President Donald Trump is considering introducing legislation to provide a pathway to legal status, but not immediately to citizenship, for illegal immigrants in the United States, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing a senior White House official.
Either a senior White House official is about to get fired, or else I will have to revise my odds (currently near zero) that a Republican Congress would ever impeach Trump. Immigration always blows up the GOP. It completely detonated the primary when Trump ran deep into reckless hawk territory, and the long term consequences for the GOP and for American business could well be catastrophic. Running all the way across the grid into amnesty territory is lunatic behavior. Republicans cannot possibly pass an immigration bill, full stop. The base goes absolutely feral at the idea of amnesty. Remember, the GOP coalition is basically a pact to subdue minorities and women in exchange for tax cuts. But the Chamber o’ Commerce crowd gets just as agitated when ICE doorkickers start rounding up their best labor. Tyson does not want to charge twice as much for packaged chicken thighs any more than you want to pay it.
Dubya and Marco Rubio both spent a lot of capital on compromise bills with amnesty provisions. The base ate them both alive. If Trump does try this clever tack to the immigration center, I have little doubt it will cost him massively with the base, embolden many Republicans to start standing up to him, and benefit himself and the GOP not one iota.