Democrats are resolute in their insistence that they will not agree to any DACA compromise that includes funding for a border wall, insisting that such a focus on border enforcement is somehow racist. This, however, is in direct opposition to decades of Democratic Party policies--most prominently outlined by President Bill Clinton in his 1995 State of the Union Address:
11 years later, while serving as a U.S. Senator, Hillary Clinton sounded similarly hawkish:
That year, Mrs. Clinton and fellow Senators Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer joined 23 other Democrats in voting for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized the construction of 700 miles of border fencing along America's southern border:
The Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, authorized about 700 miles of fencing along certain stretches of land between the border of the United States and Mexico.
The act also authorized the use of more vehicle barriers, checkpoints and lighting to curb illegal immigration, and the use of advanced technology such as satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles.At the time the act was being considered, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer were all members of the Senate. (Schumer of New York is now the Senate minority leader.)
Obama, Clinton, Schumer and 23 other Democratic senators voted in favor of the act when it passed in the Senate by a vote of 80 to 19.
Schumer continued his tough rhetoric on illegal immigration until 2009, when he railed against the politically correct term "undocumented worker" over the more accurate "illegal immigrant:"
So what changed? Why has the Democratic Party veered so far to the left on illegal immigration? Perhaps this memo from Center for American Progress Action Fund president Jennifer Palmieri can help explain:
As Palmieri noted, Democrats see DREAMers as future voters who are a "critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success:"
Political allegiances are made in moments like these. Voters want to know that politicians and leaders are with them and ultimately one of them. Once that becomes clear, voters will also stand with those leaders. That is the key lesson to draw from the political realignment that took place in California in the years following the enactment of Proposition 187. Although support for Republicans among California Latinos had been on the rise in the years preceding that ballot initiative, the anger and alienation felt by Latino residents—and by some white Republican voters, as well—led to a rapid seismic shift in the political landscape of the state. But that happened not only because a large share of the electorate turned away from the Republican Party, but also because they were welcomed by the Democratic Party. Instead of apathy these voters took action. That action and the subsequent shift in the political landscape might not have been possible had Democrats not joined the fight and stood with the community on principle.
In other words, DREAMers will become voters who will stand with the Democratic Party, giving it an insurmountable electoral advantage similar to the one it enjoys in California.
Dan O'Donnell discussed this on his show Tuesday. Click on the player below to listen: