Now that the midterms are over and Democrats have regained control of the House of Representatives, a November 17 piece in The Washington Post points to immigration as the party’s main focus.
While many Democrats seek to grant legal status to “Dreamers,” immigrants who have been here since childhood, other party officials want to create a “comprehensive immigration plan akin to bipartisan legislation that foundered five years ago,” according to the report. And then there are progressive congressional newcomers like Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), who want to dissolve Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) following charges of abuse.
But Ocasio-Cortez has minimal support among leading dems like Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and some members are worried about alienating moderate voters. Some Democrats say President Donald Trump and the Republicans have misrepresented their views, according to The Post: “They said they are not calling for dismantling enforcement but rather for ICE’s duties to be redistributed across the government to help curb abuses.”
As Trump continues to demand $5 billion to build his wall along the United States-Mexico border, and threatens to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his way, Democrats are under even more pressure to get on the same page around immigration, according to the news outlet. They oppose funding the wall, but this fight threatens to “further highlight Democratic divisions over immigration.” Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), says the party should quickly offer a comprehensive immigration bill allowing Democrats to “show what they stand for.”