Reform now in hands of Congress
Some members of the national press corps made much of a meeting at the White House Tuesday to discuss immigration legislation. President Donald Trump and lawmakers from both parties spent a substantial amount of time talking about the issue — with reporters present. Normally in such situations, they are ushered out of the room after a few minutes.
Indeed, Trump’s decision to include the press was unusual and praiseworthy. But those who believe much was accomplished during the meeting are deluded. Politicians simply don’t get down to the nitty-gritty while reporters are present.
Trump was exceedingly conciliatory during the meeting, however. He told Democratic and Republican leaders they are “not that far away from comprehensive immigration reform.”
If discussion of a bill is held to the two basic, critical points, agreement should come easily.
Those two points are:
• The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, involving hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants brought here as children. Former President Barack Obama, acting unconstitutionally, suspended any enforcement action against them.
Clearly, Congress should approve a legal resolution to the matter. Many Americans, conservatives and liberals, think the so-called “dreamers” ought to be allowed to stay in the United States.
• Comprehensive immigration reform, finally making our nation’s borders secure. That, too, has wide bipartisan support.
Both sides will have to give a little. Democrats should stop opposing Trump’s “border wall” plan. Republicans should say no to ultra-conservatives who want all illegal immigrants removed.
It sounds simple, and it should be just that. If Congress is unable to make it so, the blame clearly will fall on lawmakers, not Trump.