For years, immigration has been the subject of near-constant, often bitter argument within the GOP. But it is true that Trump has brought the debate to a new place — first, with hisannouncement speech, about whether Mexican migrants are really rapists, and now with the somewhat more nuanced Trump plan.
Much of it — visa tracking, E-Verify, withholding funds from sanctuary cities — predates Trump. Even building the Great Wall is not particularly new. (I, for one, have been advocating that in this space since 2006.) Dominating the discussion, however, are his two policy innovations: (a) abolition of birthright citizenship and (b) mass deportation.
Abolishing a right to citizenship is no small thing:
If you are born in the United States, you are an American citizen. So says the 14th Amendment. Barring some esoteric and radically new jurisprudence, abolition would require amending the Constitution. Which would take years and great political effort. And make the GOP anathema to Hispanic Americans for a generation.
It would never ever happen. No Congress would approve such a change, let alone by two thirds majority. And You would not get 38 states to ratify it. I doubt you would get five.
And for what? Birthright citizenship is a symptom, not a cause. If you regain control of the border, the number of birthright babies fades to insignificance. The time and energy it would take to amend the Constitution are far more usefully deployed securing the border.
That is right.
Last Sunday, Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd that all illegal immigrants must leave the country. Although once they’ve been kicked out, we will let “the good ones” back in.On its own terms, this is crackpot. Wouldn’t you save a lot just on Mayflower moving costs if you chose the “good ones” first — before sending SWAT teams to turf families out of their homes, loading them on buses and dumping them on the other side of the Rio Grande?
A good point.
Less frivolously, it is estimated by the conservative American Action Forumthat mass deportation would take about 20 years and cost about $500 billionfor all the police, judges, lawyers and enforcement agents — and bus drivers! — needed to expel 11 million people.
That is a sum of money greater than NZ’s GDP.
This would all be merely ridiculous if it weren’t morally obscene. Forcibly evict 11 million people from their homes? It can’t happen. It shouldn’t happen. And, of course, it won’t ever happen.
A mass deportation of 11 million people, some of whom were citizens, would bring back memories of Europe in the 1930s.
But because it’s the view of the Republican front-runner, every other candidate is now required to react. So instead of debating border security, guest-worker programs and sanctuary cities — where Republicans are on firm moral and political ground — they are forced into a debate about a repulsive fantasy.
Trump is Hillary Clinton’s best friend. As doubts about her grow, he is destroying the ability of the Republican party to win the electoral college in 2016.
Donald Trump has every right to advance his ideas. He is not to be begrudged his masterly showmanship, his relentless candor or his polling success. I strongly oppose the idea of ostracizing anyone from the GOP or the conservative movement. On whose authority? Let the people decide.
But that is not to say that he should be exempt from normal scrutiny or from consideration of the effect of his candidacy on conservatism’s future. If you are a conservative alarmed at the country’s direction and committed to retaking the White House, you should be concerned about what Trump’s ascendancy is doing to the chances of that happening.
Ironically Trump’s antics may help Marco Rubio win the nomination, as he may be the only candidate who could stop the Latino vote going the same way as the African-American vote – 90% Democrat.