Prepare for earth-shattering news - immigration has become a key issue in the race for the Republican nomination. Yes. Again. It’s what folks in the garden industry call a perennial. Or rather, biennial, as it happens like clockwork every year ending in an even number. It’s as predictable as fruit flies in the dumpster behind a produce store on garbage day.
Every election cycle, the GOP energizes its base by sounding the newcomer alarm. This proud, honored American tradition dates back to the Iroquois, “Can’t let those damn Europeans in, they’ll ruin everything.”
Donald Trump dominated the early rounds of the Xenophobic Grand Nationals, vowing to deport all 11,000,000 undocumented residents. Which, according to immigration officials, at a rate of 400,000 a year, would take 27 and a half years, just in time for Sofia Vergara’s 71st birthday. It makes you think “Make America Great Again” is shorthand for “Make America White Again.”
This is in addition to the Trump Wall, which is guaranteed to be “tremendous and beautiful.” But how the developer plans to build a 20 foot-high, 1,952 mile-long wall on the Mexican border without using Mexican labor remains a mystery. What’s the plan here? Draft housewives from San Diego? “Marilyn, hand me that masonry trowel would you? And grab some spiral shank nails, we need to buttress that stanchion.”
It took the Chinese multiple centuries to build the Great Wall, requiring the forced labor of millions of peasants. Is it just me, or does importing millions of Chinese peasants to build a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants seem counter-productive?
But the big fat ugly dispute right now is between those rutting buck Senators, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Rightly calculating there is only room for one establishment candidate not named Bush, the two are butting heads over past, present and future statements, each claiming the other is soft, softer, softest on illegals.
That’s right, two sons of Cuban immigrants are locking antlers over who is more anti-immigrant. You can’t make stuff up like this. In the Republican version of West Side Story, the Sharks rumble the Sharks.
Back in 2013, as a founding member of the Gang of Eight, Rubio helped draft a bill that granted undocumented workers the right to remain in the country. Lambasted by hard liners as... “amnesty,” the Florida Senator immediately saw the error of his ways, and voted against the very bill he co-sponsored. So it seems he’s getting the hang of this whole leadership thing.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz is fixated like a dog with a chew toy on the loss of jobs and laughingly envisions immigrants crossing with journalism degrees, implying that journalism degrees are a pathway to jobs. Hah. Talk about out of touch. Nobody bothers to mention that if you’re losing your job to someone with a 5th grade education who doesn’t speak English, maybe immigration isn’t your biggest problem.
So the race for the nomination comes down to which of these two 44-year-old anchor babies is best able to convince the American people that he can make this country great again by getting back all those fruit picking jobs we’ve dreamed of all our lives. “Working outdoors. Sleeping on the ground. Just like camping, only different.”
Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed columnist and comedian