Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Ramesh Ponnuru

Trump Takes a (Calculated) Risk on Immigration

His voters don't care what Steve Bannon thinks. But they might care if their president acts like a career politician.
Are they with him, no matter what?

Are they with him, no matter what?

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa says that President Donald Trump will see his base “destroyed” if he agrees to provide legal status to illegal immigrants who came here as children, or at least if he does it without securing funding for a border wall. That’s bluster. But Trump is taking a political risk.

It’s true that some of Trump’s most prominent supporters are furious with him over the issue. But most voters have sympathy for the affected population and favor legal status. Most Republicans, too: A Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 69 percent of Republicans favored legal status.