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Will Republicans Save Dreamers?


No, probably not.

Sure, there are Republicans who want to find a legislative fix during the six-month window that President Trump has given Congress to act before he yanks legal protections from 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. These “Dreamers” have been working and studying here legally since 2012 under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

But who really believes that this GOP-controlled Congress can enact a bill to save DACA by this spring? Republicans have killed or blocked immigration legislation three times in the last decade. Multiple DACA-related bills that span the ideological spectrum are back on the table, but between lawmakers’ packed legislative schedule and the internal GOP disputes that have paralyzed Congress all year, it’s hard to imagine a sudden immigration breakthrough.

If anything, the basic rift that perpetually tears Republicans apart on immigration—between nativist hardliners and pragmatic business conservatives—is now deeper than ever. Far-right groups like the Center for Immigration Studies, the Federation for Immigration Reform, and Numbers USA, which have ties to white nationalists and which espouse extreme anti-immigrant policies, have risen to new prominence since Trump’s election.

Who backs these groups? FAIR, CIS, Numbers USA, and other anti-immigrant groups have scooped up close to $100 million in grants between 2006 and 2015 from such deep-pocketed conservative funders as the Scaife Family Foundation, the Foundation for the Carolinas, and the Sidney A. Swensrud Foundation, according to a recent report by the Center for New Community, which tracks what it calls “organized bigotry” in the United States.

And despite an excited news media with its ridiculous “Donald Trump, Unprecedented Independent!” stories in the last week, remember that this is a president who has welcomed Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and Kris Kobach into his inner sanctum. These are all horrible people. They are racists. And they want massive deportations. Watching people suffer is catnip to them.

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