Breitbart News senior editor at large Joel B. Pollak told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi on Monday that President Donald Trump’s conservative supporters were generally happy with his first year, but wanted to see a tougher stand in ongoing immigration negotiations and the upcoming State of the Union address.
Asked about polls that show a large percentage of Americans favoring amnesty for so-called “DREAMers,” Pollak replied, “Well, is a broad spectrum that favors a wall and border security before doing anything for DACA or for other illegal aliens. So you’ve got to have those two pieces … and you’ve got to have the border security first before the legalization. And that is where Trump’s base is becoming increasingly concerned.”
He noted that the president’s proposal had doubled the number of people eligible for amnesty. It went from roughly 800,000 beneficiaries under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to at least 1.8 million “DREAMers” — illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. as minors — including those who had not applied for DACA status. He also noted that Trump was now offering a “path to citizenship” instead of mere permanent residency or work permits.
Velshi asked, “Why would anybody in the base care about the distinction between a path to citizenship or permanent residency because they come with very similar rights?”
He noted that citizenship meant being able to vote and to serve on juries. “Beyond that,” Velshi said, “why does that matter much to the conservative base?”
Pollak said there were two reasons.
“One is a rule of law reason, because people who have come to the country legally, and gone through the process, would essentially have been at a disadvantage relative to those who just came illegally and stayed,” he said. “So, that is a question for the rule of law.
“But more broadly, I think,” he added, “people are worried about their votes being diluted by people who were brought here illegally, or who came illegally on their own and who are now going to have the same voting rights as other people. And I think people worry about what that’s going to do to their voices.”
Velshi countered that vote dilution would occur whether immigration was legal or illegal.
“People feel that legal immigrants are more likely to take the priorities, the principles of the country more seriously. People who arrive illegally are more likely to vote for free stuff … I think that’s certainly the impression among Trump supporters.
“I think there’s a significant portion of the Trump base that would accept a lot of legal immigration. The question really is whether you’re going to give illegal immigrants the same benefits you give legal ones,” he said.
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