The quant days of 2013, where a bipartisan group of eight senators actually worked on immigration reform, are long gone. While not perfect, the Gang of Eight sought credible reform to our immigration system and at least supported pathways to citizenship. Instead, in 2018 we have Chuck Schumer and the Democrats leaving DREAMers in limbo because Mitch McConnell pinky promised to allow the Senate to vote on immigration by February 8th. No word on whether any Democrat checked if McConnell was crossing any fingers behind his back. They were preoccupied with the talking stick.  With the fate of millions of law-abiding DREAMers balancing on the ethical discretion of a man who held a Supreme Court seat vacant for over year for Trump to fill on day one, the immigration debate has shifted from concerns of fairness, compassion, and humane governance to “chain migration”, “non-merit-based immigration”, and English language skills. To add to the fun, last night the White House released an “immigration framework” which grants protections to some DREAMers, but limits legal immigration and requires funding for Trump’s big, beautiful wall. Predictably, the plan has angered conservative anti-immigration groups and Hill Democratsalike. Nonetheless, when reform proposals require breaking up families making legal immigration more difficult, we go beyond a policy discussion of immigration and squarely into questioning the kind of nation we want to be and our place in the world.

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