Sen. Dick Durbin Torpedoes DACA, Lives up to his Name

Senator Dick Durbin’s claims that President Trump called certain countries from which large numbers of immigrants have come to the United States “shitholes” may have torpedoed any possibility that the  DACA “Dreamers” will be allowed to stay in the United States. The Illinois Democrat may also have torpedoed any hopes for any kind of cooperation between the White House and the Democrats over the next three years, truly proving that he is a giant tool.

In Case You Moved into a Cave Last Week

A little background is needed to set the stage for  Durbin’s dickish remarks. Two important dates are looming for the Congress: January 19, when many agencies in the government will shut down unless some form of a spending bill is passed, and March 5, when the six-month extension on the protection period for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Dreamers ends.

The more serious deadline is January 19 when, if some kind of agreement is not reached, many of the offices of the federal government will close indefinitely.  Congressional Democrats, led by Durbin, tried to tie discussions about a special spending bill to extend the budget deadline to the extension of permanent protections for DACA “Dreamers” as a requirement for a compromise.

President Donald Trump signaled his initial agreement with that idea, but he tied that agreement to funding for tje construction of 700 miles of border wall between Mexico and the United States, the end of the visa lottery system, and the end of “chain migration,” the policy that gives preference to family members of immigrants who have moved to the United States and gained legal status.

About 10 days ago, after meeting with the President and some members of Congress to discuss the fate of Dreamers, Sen. Durbin, a Democrat, spoke to reporters criticizing  Trump for attaching his personal agenda to the protection for these 800,000 immigrants. Somewhere along the way, the Senator developed the idea that if he wanted something it should just be given to him without the quid pro quo that is so much apart of any negotiation.  If that was the case.Mr. Durbin sure has not learned much for a man who has been in the Senate for more than 12 years,

Last Thursday, when it became clear that a clean bill to protect Dreamers was not going to happen, an irate Senator Durbin decided to tattle to the  media.  telling them that, during negotiations, the President referred to countries like Haiti, El Salvador, and many in Africa as “Shitholes.”

This sent media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, ABC News and NBC News into a frenzy, spending the entire weekend bringing talking heads on to declare that Trump is clearly racist. Mr. Durbin doubled down on the talk shows, explaining how he admonished the President for using the term “Chain Migration.” Durbin explained to the press that he told Trump that the term was offensive because blacks were brought to America in chains. Yet, he has used the term himself on the floor of the Senate, seemingly oblivious to how “offensive” this term must be, or maybe it is not so much so when he uses it.

Senator Durbin and President Trump were not the only persons present during the “exchange.” Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, both Republicans, dispute the claims of Sen. Durbin. Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Republican, has stated that he admonished the President for his comments during the meeting, but has not acknowledged exactly what comments were made. Fellow South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, also a Republican,  told reporters that Mr. Graham confirmed to him that Trump had used the term. Senator Scott is black.

In response, Sen. Graham issued his own statement on the issue. “Following comments by the President, I said my piece directly to him yesterday (Thursday). The President and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel.” It is interesting that Graham found offense at Trump’s words, if he actually used it, when he referred to Mexico and countries to our southern border as “Hellholes.” In  Sen. Graham’s world, “Hell” must be better than “shit.”

Dangling in the Wind

Reaction from the media and the Democratic Party was loud and swift.  Four Democratic members of Congress have opted to boycott the State of the Union Address (no one will miss them, least of all Trump), and leaders of some of the offended nations have demanded that the President clarify his comments (which they will never get). Meanwhile,  there are no bills providing protection for DACA Dreamers on the horizon.

A federal judge in California recently blocked the President’s executive order removing the protections for Dreamers, but that order is going to be reinstated upon appeal. An executive order was used to grant the protection, which means that an executive order can be used to repeal it. When President Barack Obama issued the executive order protecting DACA recipients, he admitted that he did not have the legal authority to do so.  Thus, the original order was unlawful in the first place, something that the Supreme Court is sure to recognize.

Unfortunately, by the time the Supreme Court hears this case, it will be near that March 5 deadline. This means that, immediately after the order is restored by the court, thousands of young Americans are going to be deported to countries where they have never really lived and know nothing about, thanks to a do-nothing Congress and to Sen. Durbin in particular.

Learning to Work Together Again

Whether the President made these statements or not is irrelevant. What is important is that if any group of people is ever going to be able to work together and negotiate a deal, there have to be frank and open discussions, which require a level of trust that no one is going to go running to the media every time he or she finds some speech offensive.  To report these events served no purpose whatsoever, other than to be gigantic tattle-tale.

Nearly a million people need the Congress to pass legislation that will enable them to be able to stay in the United States. That’s a rally  urgent necessity. Most polls show that the vast majority of Americans believe that these immigrants should be allowed to stay. That may not happen now, because Senator Durbin decided that he needed to sabotage negotiations by acting like a six-year-old girl.

It is also time to be honest about why many don’t like Trump. He is a New Yorker with no real filters on what he says. The truth is that El Salvador, Haiti, the Sudan, and Somalia are not the most palatable places to live. Women are raped repeatedly in the Sudan and Boko Haram militants regularly kidnap girls from schools to sell into slavery and sex trafficking. Haiti is an economic, political and humanitarian disaster area.

If we are honest, we will admit that none of us are planning to go to any of these places on our next vacations, unless we have family there or are doing some kind of missionary work.  They really are hellholes and maybe if Trump had said hellholes instead of shitholes, this wouldn’t have become the issue it has become. What some people don’t like is that Trump said out loud what some of them are thinking.

Immigration is a serious issue, and the country needs grown men and women to deal with the issue. Unfortunately, seated at the table is a person who is more concerned with earning political points than he is with helping people remain in the only home they may have ever known. Sadly,  Senator Dick Durbin chose to live up to his first name instead of focusing on the people’s business.