A Closer Look at the Democrats’ Immigration Stances

Democratic policy positions on immigration bear serious analysis at this point, because they are now producing pain, suffering and death every day. 

Recent reports that seven people in Washington State have died because of crimes perpetrated by illegal immigrants who would have been removed but for that state’s “sanctuary laws” are just the tip of the iceberg. Americans every day are dying because states will not support federal immigration enforcement and removal operations. Response from Speaker Pelosi? 

Moreover, intending illegal immigrants posing as “asylum seekers” are dying in the desert and rivers because of policies that Democrats have championed to incentivize the use of minor children to get special treatment at the border.  Laws passed and earlier-approved court settlements require that children be handled in a manner that encourages their use by cartels and traffickers.

Today’s immigration chaos began with the calculated decision by Democrats – led by Illinois Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) – to begin isolating minor children as a subpopulation to try to elicit sympathy for a political agenda. It began in 2001, when the “DREAM Act,” or Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, was cooked up at a time when 9/11 hijackings made it politically impossible to push another universal blanket amnesty.  This bill provided an amnesty for those persons brought here as minors, regardless of their age at the time the bill was enacted into law.

Although such a proposal would obviously be seen as an incentive for people to bring young children, Senator Durbin quickly realized that by using children as political tools, it would galvanize his base and advance his political agenda: To create division and dissent around the idea that U.S. immigration laws have legitimacy and purpose.

Various version of the DREAM Act drifted along until former President Obama ratified portions of it administratively with the DACA program in 2012.  Both proposals remain highly controversial.

True to form, Senator Durbin has never varied from this tactic, even at the expense of making what he should believe is progress. He could have gotten the DREAM Act passed many times had he been willing to compromise and provide proper reforms in exchange.  Instead, as he does today, he finds one excuse after another to never give an inch: He does not want to give up the Faustian bargain he entered into nearly two decades ago.  Just read his Twitter feed to see it in action:  Attack, attack, attack. 

The logical conclusion of what began as a political ploy in 2001 has now been reached. By reflexively opposing one form of enforcement after another, we now find that a proposal by the Trump Administration to execute Final Orders of Removal (Deportation) against persons who have already been found deportable is opposed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her caucus.  Indeed, she now says being “out of status” is not a proper basis for removal. Since when?  Has she read the law?

Keep in mind these are people who have not only broken our immigration laws (and invariably quite a few others along the way), they have thumbed their noses at our judicial system by ignoring a lawful departure order after having their day in court.  In other words, they have had their due process, and refused to respect our system of borders and laws at any level.

It is these people that the Democratic Leadership now wishes to shield from the consequences of their outrageous behavior.  This can only be seen for what it is: A full scale, frontal assault on the legitimacy of the nation’s immigration and border controls. It is a full blown crisis of unfathomable dimensions.  Our national self-determination is slipping from our grasp.

The failure of Congress to act demonstrates that the nation is at an inflection point:  When a democracy is unable to update its policies to reflect real world operations of its laws in a manner calculated to ensure its long-term preservation, it has a real problem. This choice is ours – national self-determination, or a continued slide into a slumbering mediocrity.  I choose the former. 

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to ImmigrationReform.com, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar

    Columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr is another person who always refuses to discuss the real issues. He endorsed Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s description of detention centers as “concentration camps”. But she, Navarrette and others fail to note that the people detained came knowing full well that they were going to be detained. And at any time, they are free to return home or across the border into Mexico. So obviously those advocates don’t feel anyone should be detained. Which makes it their obligation to then explain what our policy should be. Other than open borders which is what their real goal is. Semantics games and complaining don’t change the fact that they propose no other better alternatives.

    At last night’s second Democratic debate, they all agreed we should provide healthcare for illegals. So how do we afford this? Print more money and put ourselves into a bigger fiscal hole? Cut benefits for Americans? But this is their platform, all the feel good rhetoric with none of the actual consequences being explained. Like they want no one detained, no one deported and give citizenship to everyone here without permission. This is not a recipe for a sovereign or fiscally solvent nation. No surprise. One of the Wikileaks was a speech Hillary gave in secret to South American bankers in which she said she wanted “open borders and open trade”. No wonder she endorsed the Trans Pacific Partnership deal, which would have done both those things. Fortunately Trump killed it his first week in office.

    It was also interesting watching the candidates being asked about 3rd trimester abortions. First it was doubletalk about how they “can’t imagine” any woman doing that for any reason other than a necessity. But in the end, they said it was a woman’s choice meaning they would do nothing to stop it for any reason chosen. But at 8 1/2 months that is a “choice” you should have made months before. That’s why all this about “the children” is hypocritical to the max.

  2. avatar

    The failure of Congress to act demonstrates that the nation is at an inflection point: When a democracy is unable to update its policies to reflect real world operations of its laws in a manner calculated to ensure its long-term preservation, it has a real problem. This choice is ours – national self-determination, or a continued slide into a slumbering mediocrity. I choose the former. Democrats are a Failure and must be defeated in 2020.