Kudos to Sen. Jeff Flake for pushing a minimalist immigration compromise that takes care of the most urgent issues. Let’s hope Congress can manage enough of a break from partisan warring to pass it.
The Arizona Republican this week will introduce a bill to set up a legal three-year extension of President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and add $7.6 billion over three years to border-security spending, including funds for President Trump’s wall.
Action on DACA is urgent because Trump’s temporary protection for these young people is set to expire soon, and almost no one wants to leave them without any legal status.
But any permanent solution is tricky: After all, they got the name “Dreamers” from the proposed Dream Act — which didn’t have the votes to become law even when Democrats controlled supermajorities in Congress in the early Obama years.
Which helps explain why Trump, as part of any deal that offers permanent legal status and a path to citizenship for the Dreamers, wants other immigration reforms.
But most Democrats won’t take that deal; that’s why we’ve long warned that only a small-scale deal is practical.
Flake admits his bill “is far from a perfect solution,” but it’s a start.