​Arizona - Is There Any Middle Ground on Immigration Anymore?

​In the aftermath of President Trump’s Arizona rally-style speech, immigration has once again reminded everyone how divided America is on the issue. Michael Brendan Dougherty, formerly of Reason and now at National Review, has written a piece on how Trump is sabotaging his own agenda. And Dougherty’s conclusion is that Trump is not serious about immigration.

That's quite an accusation: to say that the president's signature issue is a scam. Is MBDougherty right?

While it is possible that one can suggest that perhaps Trump is unskilled enough in Washington's ways - especially his relationship with his own party's senators which is melting down towards complete dysfunctionality - to ensure his policy ideas on immigration are ever put into meaningful legislative form. But the answer to that criticism is that Trump's administration has indeed effected a change in immigration in a matter of months. Illegal border crossings are down. More illegals have been apprehended, and a struggle between sanctuary cities and the DOJ may force change at the local level, although this is unclear at the moment.

Administrative changes, in other words, do make a difference. But aside from the obvious problems the president will face in getting anything - including funding for a Border Wall - through the Senate, there is another factor that makes immigration an impossible issue nowadays.

The hard left has made anything less than open borders unacceptable. In fact, if you support enforcing immigration law, you are practically considered a white supremacist. And mainstream media and Democrats have bought in to this extreme view on the hope of assuring lifelong Hispanic support at the polls, on the part of Democrats, and as a extension of radical identity politics that most in MSM support. Out of fear or out of their own left-wing perspective.

So if the president wants to stir the pot, immigration is a perfect issue to rally the base. If he wants to get money for building his wall, threatening a shutdown of government may not be the best strategy. But at this point, what the moderate GOP Senators don't seem to see is that there is no middle ground anymore on immigration. Trump may be right on that, unfortunately, even if his tactics are wrong.

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