President Donald Trump addressed Republican lawmakers at their annual conference in West Virginia on Thursday, calling on them to approve the White House framework for immigration reform. During a luncheon speech at the policy retreat, Trump said of his proposal to give amnesty to 1.6 million illegal immigrants, “We’ll either have something that’s fair and equitable and good and secure, or we’re going to have nothing at all.”
Trump’s offer of giving a path to citizenship, anathema to many conservatives, to millions of illegal immigrants in return for $25 billion in funding for a border wall and security, coupled with curbs on legal immigration, has put Democrats into a political bind but showed that Republicans truly want a solution to a problem that has defied solutions for decades. “We have to be willing to give a little in order for our country to gain a whole lot,” he said at another point in the speech.
The White House framework protects recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other so-called “DREAMers” who were brought to the U.S. as minors and reside here illegally. Trump discarded the “DREAMer’ moniker, and called on Republicans to do so. “Some people call it ‘dreamers,’” he said. “It’s not ‘dreamers.’ Don’t fall into that trap.” “The Republican position on immigration is the center mainstream view of the American people, with some extra strength at the border and security at the border added in,” Trump said.
‘Crumbs’ and ‘Deplorables’
President Trump reviewed much of the ground he covered in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. To applause, he credited the Republican caucus for passing legislation to limit bureaucratic red tape, and the Republican tax reform package. The tax package Trump signed allowed numerous corporations to give their workers bonuses of $1,000 or more.
In January, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, one of the richest members of Congress, dismissed the bonuses as “crumbs” and “pathetic.” She has since repeated the phraseology.
President Trump praised the increased tax deductions for American taxpayers and then, referring to Pelosi’s “crumbs’ remark, said: “We were waiting for February, but then we got hit in January with these corporations giving tremendous bonuses to everybody that Nancy Pelosi called ‘crumbs.’ That was bad. That could be like ‘deplorable.’ Does that make sense? ‘Deplorables’ and ‘crumbs.’ Those two words seem to have a resemblance. I hope they have the same meaning.”
The 'deplorables' remark made by then-candidate Hillary Clinton in September 2016 enraged Trump's supporters. At a New York City gala fundraiser, Clinton said that half of Trump's supporters were a “basket of deplorables” characterized by “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” views.
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.