As Party infighting is rampant a number of their Presidential Candidates shocked the nation by claiming that arriving in the country illegally should not be a Federal Crime
By Doug Schoen
WASHINGTON D.C. (Texas Insider Report) It is now undeniable that immigration has become the focal point of the national discourse and this will be an issue at the forefront of the 2020 Campaign especially for the Democrat Party which remains largely divided.
After contentious deliberations last week Congress passed a $4.6 billion Senate aid package to fund relief for the crisis at the Southern Border. This was a blow to House Democrats who in an effort to mitigate the latest immigration crackdown by President Trump passed their own version of the bill with much stronger conditions for how the money could be spent.
Indeed infighting within the party was rampant both during and following the passage of the bill and the sharp contrast between the moderate and liberal-progressive factions is more apparent than ever before.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democratic lawmakers prior to the vote:
In order to get resources to the children fastest we will reluctantly pass the Senate bill."
The progressive wing quickly took aim at Pelosi for passing the Senate bill.
The House Hispanic Caucus issued a blistering statement following the passage of the bill saying:
What happened today is unacceptable and we will not forget this betrayal."
Notable progressive lawmakers such as freshman Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York also came forward to sharply criticize Pelosi for passing the bill after witnessing what she described as vile" conditions in the detention centers along the southern border.
Then following attacks from White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway (who called Ocasio-Cortez out for decrying the crisis on the southern border and then not voting for the Senate aid package) Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter saying:
The $4.6 billion wasnt humanitarian at all. It had no accountability measures for facilities that abuse children and families. It didnt fix the problem just funded abuse.
I dont believe in billion dollar blank checks for unethical abusive administrations."
Beyond being a loss for Democrats the passage of this bill was a victory for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Pelosi has for the most part been able to adeptly navigate the increasing ideological divide within the Democratic Party but she could not maintain consensus and ultimately lost unified control of her own caucus while McConnell came out strong.
This substantive defeat for the Democrats comes off the heels of the first primary debate where a number of the candidates shocked the nation by claiming that arriving into the country illegally should not be a federal crime.
During the Democrats first primary debate when candidate Julian Castro called upon his contenders to say whether they would repeal Section 1325 which makes it a federal crime to cross the border illegally several of the candidates agreed that crossing the border illegally should not be a criminal offense.
This was an alarming moment and is indicative of how far left the party has moved on immigration not just from where it once was but from the majority of the electorate.
It is clear that Democrats are deeply divided on a consequential issue of critical importance to voters. Certainly this will carry plenty of weight as the Democrats move forward on the campaign trail.
- According to a recent Gallup poll 23 of Americans believe immigration is our most important problem the highest percentage ever recorded since Gallup began tracking mentions of immigration in 1993.
The border crisis is saddening and the photos are concerning. However while the intentions of progressive Democrats come from humanitarian concerns it is comments like those by Ocasio-Cortez who claimed that detainees are drinking out of toilets" but failed to prove this worrying claim and still restated her comparison of the facilities to concentration camps" that are going to be the downfall of Democrats in 2020.
These baseless claims and obscene rhetoric are harmful to the party harmful to the cause and do nothing but sow divisions in the country even deeper.
Douglas E. Schoen (@DouglasESchoen) served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton. He is a political consultant Fox News contributor and the author of Collapse: A World in Crisis & the Urgency of American Leadership."