contain … Having achieved no significant legislative victory and proving himself to be electorally impotent in Alabama, Trump would surely be drained of whatever political sway over congressional Republicans he had. They, in turn, will be even less likely to follow his lead and provide cover for his excesses. The result is likely to be more gridlock, more dysfunction and more political defeats.
After the result was announced, Trump declared his support for Moore.
Congratulations to Roy Moore on his Republican Primary win in Alabama. Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017