There’s a third option on immigration that’s oddly being forgotten by the GOP as the House leadership desperately tries to tweak the compromise bill which for now seems to be the first option, (the second option being Goodlatte’s more rigorous legislation which failed last week).

Byron York last Thursday in the Washington Examiner reminded us all of that option: build a wall. The one that then-candidate Trump repeated so often that it became a part of the liturgy of his campaign rallies. Not a wall along every mile of the southern border, but one that covered a fairly large part of the terrain that is crossed daily by thousands or hundreds of illegals trying to gain a foothold in America.

York’s reminder is really a warning for the President himself and his administration. If anyone has been on the ground doing the footwork that any reliable and thoughtful journalist should be doing, it’s Byron York. And he rightly points out that if Trump punts on this issue until after the mid-terms – as his latest tweets to the House GOP to move on from immigration until after the elections certainly suggests – then what does he do if the GOP loses the House or loses a large part of their majority? Or even loses the Senate? And even if they don’t, can any compromise immigration bill survive the deep divisions within the GOP, never mind Democrat obstruction on an issue they have decided to use as a wedge to placate their base and somehow draw independents back towards them?

Trump had a chance this past winter, but he and the GOP let it slip by trying to include too much in the bill. Maybe a DACA for Border Wall simple trade-off might have worked. Maybe. Here’s Byron York:

The only way a wall will ever happen is with determined presidential leadership. Yes, Congress has supported extensive border barriers in the past — look up the Secure Fence Act of 2006 — but the political system has never wanted to actually do it. Actually building a wall would take a president who will not give up and not settle for anything less than what he promised.

Incredibly enough, Trump made it to 2018 with a real chance to get wall funding. His maneuvers on DACA, President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, set up a simple and obvious deal: legalization of DACA recipients in exchange for money for the wall.

… But Trump and Republicans in Congress always threw other issues into the mix. Chain migration. The visa lottery. Guest workers. Now, the hot issue of the moment is family separation. Whatever the specific add-ons, a clean DACA-for-wall deal morphed into a sort of lite version of comprehensive immigration reform, which is an endeavor that has a long record of failure in Washington.

As York suggests, the President is running out of time to get his wall built. He may somehow be presented with one more chance to get it done in Congress, but the surprise factor that was initially in place is now long gone. Democrats will counter-punch and delay and activists will use the courts to tie up any proposal should it actually get passed.

And at this point, it seems the House GOP will try to settle on some slimmed-down piece of legislation which essentially undoes family separation, and little else. With nary a wall in sight.

Will base voters forgive President Trump for failing to build a wall? Will that factor into the intensity of the mid-terms themselves? Or will it be more of a question in the 2020 presidential elections? Amid the noise and fury of the full-on cultural wars, this is an issue that will resonate in November; both this coming November and in November, 2020.

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