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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

You can count on Donald Trump to spark a conversation. Not necessarily an intelligent one, but a conversation. His provocatively offensive anti-Mexican comments have energized a significant segment of the Republican right wing. Some polls now put Trump ahead of other contenders for the party’s presidential nomination.

Everyone says these insults hurled at the growing Latino electorate will harm Republicans. Everyone is correct.

Trump can be expected to mar the upcoming Republican candidate debates with new incendiary remarks about immigrants. That will leave those sharing the stage a choice. They can make common cause with Trump and offend a large part of the general electorate. Or they can swat him down and displease the slice that calls the shots in many Republican primaries and caucuses.

Treated with derision, Trump could run as a third-party candidate, draining support from the eventual Republican nominee. Asked on CNN whether he’d consider a third-party candidacy, Trump said, “If I do the third-party thing, it would be, I think, very bad for the Republicans.” He added, “Everyone asks me to do it.”

That’s not a “no.”

Republican leaders have mainly themselves to blame. By rejecting a sensible plan to deal with illegal immigration — which is, yes, a problem — they have let the issue rot into a moldy piñata for the far right. The comprehensive plan for immigration reform was a solution for Republicans, nicely tied with a bow. It passed in the Senate, and the Republican National Committee called for its passage after the most recent general election.

The comprehensive plan would do two things. It would mandate a computerized system for serious enforcement of the immigration laws. And it would normalize the status of people who are here illegally because of lax enforcement in the past.

Americans have a right to an orderly and lawful immigration program. The lack of one has helped harden the lives of natives and documented immigrants with only a high-school diploma or less. Honest labor economists have noted this fact, an expected outcome of forcing lower-skilled workers to compete with millions of undocumented foreigners accepting substandard pay and working conditions.

That doesn’t make these people working here illegally bad folks. Trump is cracked in saying that Mexico sends its worst people. On the contrary, Mexico has been sending us its best — those fired with ambition and a desire for work. (If American authorities fail to expel criminal foreigners, even after multiple convictions, America’s to blame.)

For this reason, the migration has been Mexico’s loss. Mexico has not only exported superior workers but also lost those most likely to push for political reform. Some Mexican labor activists have noted this, arguing that mass emigration north has weakened their cause.

Low birthrates, a stronger Mexican economy, and improved enforcement of the current law have sharply curbed the flow of undocumented workers from Mexico. Illegal immigration will soon become not a thorn in U.S.-Mexican relations but a common concern.

What better time to put order into the American immigration program. Foes of comprehensive reform should cut the looping tape about “those people” having broken laws in taking jobs here. These laws were held in contempt by American political and business interests at their highest levels. The new plan would restore respect. It would grow new teeth on enforcement while recognizing that many undocumented foreigners have become rooted in their American communities.

By removing immigration from the power-boil burner, Republicans would oblige their Donald Trumps to look elsewhere for inflammatory remarks. Publicity hounds will no doubt find replacements, but GOP leaders can hope the next wave of vile quotes will be of less consequence to them and the nation.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at [email protected] To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at

  • FireBaron

    Frankly, I am looking forward to THE DONALD trying to explain his plan to deal with the immigrants that are here. Will he follow the same humorous “self-deportation” plan favored by Mitt Romney? That one won’t cost the government any money, but has about as much chance of succeeding as a 6″ high pile of sand does at keeping tidal erosion from happening. Will he follow a “Round ’em up, and ship ’em home” plan? If so, how will he identify those illegally here from those legally here? How will he gather them and send them back? Those methods cost money and his Tea Party supporters do not want to spend any for any reason.
    That will be almost as much fun as listening to him explain how he would deal with IS and Iran!

  • The lucky one

    Asked on CNN whether he’d consider a third-party candidacy, Trump said, “If I do the third-party thing, it would be, I think, very bad for the Republicans.” He added, “Everyone asks me to do it.”
    So.. then “everyone” Trump talks to is encouraging him to hurt the republicans.

    • Billie

      I say do it, Chump. It would only help the Dems.

      • drdroad

        Agree. We should start a Petition! TRUMP’S OWN PARTY!!

    • charleo1

      Isn’t it ironic that the so called GOP base, hates the GOP Party? In fact, they’ve been so hammered on, [the base,] So conspira-tized, frightened, misinformed, and mislead. They are truly to the point, they don’t know who to trust. Except Old Betsy. Their trusty shotgun that that “Muslim in the WH” keeps trying to disarm them of. It’s gotten so thick, that anyone that runs for office, and doesn’t spout the same revolutionary claptrap as what they hear on Clear Channel Radio, or Fox News on a daily basis, is not to be trusted. One woman in Phoenix I thought summed up her feelings, and the Right’s about Trump very well. She said she liked him, “Because he didn’t back down.” That in her mind, and in the minds of many of the disgruntled rural Whites in this Country, both young, and old. Those loyal listeners of the Right Wing hate mongers, Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, That Trump, well he’s standing up to the lying liberal press, a sold out RINO Party of pretend Conservatives. As well as to a corporate class of liberal PC. stormtroopers. Who all now seek to punish Trump for telling the American public what they unequivocally believe is the truth on immigration, and probably many other issues as well. The larger truth about Donald though, is even tougher for the GOP. Because, the truth is, they should have shut him down a long time ago over the birther issue. They should have realized that beyond Trump, a lot of what they’ve been letting pass as the truth because they thought they as a Party could manage it, could distance themselves from it when necessary to preserve their credibility. And use what can be described in no other terms as propaganda, to motivate voters, and further a separate agenda. Is now coming back to bite them in their collective rear ends in the form of one Donald Trump.

      • The lucky one

        I agree with most of that. But I think the GOP is just the tool of the oligarchy, or probably more accurately oligarchies that run the government. Trump may be the stalking horse for Walker, the candidate that the Kochs are grooming. He can attack the candidates who challenge Walker and espouse “solutions” to see how the base responds before he chooses how he will package himself.
        Trump doesn’t even want to be president and he has far too many skeletons to think he could.

        • charleo1

          No doubt on the GOP being the tools of the Oligarchy. But, I think Trump is more the result of how the GOP has decided to sell the policies being handed down to them by the Oligarchs to their base. Which is, after all, like the rest of the Country being drained dry by them. That draining dry part is evident to even the most ardent Right Winger. The trick has been to try and cast the blame away from the monied aristocracy, and onto the poor. Who, by their telling, aren’t working hard enough. The Blacks, who they insinuate feel entitled to a living from the Whites. And the exploited undocumented. Which they refuse to give legal standing. Or take on the huge corporate interests that illegally hire them by the millions. And of course, the political movements on the Left, and Right, that oppose them, and choose as a matter of conscience to care about these people being marginalized, and scapegoated, and lied about in the worst racist kind of way. And I think Trump pulls the ugly scab off all that for the entire Nation to see. I perish the thought that Dylan Roof would have been an undocumented person from Mexico. Or, the Shooter in Aurora, or the mass murder of children at Sandyhook Elem. Instead of the failures looking for an excuse they were. The excuse, Trump is showing himself more than willing to give them. In fact, I’m starting to wondering where he hides his little pointy hat when he’s not running for President.

  • charleo1

    Is big mouth Donald embarrassing the poor wittle GOP in front of the entire Country?
    Then, why do they not unflinchingly slap him down? Instead of, as SC Governor Nikki Haley did recently on a Sunday News program, object not so much as to what he is claiming, to the untruthfulness, or hypocrisy of it. But to his, “tone.” Yes, he’s got very ‘bad tone,’ as he spews his particularly vile version of ‘they’re taking over,’ meme. Not as bad a ‘tone’ as Dylan Roof’s, as he murdered 9 African Americans in their Charleston SC. Church. But the message, and intent is the same. To elevate hate, and energize racism. In fact, Trump’s sentiment here is the same as the one that has underpinned the vast majority of the mass atrocities in human history. First dehumanize, demonize, and then, publicly demean an entire group of people. Alluding to some dark conspiracy to take away that which rightly belongs to the rightful owners. Be they God’s chosen, a genetically superior race, or the Real Americans, in Trump’s narrative. Always casts the Demagogue in the Hero’s role. Who’s taking the fight to the evil doers that threaten the Fatherland/Motherland/Homeland, or whatever. And promises to do whatever is necessary, to reestablish this vision. To make that which has fallen, “Great once more!” And the GOP just can’t bring themselves for the political life of themselves, to slap all that down?

    • Dominick Vila

      The sad truth is that Trump is embarrassing the entire country. His statements are being quoted by the foreign media worldwide, and are seen as a reflection of our culture.

      • charleo1

        I know what you say! Trump also makes me feel embarrassment for all concerned. Even the billionaire Koch Brothers a little bit. I guess they would call that the Liberal in me coming out. I feel their pain, even if they did bring it on themselves. But in a larger sense, his comments also reflect a growing animosity, and fear of foreign immigrants that is reemerging all across the World. For one thing, as one study found, we have more refugees today, than at any time since the Second World War. And in Europe, as in the U.S. there is an increase in membership, and affiliation with Nationalistic, or anti-immigrant groups. A certain amount due to terrorist attacks. But also the economic pressures on jobs, pensions, and social programs. And also throughout the richer Mid East. Where for many years the majority of construction, and manual labor is carried out by impoverished foreign nationals, fleeing war, poverty, political instability, and many times discrimination in their own home countries. The results of all this is Trump’s unfortunate brand of hate politics. But it’s not really his of course. It’s not the first time the World has heard it coming out of America or their own Countries either. As we know the Fascists were masters at it. Perhaps that’s why the Europeans so strongly reject it. They’ve had to learn much tougher lessons about where this kind of political pandering leads, than their more naive American Cousins.

        • Dominick Vila

          I watch foreign media a lot, and I have many relatives and friends in Europe and a few in Latin America, and what I see and hear from them is very different from what I see and hear in the USA.
          The influx of immigrants from the Middle East, especially Syria, Libya, Algiers, and Tunisia, as well as large numbers of immigrants from sub-Saharan countries is, indeed, huge compared to what prevailed as recently as a couple of decades ago. Most are escaping violence, persecution, and misery. All are pursuing a better life for themselves and their children. The general public is outraged by the inadequate responses by their authorities, especially the Coast Guard, to rescue migrants traveling to Europe, most of them to the small island of Lampedusa (Italy). Hundreds are drowning as they cross the Mediterranean. As soon as they are rescued, and upon arrival in Europe, they are provided shelter, medical care, and receive generous assistance, not only by government institutions, but by the populace. I have not heard a single person call for the deportation, or asking their governments to send people seeking asylum to send refugees back to where they came from.
          There are tensions in some countries, especially in France and Germany, two of the most popular destinations for those migrants, but those tension are usually fueled by the migrant’s demands for special privileges, such as the implementation of Sharia law, than ethnic or cultural hatred.
          Needless to say, there are a lot of extremists in Europe, including neo-Nazis, white supremacists, skin heads, and other hate groups, but they are far from being a majority and they do not have much of a voice in policy making.

        • Dominick Vila
  • jmprint

    If Trump goes to another party, who is going to drive the clown bus. Republicans would be in limbo without a driver.

  • Billie

    This man is such a liar. Sunday he said that he had a bigger crowd than Bernie did. The place he was speaking from only holds 4,200 people. He would never admit it, though.

    • jmprint

      He has no problem telling people he lives in a delusional world, but for some unknown reason poles have him in first place. It is way beyond my comprehension how stupid works.

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    Trump has
    personally guaranteed a republican loss next year. Excellent job! And what’s even better is that all of his hate-spewing supporters are driving even more nails into the GOP coffin. I doubt the republican candidate will get more than 5% of the latino vote, and they will turn out to vote en masse.

    But then, look at like this . . . he’s almost 70, he’s been surrounded by people all his life who have been kissing up to him, telling him that his farts smell like attar of roses, and never, ever, EVER saying no to him. He has an ego the size of a small New England state, and he knows he can’t take it with him. In bygone days, he would build himself a Mausoleum the size of the Parthenon, or a Pyramid.

    But instead, he’s indulging in the absolute ultimate ego trip – he’s running for Emperor of the United States. I think he knows he really can’t win, but hey, as long as he gets press coverage, that’s all he’s looking for. What’s kind of ironic is that I don’t think the idea of a backlash ever occurred to him. He actually thought that he could get up, spew hate, and that everyone would just flock to him. Well, he flocked up badly. But his ego won’t let him admit that; after all, he’s going to sue them!

    He doesn’t care a whit about the GOP. In fact, I think he holds them in total contempt. Or, to be more accurate, he holds everyone in contempt who doesn’t idolize and agree with him. I suspect that when he starts coming under SERIOUS fire from the GOP mainliners, he’s going to pull a Perot / Nader and go the third party route. And if he does that, well, can you say ‘Democratic House and Senate’? I knew you could . . .

    Trump is easily the best thing to happen to the democrats since Sarah Palin. And the really hilarious part about all this is that the GOP leadership knows it as well. But . . . they’re chained to the very basest of their base, a mouldering albatross around their necks that they cannot remove. Between Trump and their fetishization of the Klan flag, their fanatical inability to compromise and their sheer hatred for everything the 21st century has to offer, they know they’re screwed totally. And there is absolutely NOTHING they can do about it.

    Ah, sweet, sweet schadenfreude . . .

  • 1standlastword

    Points well made!

    The GOP is truly the party of stupid!

    Trying passionately to self-destruct. And now they have a smart-bomb, “The Donald” and it’s armed with a short fuse so I expect they’d better hurry and disarm it before their chances at a credible convention aren’t completely blown to smithereens.

    But…but then there’ all those other guys!!

    I guess this is a mine field people: Somebody better call in the bomb techs!!!

  • pisces63

    The funny thing about all this, the right is not only biting the hands that has fed
    them but are eating them up piece meal. Go to National Review and see how
    they have turned on their beloved writers because they…. Gasp do I write it…dissed
    the Donald. It is hilarious. Now they are calling these right wing pundits, liberals and against them. When a piece was written against the president, Hilary, gays, etc., they were happy as magpies on a branch but NOW, dis the Donald and they are ready to burn the cross on their lawn.

  • Dominick Vila

    Fortunately for us, and for the USA, there is very little the Republican establishment can do to rein in the Donald, and they have nobody to blame for it than themselves. To their credit, some Republicans, such as Marco Rubio, saw the dangers of inaction on the illegal immigration issue and tried to do something to solve this socio-economic and legal problem…to no avail. The GOP is now controlled by the “crazies”, as Sen. McCain called them, and it is too late for them to do a U-turn. The Trump phenomena is real, and there is absolutely nothing the GOP can do to stop it, without shooting themselves in the foot after years of refusing to reform our immigration laws to solve the illegal immigration problem once and for all. People are not entering the USA illegally because they love to jump fences or crawl through tunnels, they do it because our current immigration laws make no provisions for semi-skilled workers to enter the USA legally, and because every Mexican and Central American migrant know that thousands of American employers are eagerly awaiting their arrival to hire them.
    The result of this self-made conundrum is that it fuels ethnic and cultural hatred, a fact that gives opportunists like Trump a chance to rise to the top and have a realistic chance to win the GOP nomination without having to resort to legitimate, but less bombastic approaches such as proposing economic and job creation solutions.