Trump Just Derailed the Latest Republican Immigration Hostage-Taking Scheme

Popular vote loser Donald Trump, the mastermind of family separation and child gulags, blew up House Republican's latest legislative effort to blame it all on Democrats when he summarily dismissed a "compromise" poison-pill immigration bill leadership has been negotiating. House Speaker Paul Ryan had been planning on holding votes on two bills early next week, one that hard-line Republicans were demanding, a white supremacist wish list sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and one that was "negotiated" between hardliners and "moderates" who were threatening to force a vote on protections for Dreamers with a discharge petition.

That negotiation was basically the moderates completely caving, and the resulting bill draft being another ransom demand from Republicans: Democrats could free the children in those gulags and get protections for Dreamers if they agreed to $25 billion in border wall funding. By the way, the legislation doesn't actually prevent family separation, as Republicans assert. It would instead do away with the "current requirement that children be kept in the 'least restrictive' conditions possible, and that they not be detained any longer than necessary." Families would be kept together, but it would allow Trump to keep them indefinite detention.

In his supposedly impromptu appearance on the White House lawn in front of tv cameras Friday morning, Trump said, "I'm looking at both of them. I certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate one." That blew up Ryan's plans, and the whipping that was supposed to begin Friday on the second bill was abruptly cancelled. A leadership source told NBC News that "we are going to take a little pause & continue the discussion next week" while they try to get "more clarity on the White House position on this."

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-CA, a supposed supporter of immigration reform, seems to think that no one is sure what Trump was talking about (probably including Trump) and there's the possibility that the White House will walk back his opposition. Freedom Caucus guy Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), on the other hand, seizedon Trump's comments, saying "I think he understands what’s in the bill and not in the bill," and that he "carries more weight in the Republican Conference." That's all the Freedom Caucus needs to blow this whole thing up.

So much for blaming children being ripped from their families on the Democrats.


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