Donald Trump has been walking the weird tightrope of trying to kill off the DACA immigration program in order to please his racist base, while also appeasing more moderate conservatives by creating the false appearance that he’s on the side of immigrants. Because he doesn’t have any political finesse, it hasn’t been going particularly well for him. Now he just suffered another major loss on the issue.
Trump’s plan was to kill off DACA on a six month delay, and then run out the clock on those six months, so he could blame Congress for not having gotten anything done to save DACA. But a federal judge already ruled that his executive order killing DACA was illegal, and now that he’s tried it in court again, another federal judge has also ruled that his move was illegal (link). Trump had minimal leverage on this issue to begin with, and now he has far less leverage.
So now, even as the DACA battle is coming to a head in the legislative realm, the Democrats have a major advantage. If Trump’s delayed shutdown of DACA isn’t going to happen anyway, then he can’t hold it over their heads as they try to negotiate legitimate immigration reform. This still doesn’t mean that the Democrats, who are in the minority in Congress until November, will be able to get their way. But it does mean that Trump just suffered a major blow when it comes to trying to get his way on the issue.
Even as Donald Trump continues to try to fend off the Rob Porter scandal in the foreground and the Robert Mueller investigation in the background, he’s not getting anywhere with his DACA gambit. Trump’s lack of political skills have been hurting him on this issue. Now his lack of understanding of the law has made it even worse for him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report