Friday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson warned Republicans against going back on what President Donald Trump ran on during the 2016 presidential campaign regarding immigration, specifically the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and chain migration.
Carlson said if the GOP makes a deal with congressional Democrats, then it would be its end.
Transcript as follows:
It’s been almost four months since President Trump announced his intention to end DACA. That’s Barack Obama’s program that hands out work permits to illegal immigrants who arrived in this country as minors.
Since that time, lawmakers have been trying to hammer out a plan that would protect DACA beneficiaries from being deported.
Now, trying to cut a deal is reasonable. But amnesty should only be given in return for real and long-term immigration reforms. Otherwise, it will amount to yet another betrayal, the kind that voters have seen many times over the past 30 years, the kind that got Donald Trump elected in the first place actually.
America deserves real borders and policies that put American interests first instead of an endless cycle of amnesty coupled with the empty promises of future border enforcement at some point. And that’s what we’ve had for a long time.
United behind stricter immigration laws should not be a heavy lift for the Republican Party. For one thing, Americans want it. They want it badly. We know that because a new poll by Numbers USA asked likely voters how they felt about various aspects of our immigration policy.
And the answer sounded a lot like a Trump campaign speech. Consider chain migration. Fifty-seven percent of likely voters said that if DACA beneficiaries get amnesty, they shouldn’t be allowed to bring their family members here. Just 31 percent of voters disagreed with that.
How about the diversity lottery? That’s the program that selects 50,000 people every year to enter the United States. Gives them visas. They are selected pretty much at random without regard to any qualifications, including English knowledge or job skills or cultural fit.
Sixty percent of voters said the diversity visa lottery ought to be abolished entirely. Only 29 percent supported it.
Then there’s e-verify. That’s the program that allows employers to check the legal status of people they’re going to hire. Fifty-seven percent of likely voters say Congress should require e-verify for all hiring, so that employers can’t claim ignorance when they hire illegals. Just 23 percent disagreed with that.
And voters aren’t just opposed to illegal immigration, by the way. A strong majority wants to cut all immigration, including legal across the board.
Currently, this country admits about a million legal immigrants a year. Sixty percent of those asked said they’d like to cut that number in half, if not more.
In political terms, those numbers are huge. Republicans would kill for that kind of support on other issues, all kinds of other issues. Restricting immigration is a lot more popular, for example, than defunding Planned Parenthood or cutting taxes for the wealthy or cracking down on marijuana, bombing distant countries. More popular than all of that.
It’s also, of course, the main thing that President Trump ran on last year and probably the central reason he won in that upset victory.
This should not be hard. Just a month ago, the Republicans united to pass an unpopular tax reform bill. They should able to come together to pass a far more popular form of immigration reform.
Yet, somehow, that’s not happening. In fact, the opposite is happening. Apparently, a number of Republican senators are prepared to cave completely to Democrats on this question, agreeing to amnesty with no serious concessions in return.
One proposal would simply delay chain migration rather than ending it, while expanding the scope of the amnesty for DACA recipients and reallocating diversity lottery visas to a different class of unskilled immigrants.
Not only would a deal like that hurt the country, voters have said very clearly again and again they don’t want it. This is a democracy after all. Or at least it was. You have to listen to what voters want if you are a lawmaker.
If you see that kind of deal come out of Congress, and you may, the Republican Party is done. It’s over. It’s toast. It will be a short epitaph, too. Suicide.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor