I have some Facebook friends from high school days who are now avid Trump supporters. When the topic of immigration arises, their argument has run along the following lines: “We have nothing against legal immigration. It’s ILLEGAL immigration we oppose. Can’t you liberal snowflakes get that through your thick skulls?”
On its face, that argument makes sense. After all, didn’t candidate Trump claim that he wanted to build a wall, paid for by Mexico, with “beautiful” entry portals where anyone could enter legally? How could anyone oppose such a logical, low-cost, even compassionate, policy?
The short answer is that Spirited Reasoners were skeptical that, once elected, President Trump would allow his true colors to come shining through. And now, just this past week, he and his followers have demonstrated that they did not really wish to distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. Instead, they are opposed to all immigrants of color, whether they are here legally or not.
The President of the United States used his favorite social medium, namely Twitter, to suggest that four members of Congress—all women of color—should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Taking the lead from these bully-like remarks, his followers took up the chant, “send them back!” during a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina.
It didn’t matter that three of the four representatives were born here in the United States. And it didn’t matter that the fourth arrived here legally.
To add insult to injury, President Trump declared that the United States is “full.” (As in, “no more room at the inn.”) And we are learning that his administration intends to reduce refugee quotas from 30,000 per year to zero. That’s right. Zero. No more Statue of Liberty, offering its beacon of hope to “tired and huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
So, we Spirited Reasoners want to know, what happened to that crucial distinction between legal and illegal immigration?