Friday, April 12, 2024

GOP Debate Recap: Immigration Takes Center Stage


If there was something universally agreed upon during last night’s Republican primary debate on Fox News, it was this: our country is in bad shape, Hillary Clinton is a rogue puppet of liberal special interests, and Donald Trump actually believes everything Donald Trump is saying. The primetime contest showcased the top 10 polling Republican presidential aspirants, squaring off to take on issues ranging from immigration, to Planned Parenthood, to the economy, to even God. But the most compelling soundbites came from the immigration portion of the debate, with the candidates generally posturing that where President Obama has faltered, they will thrive.

“They say this is what’s happening because our leaders are stupid, our politicians are stupid and the Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning and they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them, they don’t want to take care of them,” Mr. Trump quipped about illegal immigration, adding that he would even build a “big, beautiful door” in the middle of his proposed wall to allow for legal immigration.

Where candidates John Kasich and Ted Cruz perhaps struggled, others stepped in and stepped up to fill the void. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush both pushed for an e-verify system and the elimination of so-called “sanctuary cities,” while Scott Walker called for stronger border enforcement writ large. What seemed to be missing, however, from the calls of the candidates was hard evidence and specifics for their claims. Still, Bush seemed most at ease in talk of immigration, going so far as calling for undocumented immigrants to have the right to earned legal status – an opinion not shared by many on stage with him.

“When Donald Trump calls immigrants illegals, drug dealers and criminals, and the GOP does nothing to stop or stand up to him, they’re tacitly condoning hate. And while Republican leaders may use alternative tones and language than Trump, their policies are quite literally based on the same values and assumptions,”, said in a statement.

And while it may be fair to feel incredulous about Mr. Trump’s claim that if it weren’t for him, “nobody would be talking about immigration,” one thing is for certain: immigration is on the political radar, for better or for worse.

Latin PostNBC News