Donald Trump seems to have placed certain members of the GOP in a precarious position heading into the 2018 mid-term elections.
As reported in USA Today, one of the most contentious issues surrounding Trump’s immigration policies has surrounded the practice of separating children from their parents.
This practice became increasingly common following the increased prosecution of immigrants.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen insisted on this increased federal prosecutions, which then required immigrant children to be moved into the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Regardless of the intention of the new policy, the reality has been incredible pushback from the public.
The news has been filled in recent weeks with reports and images of children housed in cages. Vox released photos of children separated from their parents and stored in chain link partitions, while the New York Post released audio of an immigration official laughing and joking as caged children cried nearby.
The ongoing media coverage and public response have forced Republicans to respond, with Roll Call reporting on compromise bills that would eliminate the practice of separating parents and children.
The bill, however, has little hope of surviving. At the heart of the issue are two distinct wings of the Republican party.
The entrenched Freedom Caucus has a strong base and is centered in states where they can win not only in their Republican primaries but in a general election.
Not all Republicans are so lucky. As covered by the Washington Post, Republicans hailing from states that also lean Democrat may be able to survive their primaries but will have much lower chances of winning in the general election.
While Republican voters may not prioritize immigration policy overhauls, it’s an issue that will come up in the general election. Statistical website 538 reported earlier this year about the enthusiasm gap, a measure of how enthusiastic voters from each party are to vote in the upcoming election.
The gap was strongly in favor of Democrats, who seemed much more eager to vote in the elections. Even with the New York Times reporting Wednesday morning that Trump would use an executive order to end the policy of separating families, voters on the Democratic side seem much more likely to vote in order to prevent similar policies from being passed again.