Democratic leaders were promising big moves on immigration before the end of the year, even threatening a government shutdown if they weren't allowed to bring a "clean" DREAM Act which would authorize amnesty for most DREMers without concessions on border security.
But as of Wednesday, Democratic leadership has changed their tune. Scared of the blowback from a vote before the end of the year, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are waving the white flag on immigration reform.
Hollywood leftists and "Resistance" activists have been pushing for a "clean" DREAM Act since finding out that Congressional Republicans planned to introduce a compromise immigration bill either at the end of the 2017 session or the beginning of the 2018 session. That bill, likely backed by the White House, would ensure continued protection for the children of illegal immigrants, but at the price of increased funding for border security and law enforcement, and a first round of funding for the so-called "border wall."
Initially, Pelosi and Schumer took a hard line on the subject, claiming they'd even shut down the government by refusing to vote for a stop-gap funding bill, unless the DREAMers were protected under that budget measure, effectively separating the DREAMers from any GOP effort to pass all immigration reform at once.
That would certainly have been a win for Democrats, who could have opposed any Republican immigration reform, while appeasing their base. Dems voting for a DREAM Act tied to security and a border wall would send most progressives off the deep end — a scenario an already fractured Democratic party would prefer to avoid.
In the end, though, both Pelosi and Schumer caved, claiming that negotiations on the budget bill were going just too well to interrupt them now.
“Democrats are not willing to shut government down, no,” Pelosi said Monday. “As I said, that is part of our priorities that are listed here, and there may be some more.”
Of course, that doesn't make progressive activists very happy either. “If Congress goes home for Christmas and leaves Dreamers in the cold, there will be a grassroots uprising that will scorch every legislator who fails to do what’s right," MoveOn.org cried in a fundraising email Wednesday.
Pelosi and Schumer had better hope the goodwill from their Alabama win keeps MoveOn giddy at least through Christmas.