Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan As Bad As You’d Expect

Donald Trump's immigration plan is would create a police state, violate people's rights, and hurt America's economy. And his supporters will most likely love it.

Donald Trump Speaking Closeup

After nearly two months of a campaign that was mostly platitudes and outrageous statements that only seemed to help him rise in the polls, Donald Trump seems to finally be releasing some specific policy proposals, starting yesterday with an immigration plan that, once examined, is seriously problematic and likely never to be implemented:

After staking his early campaign on caustic and contentious remarks about undocumented immigrants, Donald J. Trump on Sunday outlined his plan to fix the country’s immigration system and deal with people who are in the country illegally.

The position paper, published on Mr. Trump’s website, centered on three principles. The first stated that “a nation without borders is not a nation” — a theme Mr. Trump has made a constant in his stump speeches — and called for a wall to be built along the southern border.

He also repeated his promise to make Mexico pay for the wall and laid out how he would do it: largely through increasing fees on border movement between the United States and Mexico.

“We will not be taken advantage of anymore,” the plan states.

Mr. Trump’s proposal also calls for strengthening the “enforcement arm” of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, to be paid for by “eliminating tax credit payments to illegal immigrants.”

Mr. Trump’s campaign released the plan moments after the candidate appeared in a wide-ranging interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” during which he spoke broadly about his plans to deport undocumented immigrants.

“We have to keep the families together, but they have to go,” Mr. Trump said.

When asked how he might accomplish this, especially given the cost, Mr. Trump responded with a question of his own.

“Do you think there’s tremendous cost for the illegals that are in here right now?” Mr. Trump asked. “Do you think there’s tremendous crime being committed by illegals?”

He promised to “expedite it so people can come back in” after the deportation. “The good people can come back,” he said.

The crimes committed by undocumented immigrants have been a focus of Mr. Trump’s early campaign. He has accused Mexico of sending criminals and rapists to the United States, and has often infuriated Latinos with his remarks.

In his formal policy, as he has many times before, Mr. Trump maintains that “Mexico’s leaders have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country.”

Other parts of the plan are similar to the proposals of his rivals in the Republican race. He proposed enforcing the nationwide e-verify system, ending birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants and increasing the prevailing wage for the temporary H-1B visas.

Trump’s plan, which is apparently based at least in part on input from Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, who has been a leader of the anti-immigration caucus on Capitol Hill, includes many of the same ideas we see from others on the right, with very little detail of how many of the goals he sets would actually be accomplished. The border wall is there, of course, although its unclear from the plan exactly how it differs from the border guards that are all ready in place along most of the border between Mexico and the United States except for those areas where geography makes construction impractical or costly. Once again, Trump contends that he would get Mexico to pay for the wall by increasing certain fees, or possibly by cutting of foreign aid to Mexico itself. This proposal, of course, ignores the fact that most of the immigration from the south no longer comes from Mexico but from Central America, that increasing fees charged to Mexican travel and trade would likely violate the North American Free Trade Agreement, and that cutting off aid to Mexico would likely exacerbate the security and poverty issues that make it more likely that people will try to emigrate to begin with. Additionally, the plan ignores the fact that retaliatory action against Mexico is likely to have a significant impact on the trade relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, which currently amounts to some $262 billion per year. Trump also proposes tripling the number of officers employed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but it’s unclear exactly what he would have these people do, especially since Border Patrol and ICE employment has already tripled over the past decade.

In addition to the provisions regarding the border, Trump’s plan also calls for restrictions and changes in visas granted to foreigners who come to the United States to work and train, with the apparent goal of opening these positions up to people in the United States. The problem with this idea is that there isn’t any real evidence that talented people are being locked out of opportunities because of people who come here on H1-B or J-1 visas, so it’s unclear exactly what restricting those programs will actually accomplish. Instead of helping the economy, these provisions are likely to hurt because they will deprive American companies of the ability to recruit talented foreigners in fields such as high technology, where the H1-B visa program has been a boon in helping employers find the people with the skills that they need. Since most of these programs already require employers to provide evidence that their efforts to obtain sufficient qualified employees from the domestic job market is not sufficient to meet their needs, it seems clear that restricting these visas is only going to harm the economy and deprive the United States of the benefit of highly educated foreign workers, many of whom end starting their own businesses in their country after they’ve been able to obtain a different immigration status.

The final segment of Trump’s plan is both the most egregious and the most unrealistic. Trump proposes that every single person who in in the country illegally should be deported. As more than one commentator has suggested, even trying to implement that kind of plan would require the creation of a police state capable of finding all of these people, taking them into custody, and returning them to their country of origin. This is an idea that many anti-immigrant activists have talked about before, though, but it has generally never been taken seriously because of the measures that would require to bring it into effect and because it would be, without a qualification, a humanitarian nightmare. Trump goes beyond this, though, because in response to questions about how he would handle families, he says that the entire family should be deported even if the children involved are American citizens. The number of people that would be impacted by Trump’s proposal is quite high. According to one survey, as of 2010 there were 4.5 million U.S. citizen children who had at least one parent who was an undocumented immigrant. Another survey showed that 6.9% of all American schoolchildren between Kindergarten and 12th grade had a parent in that situation, while 5.5% of all American schoolchildren were U.S. citizens with at least one parents who was undocumented. All of these children, and their families, would be impacted by Trump’s proposal. More importantly, given that these children are American citizens, it’s hard to see where he would get the legal authority to deport them, or to deny them the right to petition for immigration relief for their parent(s). The only way this proposal could work, then, would be to strip American citizens of their rights and force them to leave the country merely because of the immigration status of their parents.

This is hardly surprising, though, because Trump’s plan also includes a proposal to end birthright citizenship, which would require amendment the Constitution. This has been something of thing on the anti-immigrant right for some time now, of course. At one point, even Lindsey Graham floated the idea, and anti-immigrant groups made the issue a priority after the GOP gained control of the House in 2010,  with Rand Paul and David Vitter putting forward a resolution in the Senate at one point. For the most part, those efforts fell flat, but the idea continues to linger, most recently this spring when one House Subcommittee held hearings on the issue and then again earlier this summer when Texas was sued for allegedly refusing to issue birth certificates to children of undocumented immigrants born in the United States. The odds that the Constitution are ever going to be amendment in the way Trump proposes are quite low, of course, but that doesn’t make his idea any less dangerous. As I’ve noted before, birthright citizenship is a uniquely American institution that guarantees that everyone who is born here is equal before the law. Changing the law to make citizenship dependent upon the citizenship or immigration status of one’s parents would create a permanent underclass of people who could never become citizens, and that’s something that would just seem to guarantee future social problems. The fact that it is the centerpiece of Trump’s immigration proposal is a fairly good indication of just how bad the plan as a whole actually is.

Nancy LeTourneau at Washington Monthly says that Trump’s plan is likely to force many Republicans, and most assuredly the candidates for President, to be more clear about where they stand on the issues surrounding immigration reform. With rare exceptions such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, most of these candidates have avoided the issue, and have specifically avoided talking about what they would do with the people presently in the nation illegally. The reasons for this are understandable, of course. Inside the Republican Party, anything that comes close to sounding like support for “amnesty” risks arousing the ire of a base that is very anti-immigrant. Outside the GOP, though, polls clearly show that a majority of Americans, and even most Republicans, support the idea of a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. As Republican strategist Liz Mair notes in a recent New York Post column, supporting “amnesty” may well be the key to wining in 2016 for Republicans, if they’re willing to go that route. With Trump’s proposal out there, the other candidates aren’t going to be able to sit on the fence anymore, and you can already see the lines being drawn. Ann Coulter, unsurprisingly, came out enthusiastically in favor of it, as did Breitbart, which as become little more than a Trump propaganda arm over the past two months. Noah Rothman at Commentary, meanwhile, calls Trump’s plan a “tipping point” for the GOP and calls on conservatives to push back against the nativism inherent in Trump’s rhetoric. Shaun Kenny, a former Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia who blogs at Bearing Drift makes a similar argument:

A mildly intellectually honest look forward demonstrates that Trump’s way forward isn’t a way forward at all — it’s a strategic retreat with no path to victory.  Even if Trump’s wildest dreams were to be implemented, what is the result?  The implosion of a major trade partner, a rather expensive yet useless wall, an epidemic of violence as drug cartels redouble their efforts, the suspension of work visas that tell the best and brightest to go elsewhere, the mass surrender of civil liberties to a national database, the forfeiture of liberties long held by English common law, and worse of all?  The treatment by our American government of every minority as a potential criminal.

Trump merely offered a solution without vital context.  Those are typically the most short-sighted and dangerous of solutions, especially when they come on a wave of populist sentiment.

Despite this push back, there are likely to be a lot of Republicans who support this plan. As I’ve said before, Donald Trump is succeeding because he says things that many Republicans agree with and that is especially true in the area of immigration. At some point, though, those Republicans will have to ask themselves if they really do support a guy who provides unworkable plans that will end up causing more harm than good.


FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, 2016 Election, Borders and Immigration, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. humanoid.panda says:

    I am thoroughly enjoying this spectacle. For decades, the GOP operated under the assumption that there are no limits to American power- all that’s holding us back are liberals and other traitors. Trump took this to the ultimate conclusion with the “Mexico will pay for wall” gambit- and did the classical republican thing of covering up the lunacy with pseudo-policy paper that looks and feels almost like the real thing. Now, people like Jeb! and Rubio have to explain why this is a ridicilous idea- and that explanation must hinge on limits of power, and diplomacy, and international obligations- all things they have spent decades teaching their base to despise.

  2. Blue Galangal says:

    It’s not easy for this jaded observer of American politics to be flabbergasted, or even gobsmacked, but Trump has accomplished both. For a wistful, fleeting second I imagined him winning the presidency and implementing these policies.

    It wouldn’t really be funny. I know that. It would be horrible. It would be apocalyptically horrible.

    (But it would be a little funny. It would.)

  3. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    There is nothing more frightening for Hispanics everywhere than the mere idea of separating little children from their mothers. Hispanics hold motherhood and children to level of sacredness that very few Americans understand.

    Comparing undocumented immigrants to drug dealers is soft stuff when compared to that.

  4. Jack says:

    The problem with this idea is that there isn’t any real evidence that talented people are being locked out of opportunities because of people who come here on H1-B or J-1 visas, so it’s unclear exactly what restricting those programs will actually accomplish. Instead of helping the economy, these provisions are likely to hurt because they will deprive American companies of the ability to recruit talented foreigners in fields such as high technology, where the H1-B visa program has been a boon in helping employers find the people with the skills that they need.

    Doug, have you not been reading the news?

    Employers are effectively using the H1B visa program as a replacement for paying employees higher wages.

  5. al-Ameda says:

    I love the Republican Party Hispanic voter outreach program.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As I’ve noted before, birthright citizenship is a uniquely American institution that guarantees that everyone who is born here is equal before the law.

    A significant percentage of American citizens would like to take exception to your delusion of equality before the law Doug. There is no guarantee. It is an Ideal, one that America has never lived up to, and one that all too many would like to continue to see denied to all too many people.

    Hence the popularity of everything Trump says about immigration.

  7. walt moffett says:

    One again we see the danger of Krell technology

  8. Moosebreath says:

    “At some point, though, those Republicans will have to ask themselves if they really do support a guy who provides unworkable plans that will end up causing more harm than good.”

    Somewhat more importantly, Republicans will have to decide if they really believe what they say. Trump is saying explicitly what has always been the policy favored by their base, but their politicians have always wanted to fudge, for fear of driving away non-base voters. With Trump campaigning on this, the candidates cannot fudge anymore.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Employers are effectively using the H1B visa program as a replacement for paying employees higher wages.

    That’s a feature, not a bug.

  10. Pinky says:

    What do you know about this claim?

    As the President of the ICE Officers’ Council explained in Congressional testimony: “…Since 9-11, the U.S. Border Patrol has tripled in size, while ICE’s immigration enforcement arm, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), has remained at relatively the same size.”

  11. Stan says:

    A mass deportation of the type proposed by Trump and his supporters would be an abomination. It would shatter my belief in America’s decency, and I say this as a guy who bleeds red, white, and blue. When we ship 11 million people back where they came from, would we use cattle cars? Would our deportation officers wear black uniforms? How many children and the elderly would die in the process? Where would the deportees live back in Mexico, and how would they find work there? What would mass deportation do to our reputation abroad and to our image of ourselves?

    These questions answer themselves. I realize that Trump’s plan would condemn the deportees to poverty, not death, and I hate to trivialize the Holocaust, but a comparison with the Third Reich is inevitable. If there was ever a time for our moral leaders in the clergy and the intellectual world to speak with one voice, this is it.

  12. Mu says:

    I’m waiting for someone to ask “and what do we do if Mexico doesn’t take them back” (not unrealistic considering the good percentage of non-Mexican nationals, including the US citizens).
    Can’t wait for Trump’s Lebensraum campaign to gain “underdeveloped areas” where to “resettle” those he doesn’t see worthy.

  13. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Anyone who things that a real estate / construction magnate would actually be willing to hire only US citizens paid prevailing wage for their construction work is a moran. If Trump put this plan into place, he’d be heading straight for bankruptcy #5.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    The Donald.
    His great-grandfather came here from Germany when there was almost no immigration law…pretty much anyone who got here could stay here.
    His own mother immigrated from Scotland.
    And his father gave him a fortune to start out with.
    Now the Donald, born rounding third base with a silver spoon in his mouth, wants to pull the ladder up behind him. Why should anyone else be afforded the same opportunity he had? Especially those brown people who are all racists and criminals.

    And…apparently…he now thinks he is Batman. Bruce Wayne with the worlds worst comb-over.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    This is the true voice of Republicans. The James Joyners of the world are just shills now for a fascist, nativist, racist party.

    More than half of the GOP supports ethnic cleansing. More than half the GOP supports federal forces dragging children from their classroom. More than half of the GOP wants to build a bigger, better Berlin Wall.

    To Joyner and the other passive observers who stand around mooing impotently as their party proposes these crimes against humanity, I ask: Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

  16. michael reynolds says:

    What is the moral difference between the Republican Party and UKIP or the National Front? Can someone explain to me how these radical right, fascist parties, differ in any significant degree from the Republican Party?

  17. J-Dub says:

    Is Trump going to build the wall before or after he deports 11 millions people? He better build it after or Mexico might just use it to keep those 11 million people out of their country. Hell, they might even pay for it…

  18. J-Dub says:


    When we ship 11 million people back where they came from, would we use cattle cars?

    Cattle cars that would never reach the border and were never intended to.

  19. michael reynolds says:

    Before you can deport 11 million people you first need assembly points where they can be collected, controlled behind barbed wire. You know: concentration camps.

  20. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds: The far-right parties in Europe are economically to the left of today’s GOP. On the other hand, that’s a good description of Trump as well.

  21. Mu says:

    @michael reynolds: I think the big difference is that UKIP and FN have split from their main party and are trying to rally their troops under their own banner. In the Republicans the fascist fraction is still trying to grab the banner of the whole party and march on.

    PS How often do I have to answer that spam challenge?

  22. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds:

    More than half of the GOP supports ethnic cleansing.

    Ethnic cleansing involves getting rid of people based on their ethnicity, not their immigration status. Show me the survey that shows the majority of the GOP supporting ethnic cleansing.

  23. Alex says:

    As I’ve noted before, birthright citizenship is a uniquely American institution

    The “uniquely” adverb only makes sense if you’re using “American” to mean “anywhere in the two continental Americas”. The USA is certainly not the only country to have birthright citizenship: Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina all have it as well, as do a couple of dozen other small Latin American or Caribbean countries. Even then it’s not strictly true – Pakistan has birthright citizenship, for example.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    Anyone who things that a real estate / construction magnate would actually be willing to hire only US citizens paid prevailing wage for their construction work is a moran.

    You know, living in a bubble is great if you are trying to avoid the real world where things are messy and words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ should be avoided because of their propensity for making the speaker look like a complete idiot. I spent 35 years working for people who “would actually be willing to hire only US citizens paid prevailing wage for their construction work” and that world still exists. What world do you live in? Texas?

  25. rwb says:

    With no comment on the bulk of his proposals:

    This is unique only in that it was widely reported – I watched this happen in the tech industry for the last 20 years.

  26. edmondo says:

    Can someone explain to me how these radical right, fascist parties, differ in any significant degree from the Republican Party?

    Maybe President Obama can explain that to you after his NSA gets done listening to your phone calls and monitoring your internet history. Oh my, how selective your outrage has become!

  27. michael reynolds says:



    100% of the people your party proposes to drag from their homes, drag from their schools, drag from their hospital rooms, force into concentration camps and expel to countries that in many cases they have never seen, are brown.

    There is zero chance that we’d be hearing this same fascist crap about Canadians or Frenchmen. This is entirely about rounding up brown people.

  28. michael reynolds says:


    And while we’re at it, if the GOP voter could find a way to round up every black person in this country and ship them to Africa you’d do it.

  29. C. Clavin says:

    Oh c’mon. You Republicans would positively wet yourselves if you thought you could rid of every black person in this country…starting with the ones that vote.

  30. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: Also – along the US border, we restrict people from coming in. Along the border in Berlin, they shot people trying to leave.

    Also – eh, you know what, you know that your concentration camp analogy was just as faulty. You’ve got to know that. You don’t need me to point it out. You’re just playing a negative-association game that belongs more as an example on James’s bias thread than an argument on this one.

  31. michael reynolds says:

    There are between 65,000 and 75,000 Canadians living illegally in the US. Is this about them? Of course not. They’re white. About 50,000 are Irish. Is this about them? Of course not, they’re white.

    This Republican nativism is just Republican racism aimed at a new target.

  32. michael reynolds says:


    Again: Bullshit.

    If you are rounding up 11 million people and forcing them, weeping, clutching at their children, across the border, you’re going to need camps. You will need concentration camps. You call them whatever you like, but they will be concentration camps. You’ll need big, barbed wire-enclosed camps to store people so they can be processed for expulsion. Maybe we could re-commission some of the concentration camps we used for Japanese Americans.

  33. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: Yeah, there’ s no reason that 50,000 Mexican immigrants would bother people more than 50,000 Irish ones except racism. I mean, there are only 50,000 Mexican immigrants in the US, right? Or did you just make another horribly false analogy?

  34. Lit3Bolt says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The Republican party has more guns and could easily call for “militia volunteers” to go Yosemite Sam on any target they point at.

    But Doug and James are fine with that, along with all eliminationist rhetoric coming from their party. Because liberals are just as bad, don’t ya know.

  35. michael reynolds says:

    I realize Republicans are imagination-impaired, so let me see if I can help. Here are some of the things that will happen if the GOP ethnic cleansing goes forward:

    1) There will be children torn from their parents’ arms and left effectively orphaned. We will see it on tape. Again and again and again.

    2) There will be resistance, which will mean beatings and deaths. We will see that on tape as well, thousands and thousands of Fergusons.

    3) There will be riots in American cities. People will die.

    4) There will be schools full of decent kids forming lines to confront ICE agents to protect their classmates.

    5) There will be sick people who die en route. We will hear their stories again and again.

    6) There will be racist civilian groups like the KKK rushing forward to “help.” Again, people will die.

    7) Random Italians, Brazilians and anyone else ho looks “brown” will be falsely arrested. American citizens of darker complexions will be pulled over, arrested, beaten. There will be still more deaths.

    8) The US will be condemned by the United Nations. Ambassadors will be recalled. We will be attacked in the press of every nation on earth.

    8) There will be boycotts of American products. Cultural exchanges will be terminated.

    9) Americans abroad will be targeted for retaliation. American stores will be burned, American tourists will be attacked.

    10) We will suffer a major recession costing us billions if not trillions of dollars.

  36. Modulo Myself says:

    Going after illegals is scapegoating, pure and simple. Rounding up and deporting 11 million will not solve any problems for the people who really want it. And with the machinery in place and an appetite and funding for persecution, it’s hard to see it stopping at illegals.

  37. Lit3Bolt says:


    I suspect you’re not feeling guilty about dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. Oh how selective your outrage has become! Die, Strawman, Die!

    Whatever Obama’s sins (and they exist, believe me), it pales in comparison to the state-sanctioned evil that Republicans belch daily. And do you believe for a second any Republican anywhere would drone less or spy less than Obama? If you do, you’re a fool. If you don’t, then you were dishonest from the start.

    Prominent Republicans are now spouting unworkable, totally evil things everyday, and Doug and James’ response is: “B-b-but Hillary’s e-mails…!!!” It’s hilarious.

  38. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: They can’t get elected in sufficient numbers to harm Great Britain…yet…

  39. MikeSJ says:

    I foresee a new concept in Restaurants if the Trump plan was implemented.

    The “You Cook it” followed by the “You Clean it” new eating experience now that there are no more cooks, busboys and kitchen staff outside of 4 star establishment’s.

    I almost forgot “You Pick It” would be required if you want salad or vegetables with your meal.

  40. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    those Republicans will have to ask themselves if they really do support a guy who provides unworkable plans that will end up causing more harm than good.

    I expect “those Republicans,” whoever they may be )gawd, don’t you just love vague pronouns), will answer something related to what one needs to do to eggs to make omelets.

    @Pinky: So, it’s thenumber not the nationality? Good to know.

  41. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: I like that you’re starting to label your comments “b—s—“, but you forgot to on this one.

  42. michael reynolds says:


    I’ll take that as your note of surrender on the issue.

    The GOP is a racist party, a nativist party, a party that supports ethnic cleansing, a fascist party. And you and James Joyner support them. So for once, why not just attempt some honesty, Pinky? I have no problem being honest about where I stand, why cannot Republicans just say what they believe and what they mean? Why play word games? Why the endless deflection and avoidance?

    Come on, man, grow a pair and say it loud and proud.

  43. PJ says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What is the moral difference between the Republican Party and UKIP or the National Front? Can someone explain to me how these radical right, fascist parties, differ in any significant degree from the Republican Party?

    Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker has already made the point, but to expand on it very slightly.

    UKIP got 12.7% of the votes in the latest election in the UK and 1 seat in Parliament (out of 650). (The UK has a first past the post system.)

    National Front got 13.6% of the votes in the latest election in France and 2 seats (out of 577). (France has two round system where you win in the first round with an absolute majority of votes cast and at least 25% of all registered voters, and the second round is a runoff where any candidate having won at least 12.5% of all registered voters in the first round can participate. National Front did not win any constituency in the first round.)

    And on the other hand….

    ….Republicans got 47.6% of the votes in the latest election and 247 seats (out of 435).

  44. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds:

    This is entirely about rounding up brown people.

    Nonsense. In his 2013 speech before CPAC, Trump made it very clear that he does not discriminate based on color:

    “Now I say to myself, why aren’t we letting people in from Europe?”

    Since there are black people from Europe and white people from Mexico, this proves Trump does not care about color, only nationality, making him today’s MLK, while the Dems, because they talk about race, are today’s KKK.

  45. Deserttrek says:

    @michael reynolds: do you ever turn off you anger and think? a reflex action is a sign of mental instability .. I hope you get help and soon

  46. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: You want honesty? Fine.

    I’ve never given Trump much thought. I never held ill will against him, but he always struck me as just blather. And he seems to think that I really care about how much he owns. Anyway, I’ve heard what he says about immigration and I think to myself that this guy’s dangerous. We should make changes to our immigration policy, but that’s not what this guy is about. He’s being a demagogue, sowing discord among groups. If a country started to listen to him, we could be in trouble in a couple of decades. He doesn’t seem to be interested in truth, only twisting things for political points. That’s what creates an atmosphere for fascism. That’s what I think of Trump. That’s also what I think of you, Michael.

  47. jukeboxgrad says:


    Republicans will have to ask themselves if they really do support a guy who provides unworkable plans that will end up causing more harm than good

    No need to bring up GWB’s invasion of Iraq right now.

    In other words, we already know that Republicans are inclined to “support a guy who provides unworkable plans that will end up causing more harm than good.”

  48. Lit3Bolt says:

    Tell me, do any of you watch Univision? (Don’t answer.)

    Trust me, Trump’s comments are being played over…and over…and over again.

    He is the Republican front-runner. He currently stands for the Republican Party. And the message from Fox News, the RNC, etc is “Yes master, we will do anything you ask.” And it’s being noticed, loud and clear.

  49. jukeboxgrad says:

    And this situation has something else in common with the invasion of Iraq: the belief that doing things to hurt brown people should be a high priority.

  50. Gromitt Gunn says:


    What world do you live in? Texas?


  51. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:


    That’s also what I think of you, Michael.

    I think you got caught up in the swirl of your own hyperbole, but I’m intrigued about what Mr. Reynolds has ever advocated that would *put the nation in trouble* in a decade or two (as far as Trump’s bloviations, the nation has been “in trouble” for as long as I’ve been alive, but overall progressing forward on average and Trump, too, will pass).

    I don’t always agree with Michael. I think he’s over the top on the ethnic cleansing thing and have said so very directly. Demagogue? Not hardly!

    (By the way, I’m not sure I beliveve you on Trump.)

  52. Jc says:

    Amazing that the 14th amendment is seriously considered for an amendment, yet the 2nd amendment cannot even be considered for any kind of change. The Constitution is sacred, except when a false fear of brown people ruining your country runs rampant through your 24 hour fear feeding news sources

  53. LWA says:

    @michael reynolds:
    There was a time when I would thought this was over the top rhetoric .

    I don’t anymore.
    We’ve Michelle Malkin insisting that the concentration camps for the Japanese were right and just.

    When liberals scoff at Trump supporters and point out that it would require a fascist state to implement we forget they already know that.

    And there is precedent- it’s not like America has ever been too terribly far from that. Us Boomers just happened to grow up in that wonderful bubble after the nightmare of the Depression and world wars so we assume it has always been this way.

  54. Pinky says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: And here we are back to that Haidt study, that conservatives can understand liberals but liberals can’t understand conservatives. I figure that I’m making progress if you can even imagine the possibility that I’m telling the truth.

    Why did you put the word “advocating” in italics? If you realized that it was something you were adding to what I said, why did you put the word in at all? But to answer your question, what do you think happens to a country when half the people start to believe that the other half are interested in ethnic cleansing? How is propagating that lie anything but spreading hate?

  55. LWA says:


    You completely minunderstand Haidt.

    Who is for the record, a liberal.

  56. Pinky says:

    @LWA: He’s a liberal, but he’s capable of opening his mind, so there’s hope.

  57. Kylopod says:

    @Lit3Bolt: A while back I did an analysis using Roper Center’s exit polls to get an idea how much of an impact the GOP’s declining support among Latinos has on their electoral fortunes. I found that if Romney had gotten the level of support from Latinos that Bush got in 2004, his popular-vote total would have improved by 0.82%. Considering that Romney was 3.9% behind in the popular vote, that suggests that even a massive improvement in his support from Latinos would not have been sufficient for him to win the election.

    But here’s the thing: if Bush had gotten Romney’s paltry level of support from Latinos, he very likely would have lost the 2004 election.

    Some people make the mistake of looking at elections as all-or-nothing situations, where every factor is singlehandedly responsible for victory or defeat. The GOP right now are like someone trying to win a foot race with a sprained ankle, which is being further exacerbated by the Trump Hammer ®.

  58. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds: Both UKIP and Front Nationale are more reasonable than your average Republican. Nigel Farage even defended bringing Syrian Refugees to Britain. Nigel Farege and Marine Le Pen would be considered Liberals in the US.

  59. PJ says:


    Ethnic cleansing involves getting rid of people based on their ethnicity, not their immigration status. Show me the survey that shows the majority of the GOP supporting ethnic cleansing.

    In 1980, the share of those voting who identified as Hispanic was 2%.
    In 1996, when Clinton got 72% of their votes, 5% of those voting identified as Hispanic.
    In 2012, when Obama got 71% of their votes, 10% of those voting identified as Hispanic.
    By 2032, that number is projected to have doubled from 2012.

    Even if the GOP somehow was able to repeal the 14th amendment in 2016 and succeed in deporting every Hispanic living in the US illegally by 2032, it will still happen.

    Explain that to GOP voters and then ask them if they support stripping citizenships from Hispanic American children who have already gained it by the 14th amendment and then have them deported with their parents. Ask them if they would support deporting Hispanic US citizens who commit crimes. Just ask them if they would be ok with deporting Hispanic US citizens.

    The support for ethnic cleansing is there, you just have to explain to GOP voters what happens without it.

  60. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Pinky: Because it was the word that I wanted to emphasize in light of the fact that you had just called M.R. a demagogue.

    And as I said, I don’t believe you anymore. Your just another troll.

  61. Gustopher says:

    Hitler gave concentration camps a bad name. No one on the right is advocating gas chambers, ovens, lampshades and soap. Well, outside of a racist fringe that really is fringe.

    Michael’s arguments are a lot less inflammatory, and a lot more reListic, if you replace”concentration camps” with the FDR approved “internment camps”. Less accurate, perhaps, but less pejorative. If the camps come, they will have a less ominous name … “Deportation Centers” seems like a good candidate.

    But “Concentration Camps” is out of the question. America would never stand for that. “Deportation Centers” where people linger for decades… That has potential!

  62. Gustopher says:

    @Pinky: Pinky, what do you think about Trump being the front runner of your party? What do you think about 25-35% of your party being in favor of his dangerous ideas?

  63. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher: There’s a Donald Duck cartoon from around 1940 in which Donald (the duck, not the Trump) gets kidnapped and forced to perform manual labor, and at one point he cries out (in his barely comprehensible duck voice), “This is like a concentration camp!” I remember the first time I watched the cartoon and being a bit shocked by that line, but I later realized that the term hadn’t yet acquired its genocidal associations and wasn’t considered in poor taste the way we would take it today. Of course maybe that partly reflected the blind spot that Americans had for what was going on in Nazi-occupied Europe at the time (and I know I’m assuming that Walt Disney’s anti-Semitism didn’t have something to do with it), and if you think about it, the term “detention camp” today has a similar quality of not provoking as much outrage as it ought to.

  64. Lounsbury says:

    @michael reynolds:
    To be frank, I can’t tell the difference. They look precisely like the Front National or BNP really.

  65. michael reynolds says:


    Almost honest, Pinky. Almost. And then the unsupported and indeed unsupportable, “You too!” ending.

  66. michael reynolds says:



    People should know that there is a difference between a concentration camp and a death camp. Concentration camps were used by the Spaniards in Cuba, by us in dealing with Indians and later, Japanese. But we are credited with the very first concentration camps. Great for us, right?

  67. michael reynolds says:

    From the conservative editorial page of the WaPo:

    What Mr. Trump proposes is nothing less than manufacturing a humanitarian upheaval on a scale rivaling the refugee crisis in Syria. Notwithstanding his cavalier rhetoric, there’s no evidence Americans would tolerate such a mass uprooting of people who have planted deep roots in this nation.

    The truth is that Mr. Trump is waging oratorical warfare on a problem whose dimensions have been shrinking for years. The undocumented population declined by nearly a million since it peaked at 12.2 million in 2007. Demographic shifts in Mexico, including a falling birth rate and better educational attainment, are dampening the impetus to leave.

    That’s the WaPo editorial page drawing comparisons to Syria, not me.

    We are not being flooded with illegals. And yet getting rid of illegals has become the one issue discussed by Republicans. Would this be the case if the illegals were white? Of course not. Of course not. Of course not and anyone who pretends otherwise is blind, stupid or a goddamned liar, period.

    There is no crisis. There is no crying need to deal with the problem right this very minute. Illegals are not harming Iowa farmers in any real way. This is racism and nativism, pure and simple. This is ethnic hatred being deliberately stoked by Mr. Trump and the Republican Party. This is how the fun got started in Rwanda. This is how the fun got started in Nazi Germany. Demagogues use hate to seize power, and that’s what is what the Republican Party is attempting.

    It is despicable. It should be beyond the pale, it should be inconceivable. The fact that any American with a shred of decency left in his withered soul still belongs to this contemptible party is shameful. Shameful.

  68. Tillman says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Pinky’s a team player. Jenos is a troll. There are differences between team players and trolls, and one doesn’t have to always be one or the other. “Team player,” by the way, is a nonpartisan team. It applies to any partisan you can think of.

    @michael reynolds: So, what, did you hit your head or something? Stop using the phrase “ethnic cleansing.” You give away the game when you later use Nazi comparisons.

    It is despicable. It should be beyond the pale, it should be inconceivable.

    You have a lot of faith in people. This all looks rather normal to me. It doesn’t disturb me because a) the truly-committed don’t have enough numbers and b) the persuadable are in the wrong zeitgeist for it to work. Our eugenical ancestors in the 1900s and 1930s had the backing of society-at-large when they proposed different skin colors meant inferior or superior. Nowadays they belong in subcultures the vast majority of the country (remember, half of Republicans support pathway to legal citizenship) don’t share the values of. It’s a newly-fettered plurality throwing a temper tantrum. Give them another four years and they’ll have someone triangulate them socially the way Clinton triangulated Democrats economically.*

    I’m not saying we’ll never see systematic genocide again, or mass deportation, just that they’re going to take a form we won’t see coming. My bet’s more on nuclear winter than systematic genocide. You can blunder into a nuclear winter; systematic genocide and mass deportation need effort.

    * If Rubio would just peck his way out of his psychopath shell already he could be doing this now, but no, Trump decided to sit on the eggs. I don’t think it will take the time it took Democrats because communication tech is much faster now.

  69. Mu says:

    @michael reynolds: I always thought the first use of concentration camps was by the British against the Boers. Their death rate came close to later implementations as internment camps.

  70. Andre Kenji says:

    @Mu: They were the first to be used for White People. 😉

  71. jukeboxgrad says:

    What do you think about 25-35% of your party being in favor of his dangerous ideas?

    And the remainder of that party is mostly supporting candidates who mostly respond to Trump’s dangerous ideas by sitting on their hands. So Trump’s stink is on them too.

  72. gVOR08 says:

    @Tillman: Oh My God! Reynolds may be guilty of hyperbole in an internet blog comment! (And damn little hyperbole in my mind.)

  73. KM says:

    As over the top as Micheal’s words may seem, they point to an element that is sorely lacking in Trump’s (and the GOP as a whole) view on how this would all go down: namely, the optics of resistance. There seems to be some underlying assumption on proponents’ part that this will be relatively peaceful and that resistance would be the sign-carrying protest kind, not the rock-throwing kind. People were horrified by what happened in Ferguson and Baltimore – what the hell do they think is going to happen if there’s an fatal incident during the deportations? Sure as the sky is blue, it will be a goddamn humanitarian mess in the best case scenario.

    Remember Elián González? The iconic image of a little boy clutched in a woman’s arms facing a gun-carrying Agent of the State? How well did that imagery work for the American public? We are a squeamish nation – when the video starts, suddenly “they” will stop being “anchor babies” and will be seen as “scared small children”. How exactly does the GOP plan to deal with the public outcry when the fruits of their labor become evident to all?

  74. Barry says:

    @Jack: Doug: “The problem with this idea is that there isn’t any real evidence that talented people are being locked out of opportunities because of people who come here on H1-B or J-1 visas, so it’s unclear exactly what restricting those programs will actually accomplish. Instead of helping the economy, these provisions are likely to hurt because they will deprive American companies of the ability to recruit talented foreigners in fields such as high technology, where the H1-B visa program has been a boon in helping employers find the people with the skills that they need.”

    Jack: “Doug, have you not been reading the news?”

    Seconding Jack here. Doug, this has been covered. Most H1-B visas are issued (a) to body shops and (b) for people who are far from the technical elite, just ordinary tech temp workers.

  75. Tillman says:

    @gVOR08: yeah, it’s not like hyperbolic rhetoric is more divisive than persuasive, c.f. Donald Trump.

    It’s also not that I have any special need to defend the reputation of Nazis from such slanderous comparisons to Republicans, who have proven so horrible at governance lately as to make any sane person question their ability to pull off genocide.

  76. michael reynolds says:

    With the greatest respect, Tillman, you’re missing the point hiding behind Godwins. The unthinkable becomes thinkable very quickly in this world. And what stops the unthinkable becoming thinkable is not blasé passivity but loud and determined resistance.

    We are now in a presidential campaign where candidates are openly calling for rounding up 11 million human beings, depriving them of any appeal, depriving them of property, using whatever force is necessary to eject them from the country. So, while I genuinely respect you, you’re stewing in your own smugness on this.

  77. ptfe says:

    @Tillman: You’re right that hyperbolic rhetoric is far less effective. Perhaps a more “persuasive” version of the discussion of ethnic cleansing is that posted by @PJ up-thread. PJ’s is a more consequentialist view, while MR’s spears the issue in the heart.

    I don’t think that 27% of this country’s populace actually advocates ethnic cleansing. I think about 2% of this country’s populace actually advocates it, 5% would be willing to let it happen, and another 20% or so are unwilling to face up to that as a natural consequence of their chosen policies.

    Yes, the form of the discussion affects whether people are swayed by it. In this thread, though, the possible targets for swaying are those like James and Doug, who could see themselves voting for something like 1/3 of the Republicans currently running even though they seem to understand what those candidates advocate. Gentle nudges that they should look at the radical consequences of these choices don’t seem to be working; maybe MR’s tactic is the only way to reach them.

  78. Tillman says:

    @michael reynolds: You’re the one saying anything is unthinkable to begin with. I try not to harbor illusions about the worst of humanity, but I also recognize “the unthinkable” requires criteria to be met before society goes insane. 30% of the smaller of two Duvergered parties with age demos 55 and above does not make for anything happening besides media coverage, and if that media coverage has inspired further gains numerically I haven’t seen it. And this is all occurring during movements calling for greater oversight of civilian law enforcement to address racial disparities in outcome.

    I’m trying not to be smug, but to me your hyperbole is wasted on a dying generational cohort getting its last thrills from a professional troll.

  79. Tillman says:

    @ptfe: it’s not just that the discussion can persuade people. In my experience, people aren’t persuaded by those they despise unless they also have some sort of integrity to them, but if they have that integrity they do not react well to, ah, certain comparisons. As Reynolds has pointed out before, politics is governed by emotion more than reason. Even if the comparison is factually sound (and most aren’t), making it is still a political act that will engender an emotional response.

    The reply to that might be, “Some things are worth stating the unvarnished truth for,” at which point your reminder of our current medium of discussion (a political blog on the Internet) comes into play. I don’t dispute “calling things what they are” if you’ve got the argument to back it up, but most instances instead use lazy inferences only those who already agree with you share.

  80. Andre Kenji says:

    Part of Trump´s appeal is that he offers easy solutions to very complicated problems. There are very complicated issues that are related to immigration. There is the issue of Labor costs – you can´t have a competitive agriculture by paying 45 dollars a hour for people to pick fruit. I don´t like H1-B visas, but Microsoft or Google can build Research Centers anywhere in the world.

    By the way, the idea that you can have countries with very poor economies and with rampant crime on Central America and then avoid any negative effect in the United States by building a border wall is the same rationale that you can live safely in a war zone if you have a home with high walls.

  81. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: You broke the lawyers’ first rule: never ask a question to a witness if you don’t know the answer he’ll give. You asked me to be honest, and honestly, I find your positions dangerous and creepy. The fact that you find my positions dangerous and creepy doesn’t change that. The passion with which you find my positions dangerous and creepy doesn’t change that. The extent to which you find your positions appropriate and normal doesn’t change that.

  82. jukeboxgrad says:

    I find your positions dangerous and creepy.

    No one gives a shit what you “find,” because your relationship with reality became exceptionally obvious when you said this:

    If some of you guys believed the things you’ve typed over the last few months, two dead cops should be like an early Christmas present for you.

  83. michael reynolds says:


    Name three of my positions you find dangerous and creepy.

    And, I’m not a lawyer, this ain’t court, and I never fear debate and discussion.

  84. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tillman: Rubio is too much of a toadie to be able to do the triangulation. Clinton had the same kind of need to say what he thought people wanted to hear (as in “…but didn’t inhale” 🙁 ), but he was smart enough to take the reins when he had the chance. I don’t see that in Rubio, so far.

  85. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @ptfe: I’m not sure that they can be reached. My experience with Fundies in the churches of my youth led me to believe that they were only opposed to fascist states of which they weren’t in charge. As long as they and their friends were the fascists, it was cool. I see the same theme here.

  86. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Andre Kenji: Your comment reminds me of a cartoon strip I saw in the paper many years ago. The family’s home had been broken into, so the dad hired a company to do all the usual security stuff–including double key locks and bars over the windows. The daughter commented “They broke into our house, and we end up living in jail. This sucks!”

  87. Tillman says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: I’m telling you, that shell is gonna crack. He has just the right combination of protegé-with-everything-to-prove plus the physiognomy of his face when he’s being thwarted speaks to optimal levels of arrested development. I’d hate to think he’s actually unformed inside the yolk instead. Everything about his narrative is right, he just needs that Dexteresque dark passenger to take the wheel already. Perhaps a world-class blitherer like Donald Trump will peel the egg.

  88. mannning says:

    As a conservative, I view the illegal immigration situation with considerable angst. I can see the reasons for the Mexicans and other Central Americans to leave their conflict-torn nations for their expectation of a better life in the US. I can also see that some businesses have used this influx of cheap labor to their advantage by hiring the illegals at seriously low wages, thus improving their bottom line. I consider immigration, legal or not, to the US to be a great privilege for any foreigner, and one that they must not abuse.
    My own tendency is to try to halt or simply to slow down the further influx of illegals by beefing up the border security, and then to try to do a few more things: 1) to allow illegals living here a path to citizenship, some sort of fine for trespassing, and to be placed in line after legal immigrants for citizenship; and, then, 2) to revamp the migrant worker program to ensure that it is performed properly, including ensuring that the workers do indeed go home, and hold employers at fault for not following the program; 3) to come down hard on repeating offenders of the border, those who overstay their visas, and those with felony convictions; 4) to also come down hard on those resident illegals that continue to refuse to register for the citizenship program; and 5) to ensure the Constitutional rights of people born in the US regardless of their parental origin, but to put some limits on the anchor idea of bringing in relatives.
    By “come down hard” I mean five year jail terms in egregious cases followed by deportation and banning reentry for life, or simply deportation for the lesser violations and banning reentry.
    While legal immigration, work visas and travel visas issued by our counselor officers are a great benefit for the US, it appears to me that the current systems are not working well, and could use a serious overhaul.
    Likewise, enforcement of the current federal immigration laws appears to be lax, especially by the myriad police forces in the country, many of which declare that they will not enforce those laws, or will slow-roll or evade them, particularly in Sanctuary Cities. This needs to be corrected forthwith.

  89. Monala says:

    @michael reynolds: Thank you, Michael. I don’t think you’re exaggerating.

  90. Matt says:

    @mannning: “enforcement is lax” yet more people are being deported than ever.

    It’s interesting how so called conservatives have departed from reality.

    This country is traditionally an immigrant country. I always thought that conservatives were about conserving tradition and stuff…

  91. gVOR08 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    they (fundies) were only opposed to fascist states of which they weren’t in charge.

    The Pilgrims didn’t come here as much to escape oppression as to be the oppressors.

  92. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Name three of my positions you find dangerous and creepy.

    You’re right. I was wrong. I have no idea what your policy prescriptions are. That was as bad on my part as your mind-reading schtick. It’s your comments that I find dangerous and creepy, as you find mine, I’m sure.

  93. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Pinky: Which is why I highlighted “advocated” not because I was trying to manipulate your words (which is your usual first strike when opposed btw).

  94. mannning says:

    Sanctuary cities are illegal and flaunt federal law. So far, we have had several murders from illegals released by idiots.

  95. grumpy realist says:

    @mannning: The problem is, the very first time your lily-white Teahadist gets asked by the local police department to prove that he’s not an illegal immigrant from Canada or Ireland all hell will break loose.

    But asking the different-colored people to prove their citizenship is Right and Proper, of course….

    For all the screeching about illegal immigrants, those in the Republican Party who can’t stand Them Furriners are also the most indignant when confronted with the sort of policing one would have to implement to Get Rid Of Them Furriners. I guess all the illegal immigrants are supposed to immediately vanish if you click your heels together three times.

  96. michael reynolds says:


    My “mind-reading” trick is simply textual analysis, an understanding of issues and the humans who advocate them, and an intelligence focused on communication to the detriment of everything else. I’ve written 150 plus books, typically putting out about 1000 pages a year – Something on the order of 8 million words – not counting essays, Tweets, blog comments, Facebook posts, my restaurant review columns, my free-lanced newspaper pieces, my editorial input with other writers who work under me, outlines, Q&A, interviews, etc…. I’ve been writing professionally for 26 years for ages from adult down to three year-olds, and in every genre you can name.

    So my “mind-reading” is about as creepy as a doctor spotting eczema or an accountant noticing that 2+2 ≠ 5.

    I realize everyone can write, but there really is a bit of an advantage to being an experienced professional. Seeing the tell-tale holes in some self-conscious racist’s laboriously-constructed paragraph is not a great strain on me. I do this for a living.

    Tl:DR: It’s not creepy, Pinky, I just see a lot more than you do.

  97. KM says:

    @grumpy realist :

    The problem is, the very first time your lily-white Teahadist gets asked by the local police department to prove that he’s not an illegal immigrant from Canada or Ireland all hell will break loose.

    Amen. Having lived near a major border crossing to Canada, it’s absolutely amazing how many people got pissy when asked simple questions by the guards. Apparently, you should just KNOW they are true-blue Americans and its offensive to inquire otherwise. Can’t you see their legitimacy is emblazoned in their very skin? What else could they possibly be but a real citizen?

    A favorite memory was taking my cousins and their friends from the South to Niagara Falls. The Rainbow Bridge lets you walk to Canada and get some amazing views along the way. Many people will go out just to snap a great pic but the problem is you can’t get on the bridge without proper credentials as it’s considered an attempt to leave the country. “How far can you go across until you need a passport?” is a common tourist question. Ummmm, none of it idiots, considering you had to pass through a barbed-wire covered 7-ft iron turnstile that is clearly intended as a point of no return to even get on the thing. You will always see a few people in the holding tank on both sides looking angry because they “just wanted a picture!” but have no passport or other ID. That particular visit had 3 separate groups ask me about it, only to panic and try and run back. We crossed over, had a lovely time in Clifton Hills and then walked back hours later to see all 3 groups still in holding yelling about their rights. One was clearly a Tea Partier grumbling the requisite “damn liberals” and the ever popular “I pay your salary!” He became incensed when one of our group got through in seconds while he was still waiting. Seems that the color of her skin not her passport meant she should have been pulled for questioning while his white ass should be allowed to waltz through a checkpoint with no paperwork whatsoever. We didn’t stay to see how it turned out but judging from the glares of the guards, I’m gonna guess that guy didn’t end up enjoying his time at the Falls the same way we did……

  98. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: If you’re seeing lies where I’m telling the truth, then you’re mistaken. But you’ve put yourself in a position where your reads are unfalsifiable: if something doesn’t match your assumptions, you’ll call it a lie. That makes you incapable of changing your read on something. But I’m ok with it just as long as you make it explicit: you think I’m a racist but you can’t prove it. I think you’re trying to get half the country to distrust the other half and I can prove it. Whether you think you’re doing it for a good reason or a bad one, I don’t know.

  99. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: I would have been nasty enough to let them waltz out of the country with a warning, then bar them from returning.

    Actually, I was told of a pretty funny story about a bunch of physicists who were at Les Houches (theoretical physics symposium/workshop in the Alps) and decided to jump over to Italy for the day. One of the bunch is of Indian background, and on return, the border guard was absolutely convinced that the Indian was an illegal worker in Italy. Said border guard kept pleading “but you’ll find it impossible to get back to Italy! Just think of your poor wife! And the little bambini!” It took them some time to convince him that the Indian in question was in fact American, that they were on their way back TO Switzerland, and there was no wife nor little bambini waiting for them somewhere in Italy…

  100. Pinky says:


    “enforcement is lax” yet more people are being deported than ever.

    Can you back that up? I’m having trouble finding good time series data on that.

  101. Monala says:
  102. Grewgills says:

    There’s this old adage about pots and kettles, have you heard of it?

  103. mannning says:

    @grumpy realist:

    An illegal alien has broken the law, and if he or she is discovered by lawmen, the federal immigration law must be followed. Color has no part of it. Either we have a nation ruled by law or we don’t. We must not make personal or local decisions whether to follow the federal law or not, that leads to anarchy. If the law is flawed, then efforts to change it in the prescribed manner should be undertaken, but until it is changed legally, it must be followed.

  104. J-Dub says:


    An illegal alien has broken the law, and if he or she is discovered by lawmen, the federal immigration law must be followed. Color has no part of it.

    Except white people with an accent might never be accused of being here illegally. Sherriff Joe himself probably wouldn’t question the status of a Swedish illegal.

  105. grumpy realist says:

    @mannning: It’s that “discovered by lawmen” that’s the sticking point.

    When your pasty-white side is just as willing to be questioned about their potential status as illegals (Canadians, cough, Irish, cough, Poles, cough) as you are to shake down Them Darkies on every block, then I’ll start believing you putting your money where your mouth is.

  106. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills: Gotcha. I say that some of you must hate cops if you mean what you say, and you have a problem with it. Michael says that I must hate brown people if I mean what I haven’t said but he can tell I secretly wish I could, and that’s fine with you.

  107. Pinky says:

    @Monala: Those numbers appear to show deportations plummeting.

  108. Grewgills says:

    You are both reading the tea leaves based on what people write and extrapolating generalizations about people you disagree with. In both cases it is non falsifiable. Regarding your comment being about things said by unspecified liberal commenters on here you keep dodging producing any comments that lead to that, so I am led to believe that you are talking about things not actually written. You have spent more time, energy and pixels avoiding providing any evidence that it would take to provide evidence for your claim if that evidence actually existed. So yes, you are being a flaming hypocrite and you have right about zero credibility when it comes to tone policing.

    As far as giving MR a pass, I have called him out more than once for overgeneralizing regarding racism as have several ‘liberal’ commenters on this very thread, so it isn’t pile on poor Pinky’s sins and ignore MR’s.

  109. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills: How much credibility do I need to point out that Michael just said about his biases? He just said that he’s more interested in his assumptions about people than what people actually say, yet your first comment on this thread is to complain about me. I’m not complaining to make myself into a martyr, but if people are going to endorse Michael’s imaginative accusations, it’s fair for me to call him out on it. Meanwhile, we’ve got Matt saying that more people are being deported than ever, and Monala linking to a site claiming the opposite. If we’re interested in a reasoned, evidence-based conversation about immigration policy, this seems like a good place to start: is the number of deportations increasing or decreasing?

  110. DrDaveT says:


    Either we have a nation ruled by law or we don’t.

    You probably actually believe this, but it isn’t true. Selective enforcement has always been the norm, because there are too many laws and not enough cops. And “enough cops” isn’t really an option — you wouldn’t care for the resulting police state any more than I would, and our quality of life would go down the toilet.

    The real problems come when we leave it up to the cops to decide which laws to enforce, on whom. In the Jim Crow south, laws against “vagrancy”, “loitering”, spitting on sidewalks, etc. were used to harass blacks more or less at will — sometimes to death. Such laws were never enforced against whites. The pattern continues to this day, to the extent that “Driving While Black” is a thing.

    Until you can make enforcement equal (or randomized), the idea of uniform rule of law is a myth, or worse. (“Worse” includes deliberate lies intended to disguise systematic discrimination. Welcome to America.) We cannot be “a nation ruled by law” until we become a nation that enforces the law uniformly. We ain’t hardly there yet.

  111. mannning says:


    That is his problem. But he just might surprise you. As I said, an alien is an alien, and should be treated as such. You are fighting to make this a color bias when from the law point of view it is colorless. Some men do have a color bias, and some times that is more than a bias, it is evidence of a criminal act on the part of an alien—of any color.

  112. Steve V says:

    @Pinky: Wait, did MR say that *you* personally dislike brown people, or did he say that a not-insignifant portion of the GOP base seems to have this failing?

    I believe that the problem, to us liberals/dems, seems to be that nativists etc. seem to be taking over the GOP. (Then they also complain about GOP voters enabling this, but I’m not so sure I personally would go that far.) So the overriding, repeatedly-asked question is, when is the “silent majority” of moderate republicans going to stop this? Anyway.

    For the record while I think MR is a great commenter in general I do think all the concentration camp talk isn’t helping things too much. (Also of course not wanting to jeopardize that invitation to drinks with MR and WR when they’re in LA)

  113. mannning says:


    You just might have read into what I said that I do not understand selective application of the law. I do get that, and bemoan it, for the wrong people are picking and choosing which laws to uphold, and which laws get a pass. This needs to be fixed.

  114. mannning says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Of course.

  115. jukeboxgrad says:


    I say that some of you must hate cops if you mean what you say

    What you’re doing now is known as disingenuous backpedaling. ‘I like to see cops die’ is a stronger statement than ‘I hate cops.’ Your accusation was the former. You were never able to support your actual accusation with evidence, and your new dishonestly diluted accusation is also unsupported and unsupportable.

    Michael’s imaginative accusations

    Your inadvertent hilarity is appreciated.

  116. Pinky says:

    @Steve V:

    Seeing the tell-tale holes in some self-conscious racist’s laboriously-constructed paragraph is not a great strain on me.

    Michael wrote that in response to me, after claiming that I wasn’t telling the whole truth. I can’t think of any way of viewing that other than as a statement by him that I am a self-conscious racist.

  117. Pinky says:

    @Steve V: What I found most interesting about his comments, though, is that he admits that he’s making the decision about me through bias – although he calls it expertise. He hears someone say A and B, and support C, and assumes that means they must secretly support D, E, and F, because he won’t engage with the actual person, only with his caricature of him.

    Now, I can guess that someone will come along and say that I did the same thing 8 months ago, and my reply would be (a) that I would expect them to remind Michael of this error of his regularly for the next 8 months, and (b) that this site read like an NWA lyric sheet for months, but I haven’t written anything racist.

  118. grumpy realist says:

    @mannning: Um, and how, pray tell, do you plan to do this? Very nice utopian ideal, but we know full well that it’s going to be bloody hard to a) get the police to start enforcing laws equally (a.k.a. rich white kid gets off with a warning, poor black kid gets thrown in jail), and as soon as you start trying to be evenhanded you’re going to get a lot of whining from the pasty white people.

    In fact, if a city wanted to show exactly how stupid Donald Trump’s ideas were, the police would start setting up exactly the sort of dragnet necessary to catch 99.5% of the “illegals”, keep demanding people to prove their citizenship, and then just wait for the complaints from the upper and upper-middle class to start.

  119. jukeboxgrad says:

    I would expect them to remind Michael of this error of his

    If this is your way of admitting that your statement was an “error,” that’s a kind of progress, but it would be better if you could say it without the convolutions.

  120. Pinky says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Michael accused me of racism. That was an error. I didn’t accuse anyone of wanting dead police, if you reread my famous comment. I said that I thought that if some of you guys meant what you’d said, and thought it through, et cetera presents. I did four things there: stated it as an opinion, didn’t point fingers, allowed for the possibility of bluster, and allowed for the possibility of philosophical inconsistency. Michael did none of those things. He stated his unfounded opinion of my thinking as a fact, personalizing it. I can’t say that he allowed for the possibility of me blustering a comment, because he didn’t base his statement on my comment, only on the dogs that he thought weren’t barking. As for allowing the possibility of philosophical inconsistency, he did the opposite – even if every other person who shares my beliefs is a racist, and is a racist as a consequence of those shared beliefs, he doesn’t have the right to assume that I’m a racist.

  121. jukeboxgrad says:

    I didn’t accuse anyone of wanting dead police

    Then it must have been an entirely different Pinky who said this:

    If some of you guys believed the things you’ve typed over the last few months, two dead cops should be like an early Christmas present for you.

    I don’t have a microscope powerful enough to see the hair you’re trying to split.

  122. Pinky says:

    @jukeboxgrad: You don’t need a microscope, you need a page up button:

    I don’t think that any OTB’ers are happy about these murders, but if some of them were ideologically consistent and honest with themselves, they would be. If some of you guys believed the things you’ve typed over the last few months, two dead cops should be like an early Christmas present for you. Immoderate words on my part, I know. But I have to tell you, you’ve been like a mommy to Brinsley, scooping up the mashed peas and making encouraging sounds as you put the spoon in his mouth. And now you’re going to act surprised and disgusted that he ate what you gave him? The only thing that should get you down about this story is that the cops weren’t named Roberts and Lewis.

  123. Grewgills says:

    Again, you have no credibility to police anyone else’s tone. You are like Trump telling Carson or Huckabee that they stepped over the line.

  124. Monala says:

    So this happened:

    Allegedly Trump said the following in response:

    Trump, told of the alleged assault, said “it would be a shame . . . I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

    I’d like to see the full quote and the context, because as it was reported in the Globe, that’s pretty scary. I have never used Godwin’s Law in any internet discussion–until now. Trump is reminding me of the demagoguery that elevated Hitler. Scapegoat and demonize a group and encourage your followers to act on it. (If it turns out that the Globe did some selective editing, then shame on them).

  125. Pinky says:

    @Pinky: It’s interesting that Michael is doing what I accused others of doing: declaring that half the country is out to kill the other half, then pretending like that declaration doesn’t have consequences. It’s not full-throated demagoguery, but it has the same effect in the long run. It eats away at society. Every round of anger historically starts out as righteous anger, but then it snowballs. Michael’s comments, and a lot of the comments from both sides on immigration, are toxic. The only question is whether it’s fast-acting or slow-acting poison.

  126. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills: Again, how much credibility do I need for you guys to look at this very thread, where Michael groundlessly accused me of being a racist? He’s punching the cat right now!

  127. Grewgills says:

    MR is too quick to call republicans racists (as I have said before to him), you are quick to condemn liberals as wanna be cop killers and the real ™ people that are trying to turn half of this country against the other half. You regularly do the mirror image of what you accuse MR of doing while trying to play the reasonable one policing tone. My analogy still works, Trump would be right in saying Carson and Huckabee stepped way over the line, but he would also be a flaming hypocrite for doing so. Clean up your own act before playing the victim for being on the other side of it.

  128. jukeboxgrad says:

    You don’t need a microscope, you need a page up button

    Pointing to your own statement is pointless. What you need to point to are the statements supposedly justifying your accusation. You can’t, because they don’t exist. That’s why you shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously.