Donald Trump at tonight’s CNN debate made sure everyone knows that the far-right swing for every Republican running for president, opposing a path to citizenship and ending President Obama’s protections for DREAMers, came because of him.
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have for months worked to prove that they’re as anti-immigrant as Donald Trump. They’ve co-opted Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric and policy positions, and on some issues have bafflingly even sought to run to his right. And when they do it, Trump comes right back and says, “No, I’m worse than they are.” Don’t bother trying to distinguish between these xenophobic clowns on immigration, it’s a waste of time.
In the last ten days alone, Ted Cruz has pledged to use Immigration and Customs Enforcement to forcibly deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, and Marco Rubio has promised to end DACA on day one. After months of the same xenophobic talking points, it’s become dangerously easy to become desensitized to Donald Trump and the rest of the GOP field’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. But that’s a mistake, because it is serious, hateful, and wrong.
- Just this week, Ted Cruz ran hard to the right on immigration and proposed using Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to “look for” and forcibly deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. It should come as no surprise that Cruz also pposes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and is an outspoken critic of DACA and the DREAM Act. Going full Trump, Ted Cruz’s has even started blaming undocumented immigrants for the opioid epidemic.
- Marco Rubio has said he’d end Obama’s executive order protecting Dreamers against deportation on day one. Rubio also opposes a path to citizenship. And he remains very opposed to comprehensive immigration reform — hard to believe it’s the same guy who helped outline and pass a comprehensive reform bill less than three years ago. Of course he’s now trying to re-write history and claim that he never thought it was “headed towards becoming a law.”
- John Kasich plays up his “bridge builder” image. The catch is he wants to get “the country to unite around” finishing “the wall.” Like the rest of the GOP field, Kasich’s against a path to citizenship and DACA. He opposes sanctuary cities, and thinks Latinos are hardworking, so “uh, that’s why in the hotel you leave a little tip.”
- “Speak softly and carry a big stick” encapsulates understated, but very anti-immigrant, Ben Carson‘s approach to immigration policy. Carson opposes a path to citizenship. He’s also floated “stripping birthright citizenship from the children of some immigrants.” And Carson’s also said “be willing to listen” to ideas about deporting the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.