President Trump frequently excoriates the media for covering “Fake News” about his various controversies instead of covering the incredible, unprecedented accomplishments of his administration. But he has no one but himself to blame for any lack of media coverage of legislative progress on two of his more popular immigration proposals today.
The House is expected to pass Kate’s Law, an intensification of criminal penalties for previously convicted undocumented immigrants who are deported but then try to reenter the country, and another bill cutting off federal grants for “sanctuary cities” (and states) that don’t cooperate fully in federal immigration-enforcement efforts.
Kate’s Law was inspired by the 2015 slaying of Kate Steinle on a pier in San Francisco by a Mexican citizen who had repeatedly been deported and also convicted of felonies. The sanctuary cities bill is the next step of escalation in the president’s culture-war-inflected battle with progressive jurisdictions where law-enforcement officials believe they could lose cooperation from undocumented immigrants. These immigrants often won’t come forward with information on crimes if they fear they could immediately be turned over to the feds for deportation. A federal judge stopped the Trump administration’s efforts to punish sanctuary cities by executive order. But a statute passed by Congress would presumably fare better in the courts.
Just to make this the perfect day for Trump’s self-proclaimed crusade to save law-abiding Americans from swarthy aliens wishing them ill, this evening will mark the first time the president’s revised travel ban will be allowed partially to take effect.
Yet instead of staying focused on this message-rich day of particular importance to his own electoral base, Donald Trump began the day with a couple of nasty, misogynistic tweets continuing a feud he has undertaken with MSNBC gabbers Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
As Vox’s Tara Golshan summed it up:
The plan unraveled.
“Maybe the intent is to distract from the health care debate,” Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) mused about the president’s tweets on CNN.
Immigration policy was supposed to be the distraction. Trump just distracted himself.
Worse yet, he reinforced the impression that he is incapable of disciplining himself when it comes to his role in promoting his own agenda. That is poisonous to all of his allies.