Hundreds of thousands of Dreamers are currently in legal jeopardy thanks to the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to cancel the DACA program. Earlier this week, the president’s bad-faith March 5 deadline for creating a legislative DACA “fix”came and went, and some Democrats seem to have concluded that there’s nothing to be gained by making noise about POTUS’s unpopular position on the issue. Consider the following:
• Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly doesn’t appear to have issued an official statement about DACA via Twitter or press release yet this year.
• Alabama Sen. Doug Jones doesn’t appear to have issued an official statement about DACA since Feb. 15.
• Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill doesn’t appear to have issued an official statement about DACA since Feb. 15, but she did complain to Roll Call on March 1 that DACA activists are too critical of Democrats.
• West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin doesn’t appear to have issued an official statement about DACA since Feb. 15.
• Florida Sen. Bill Nelson doesn’t appear to have issued an official statement about DACA since Feb. 12.
• Michigan Sen. Gary Peters doesn’t appear to have issued an official statement about DACA since Jan. 21.
• New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen doesn’t appear to have issued a public statement about DACA since Feb. 15.
You may have your suspicions about why I picked those particular Democrats if you read the headline of this post, and indeed, they were all among the 16 Dems who crossed the aisle and voted to advance a major bank deregulation bill earlier this week. (I didn’t mention the other eight because they’ve stayed relatively more active on DACA.) While the bill in question is being pitched as an effort to help small banks and credit unions lend more easily to mom and pop local businesses on “Main Street,” reporting in the Intercept notes that the institutions that will or may benefit from it include such notably non–down-home, non–mom and pop operations as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and Barclays. (Twenty-five of the 38 biggest banks in the country are expected to benefit from one of the bill’s components in particular.) Having reviewed the latest data on credit availability, meanwhile, my colleague Jordan Weissmann recently wrote that “[t]here is no sign of a credit shortage in the United States—on Main Street or any other street.” And the Congressional Budget Office says the bill will “increase the likelihood that a large financial firm with assets of between $100 billion and $250 billion would fail.”
So that’s what those senators are doing right now instead of pushing more on immigration. Maybe they’re making the right political calculation given their lack of legislative leverage on DACA and the potential value to Democrats in red and purple states of being able to claim “bipartisan” achievements—I don’t know. I can’t see the future! But it’s, you know, interesting.