Immigration Policy

Why Did Democrats Shut the Government Down Over DACA?


United States Senator from New York Chuck Schumer attends the 2016 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

It didn’t take very long for the liberal commentariat to concede that the Democrats’ decision to shut down the Federal government in an effort to obtain legal status for DACA recipients did nothing except alienate the average American. Even the L.A. Times admitted as much on that weekend’s Sunday front-page headline. Most of us on the Right saw it as the latest edition of “Democrats: The Party of Illegal Aliens,” and in far too many ways, that title is entirely accurate. It was Democrats and their Leftist allies who metastasized their defiant sanctuary cities movement from its San Francisco origins, despite the fact that it is deeply unpopular, even in its birthstate, California.
Many Democrats have convinced themselves that fighting for the “rights” of illegal aliens, which they disingenuously obscure under the banner “immigrant rights”, is a noble cause akin to the one fought during the 1960’s. (Of course, illegal aliens are not immigrants, and real immigrants have almost all of the rights of citizens.) Interestingly, the politicians are very well–aware that their extreme positions are unpopular, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

After the Democrats quickly capitulated in the appropriations fight, we were left with the obvious question, which is, “Why did they do it?” The answer is not so simple.

From a philosophical standpoint, the Democrats are a party which is run by its base, as opposed to the Republican Party, which is largely run by its donors and its political class. It is no secret the Democrats’ base has been moving sharply Leftward – dramatically so where immigration is concerned. Dara Lind’s interesting Vox article explains how completely radicalized the Party has become in recent years.

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