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DACA for Wall Funding: A Trade Worth Making

Jacob Wohl



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A political compromise, involving legal status, not citizenship, for 800,000 ‘Dreamers’ in exchange for comprehensive funding for a border wall, along with other border security measures, is starting to take shape in Washington.

In the wake of President Trump’s deal with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling, preventing a political battle that could have brought dire consequences, the political class is beginning to realize that compromise with Trump is possible.

There a certain options which simply don’t exist, given the meek and disunited makeup of congressional Republicans. A perfect solution for conservatives would seemingly be an end to DACA, and appropriate $100 Billion from congress in order to secure the border.

Securing the border is a non-negotiable. The spending required to do so is significant. From building a wall, to beefing up patrols along the border, to instituting a national E-Verify system, there’s a lot of money that needs to be spent in order to stop the flow of illegal immigrants through our Southern Border.

The Republican Problem– The difference between establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans on the issue of illegal immigration is simple. Democrats believe in open borders to maintain a supply of what they believe are future Democrat voters, and they say it. Republicans are often backed by agricultural special interested, which want to maintain a supply of what they see as low cost labor, but they’ll never admit it.

When a Republican remains hard-lined on the issue of immigration, such that they cannot reach a compromise that involves securing the border, it usually means that they don’t want to secure the border at all.

A wall is a wall, not a symbol– The problem with previous border security plans is that they don’t involve building a permanent barrier between the United States and Mexico. As budgets fluctuate, surges of border security come and go. A one-time buy of a wall, for which the maintenance is minimal when compared with a fence, means that the bar is raised on border security. Even at a time when democrats cut funding for border security, the wall will remain in place.

Any immigration reform must include a wall. Anyone that supports a border security plan that doesn’t support funding for a wall is essentially saying that they don’t believe in stemming the tide of uncontrolled immigration.

That wall, backed up with a non-negotiable e-verify system, and a total stop to social welfare programs for illegal immigrants would dramatically reduce the tremendous toll of illegal immigration. With no jobs or social welfare programs, waves of self-deportation would take place. The illegal immigrants who genuinely believe in becoming Americans would get in the back of the line, and do so legally.

Republicans need to come around to the idea that the country must do whatever it takes to stop the flow of illegal immigration. A deal that does not have the support of establishment Republicans and Democrats simply will not take place. No matter how big the will of the American people, the reality of Washington DC is that in order to make big changes, the support of congressional leadership is required.

Swapping DACA for wall funding is now a deal that is tempting to make for both Republican and Democrat leadership in congress. Democrats realize that there is no real case against securing the border, and that Americans overwhelming support border security. Republicans realize that the last time DACA happened with no meaningful resistance from congress, Republican voters licked their wounds and went on voting Republicans.

DACA is not amnesty, and DACA precipitants cannot vote. If a DACA-like law is implemented, and properly enforced by the executive branch, it’s not nearly as damaging as the reality of NOT having a border wall.

If Republicans believe in stopping illegal immigration, they must support the building of a wall at any cost, including a compromise on DACA.






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Jacob Wohl is the CEO and Head of Fixed Income and Interest Rates for Montgomery Assets, a proprietary trading and asset management firm based in Los Angeles, CA. Jacob Wohl is the host of the Offended America Podcast


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