After the election of Donald Trump as President, we saw the rise of Democratic movements like Indivisible movement, the Women’s March, and the Donald Trump resistance. Whether the movement was against the man, Hillary’s loss or Trumps’s policies, there was a lot of emotion around the 2016 election. With all the Sturm und Drang following the elections, I thought that there would be a groundswell of new and old Democrats coming out for the 2018 mid-term elections.

I may be wrong.

A new ABC-Washing Post poll shows that Democrats are much less likely to vote in the 2018 mid-terms than Republicans. People who strongly support Trump plan to vote 11 % more than those who strongly oppose the Trump Presidency.

wapostpoll
If the Democrats have already lost enthusiasm to vote five months into the Trump administration, what does that bode for the 2018 midterms?

The 2018 Midterms

The first midterm election of a president’s term is usually very bad news for his party.  When Obama headed into the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, he was not popular. The Democrats lost seats in the U.S. Senate and House in both years. Trump is not polling well, and yet his supporters plan to turn out in greater numbers than those that oppose him.

The Washington-Post ABC poll may reflect how the country is actually feeling toward Trump as opposed to how people on the East and West coasts feel about Trump.

Last fall, from what I saw in the media I viewed, I was sure Hillary was going to win the election. Now, I question whether my media bubble is coloring my perception of how the average American views Trump.

To Change Congress, the Democrats Need a Wave Election

The Democrats have lost all three branches of government. Their current modus operandi is simply to oppose everything Trump does. Gaining the house would provide a platform for the Democrats to show how they are different.

Going into the 2018 and 2020 elections, the Democrats need a platform more substantial than “We are not Trump” to turn out voters and win elections, or Trump supporters will.

vote_hereIf you know me, you know I am interested in immigration. More than being personal for me ( since I have so many close relatives with more than one passport ). Immigration has become a topic of interest in the first hundred days of the 45th president of the United States.

I ran across a survey by a student working on his senior thesis. The title is “Political implications of Immigration and Demographic shift”. A bog standard Google survey and it took me a minute to fill out.

If you have a few minutes, it would be great if you could fill it out, as larger sample sizes are always better. The survey is 20 questions total, it shouldn’t take more than 1-2 minutes.

Here is the link to the survey:Political Implications of Immigration and Demographic shift

danielavargasWhen Daniela Vargas was arrested in her car after a press conference, a curious thing happened.   She was driving with her girlfriend when she was stopped. These were not local police, but unmarked   Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) cars.

I won’t go into the details of the case, or what I think was the real reason she is being detained. Daniela was leaving from a press conference in Jackson Mississippi.  She spoke about living as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S.

After her arrest, a spokesman for ICE said that Vargas would go through court proceedings. This seemed very standard boilerplate response. I assume it is the standard response from ICE spokesman in cases like this.

Detainees are usually taken before an immigration judge. The court would determine if she is eligible for any kind of relief, from deportation.

LOW PRIORITY UNDER OBAMA

What happened next was not standard. Under the Obama administration, visa overstayers were considered a low priority. If a visa overstayer had not committed any crimes and she would have probably been released.  Based on the Morton Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion memo, I say probably. Many low priority undocumented immigrants were detained during Obama’s tenure.

Her lawyer Abigail Peterson said, “They don’t plan on giving her a hearing with an immigration judge, and so she will be prepared for removal, so they’ll prepare travel documents and set up a flight plan.”

The ICE notice that a Daniela had been admitted under the  VWP program, gives up the right to see a judge. They are deported. No hearing or pleading your case to a judge.

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a program which allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. Argentina at the time Daniela was admitted was one of those countries.

Most visitors who come to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program leave. According to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 99% in fiscal year (FY) 2015.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The United Stares spends a lot of resources to deport unlawful residents. In the past, visa overstays were often ignored. The Trump administration wants to increase deportations, which takes time and resources. A class of undocumented immigrants that can be deported without a hearing at is a piece of “Low hanging fruit”.

For Visa Waiver Program countries, the FY 2015 overstay rate is 0.65 percent of the 20,974,390 entries.  That means that there are 136,333 targets for quick, efficient, and cheap deportation.