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August 17, 2015

Trump's Huge, Fabulous Immigration Reform Principles

Let two things be known:

1. It is not possible to get further to the restrictionist side of things than Trump. He has staked out his ground there, and he is alone there. No one else has called for such sweeping -- some would say "punitive," Democrats will undoubtedly say "racist" -- policies to end illegal immigration.

2. Even if you assume Trump is a Bullshit King, which I do myself, you have to concede at least that even if Trump delivered half of what's here, it would be a major Overton-Window-shifting move. I suppose it's theoretically possible that he could just be lying about everything, but assuming he's not lying about everything, then this is pretty much the ne plus ultra of immigration reform outlines.

He tosses this in there:

End birthright citizenship. This remains the biggest magnet for illegal immigration. By a 2:1 margin, voters say itís the wrong policy, including Harry Reid who said "no sane country" would give automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

He also wants to reform the H-1B process, so that the work visas are not used (as they are often alleged to be used) to recruit cheaper younger foreign tech workers to replace older more expensive American ones.

Now, if you care what I think about it:

I don't think anything about it. I am collecting information.

I would say there is something very useful in this document, however. It is the belief of many that this sort of plan would appeal to a "Silent Majority" of people who are fed up with illegal immigration (and the government's connivances regarding it) but who are cowed into expressing this opinion.

It is the belief of many other people that such a "harsh," "extreme" plan will be offensive to the majority of the country and hence will be a complete non-starter, or, indeed, a turn-off for the casual suburban business-owning Republican or Republican-leaning voter, and hence a disaster for the party.

I, like most people, like having evidence rather than beliefs and arguments about those beliefs.

This document will either cause the Preference Cascade in favor of Trump... or against him. (Or, perhaps, a bad split, in which it causes a Preference Cascade for him within the party, but a cascade against him without it.)

Either way, I expect it to be clarifying, and to bring new facts to the table.

And that's good, because personally I'm tired of hearing all the yelling.

I've noted a hundred times that for some reason people are especially emotional about their mere guesses and prognostications of how the world works -- I have seen more emotional arguments about, say, "It is my guess that Romney is the candidate the public will like the most" than about hot-buttons like creationism or homosexuality or vaccinations.

For some reason I don't really understand, people take a huge, egotistical pride of ownership in their wild-ass guesses about future events, and will attack with a lot of emotion anyone who contradicts their claims to be able to divine the future.

One additional useful thing Trump has done is get this out early in the process, rather than late, so we can find out which way this thing is heading.

I really don't know either way. That's not just me being politic. I know how to evaluate a candidate like Rubio or even Cruz.

But Trump is a definite X Factor, a big bag of unknowns. How does his brass, crude style play? Can he actually attract so-called Reagan Democrats? Do they like his dockworker-sort of sense of combativeness?

Or, on the other hand: Does this sort of loud, yelly, attention-getting nonsense alienate what someone said in private conversation was the "true heart of the party," the suburban middle-class family-raising sort of person who is in favor of, more than anything, stability and gradualism, because political lurches look especially frightening to someone with a seven year old daughter and a college savings account?

I don't know these things and I won't pretend I do.

I'm curious.

I think it would just be psychologically healthy to know these things for facts, so that people don't just keep screaming their premonitions of the future at each other.

Scott Walker: I Will End Birthright Citizenship.




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posted by Ace at 12:05 PM

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