Will Section 224(a) Upset the Budget Deal Apple Cart?

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Apparently the Senate is going to vote today on the budget bill, and I assume Mitch McConnell wouldn’t allow that to happen unless (a) he had 51 votes and (b) President Trump has said he’ll sign it. Does this mean our long national nightmare is finally over?

Maybe. But border hardliners are now pissed off about something entirely new: Section 224(a).

UAC stands for Unaccompanied Alien Child, and the hawks are claiming that this provides de facto amnesty for anyone who is, or might be, taking care of an immigrant child. Democrats, presumably, describe this as a way of preventing ICE from tearing families apart. I, personally, don’t have a strong view because I don’t know what the real-life effect of this provision would be.

But what matters is that conservatives are now manning the phone lines again. This follows a short period when many of them were shrugging from exhaustion and saying they’d be willing to just take the 55 miles of new fencing and fight for the rest of it later. Depending on how fast they can marshal their forces, this might affect either the Senate vote or Trump’s support for the bill—or both. Alternatively, maybe McConnell wants to bull this through fast before anyone upsets the apple cart. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: That was quick. Trump will sign the bill and then declare a national emergency that directs the Pentagon to build the wall. This will almost certainly get tied up in court for years. As for Section 224(a), Trump couldn’t care less. Sorry, hardliners. This is what you get when you back a racist moron.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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