The flood of undocumented migrants into the United States might become an electoral tsunami that sweeps away Democrats in the November elections, handing control of the Senate to the GOP, political analyst Dick Morris told Newsmax TV
The border crisis that has now spilled over into U.S. communities is creating political conditions that could produce Republican majorities in both houses next January, Newsmax contributor Morris told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.
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Morris laid out a scenario for Senate realignment that connects developments in Washington to growing national anxiety over the immigration crisis:
- As protests multiply in communities where the federal government had hoped to shelter the new arrivals, pressure will grow on the president to deal with, and to repatriate, thousands of the children from Central America who crossed the border alone in recent weeks and months.
- Republicans in Congress, sensing opinion on their side, will demand concessions from the president in exchange for his $3.7 billion emergency aid request: a reversal of the president's 2012 policy easing child deportations; and his consent to changes in a 2008 law that also prevents rapid repatriation of children from certain countries.
- As the president considers the GOP offer, the Senate as a whole under Majority Leader Harry Reid will object to concessions that anger Hispanic voters who want amnesty and a path toward citizenship for the new arrivals.
- The resulting stalemate will leave a group of Reid's Democratic colleagues up for re-election this fall in a difficult position: facing a backlash from voters who are increasingly troubled by the crisis.
"They are out there, vulnerable, because when Obama is sending out this [emergency] funding bill, the Republicans are going to say… 'We won't give it to you unless you repeal the statutory protections these kids have so that we can send them right back.'
"At that point, the Senate Democrats will say, 'No, we don't want to send them right back,' and that could wipe them out in the midterm elections," said Morris.
Morris said the crisis is already opening a rift between Democrats who support deportations and those who want undocumented immigrants to resettle here. But he said the larger dynamic at work is public outrage fueled in part by horror stories
of Americans being harmed by illegal immigrants.
"All of those stories will have legs and ultimately come to dominate the debate," Morris said.
Morris also questioned the underlying rationale for the exodus of children who are said to be fleeing drug gang violence in countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. He called that story a "myth"
"I've done a bunch of campaigns in Guatemala, in El Salvador, and in Honduras, and those countries right now are safer than they've normally been," he said. "There's no civil war going on — there was for 30 or 40 years. There are no death squads. … The idea that these kids are fleeing violence is really irrational."
He said Americans are more concerned about crises at home.
"There's nothing about northern Guatemala that has the north side of Chicago beat: the crime rate, the murder rate, the death rate isn't all that different," he said. "There, it's, 'Let's protect our own kids and our own neighborhoods first.' "
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