Meet the new Valerie Jarrett.
One of the people who jumped on the Trump Train early was Steve Bannon. Above almost everything else, Bannon saw that Trump was willing to go against something no other Republican would or could oppose: mass immigration. The big Republican donors like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson are libertarian enough to believe in what we now call “comprehensive immigration reform.”
After just a week, President Trump signed an Executive Order which sought to close the revolving door for Americans who were recently granted immigration status but who traveled “home” and back. It also put in a 2-3 month delay on new Visas until a system was put in place to verify the identity of these immigrants.
You can question the legality or implementation of this EO, but if you’re the acting Attorney General, you’ll get fired for it. As the Republicans (and probably Bannon) learned from the government “shutdown,”either you give in or they do. Valerie Jarrett didn’t let Obama give in.
When Ronald Reagan allowed illegal immigrants to get green cards, it was part of an arrangement with Democrats in Congress to grant amnesty, then step up enforcement to reduce future illegal immigration. Enforcement is hard and Democrats weren’t interested, so they took the amnesty and ran.
Frankly, people didn’t care about illegal immigration. In 1992, Pat Buchanan ran on the Trump platform and lost the nomination to George H.W. Bush. Clinton beat Bush and brought us NAFTA. Creating jobs in Mexico reduced immigration for a while. Bush 43 was not opposed to immigration reform, but the Congress found that voters were.
Then there was 9/11.
When Obama came in, he felt it was his duty to coddle the entire Muslim world and deport Mexicans with jobs, but leave the ones on welfare here. Stories of “refugees” in Europe raping women and young girls while sometimes killing crowds with trucks made America appropriately concerned with America’s policy toward not caring who comes in the US or overstays.
More than anyone else in the White House, I’m sure that Bannon is expressing his grudge against Democrats and Republicans who aren’t pure enough to advise Trump. Immigration is a great issue to use. Even firing federal staff when not enough people have been hired yet is not seen as a bad move when they refuse immigration orders that most of America is happy to see. My concern is that the left has lower depths to go and I’m not sure if Bannon can fight it if he lets Trump piss off too many Republicans.