Immigration is a Key Issue in 2018 Midterms




Ever since the election of President Donald Trump, immigration has been a hot-button issue in national politics. In a near-unprecedented manner, it soon became a state, county, and municipal political issue as well. More Democrat-held cities doubled down on their “sanctuary” policies (essentially vowing to obstruct justice when dealing with any immigration law enforcement), as did counties controlled by Democrat sheriffs, along with the entire state of California. Not long after, some jurisdictions in California declared that they would not follow any “sanctuary state” policy and would gladly cooperate with ICE and CBP agents. Now, with the midterm elections on the horizon, a Reuters poll has shown that immigration has shockingly become the single most important issue in voting overall.

This could mean several things for the upcoming elections, especially when one considers that on average significantly more Republicans are concerned about immigration than Democrats; in fact, immigration isn’t even in the top 5 across the party, if the poll is to be believed. Currently, the Republican immigration platform is generally one of security: allowing ICE to arrest illegal aliens when they find them, ensuring that illegals being held already are lawfully deported, denying welfare to illegals, and building a border wall to strengthen ground security. The Democratic immigration platform, on the other hand, is one of openness (though much less uniform than that of the Republicans): free refuge and migration, amnesty for those already here, keeping immigrant families together, and recently, abolishing ICE.

For the Democrats’ part, it is worth noting how their commitment to their immigration policy has been rather questionable since the Trump administration took office. When Trump made the decision to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the Democrats erupted into such an uproar that it seemed as though any deal to save the controversial Obama program would be worth it to them. So, when Trump offered to provide full amnesty to all current DACA recipients in exchange for the Democratic Party promising not to impede the vote on his border wall… the Democrats abruptly turned their backs on the idea, allowed the program to die peacefully, and never made an issue of it again. Similarly, when they decided how outrageous it was that immigrant families were separated during immigration court proceedings (which is preposterous, considering that this is standard procedure nationwide when both parents are arrested, and which would otherwise demand that said children be put in federal prison), the Republicans actually agreed that the families were put through undue stress, and Trump signed an executive order authorizing the DHS and DOD to do their best to come up with accommodations for any detained families. Rather than rejoice at this bipartisanship, the Democrats made very little show of support for the measure and instead began to complain of “migrant concentration camps”. The absurdity goes without saying.

On the other side of the aisle, the Republicans have clearly been galvanized by the Democrats’ inflammatory rhetoric demanding that ICE be abolished. I imagine that there are several reasons for this. First, ICE and their sister agency, CBP (the parent agency of Border Patrol) play a key role in combating traffickers of drugs, weapons, and especially people from neighboring Mexico, a haven of cartels who will send anything over the border if it profits them. ICE especially is a major enemy of child trafficking, an issue slowly retaking the limelight. Also, quite simply, many seem to simply be tired of the lawlessness that flows over the southern border. MS-13 certainly isn’t going away of their own will. It’s not impossible to come here legally anyway. Frankly, most conservatives— a large majority— are quite welcoming to immigrants. They just want them to follow the same rules as everyone else.

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