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Focusing on the Wrong Issue

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Republican U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump (L) and Ted Cruz speak simultaneously as they discuss an issue during the debate sponsored by CNN for the 2016 Republican U.S. presidential candidates in Houston, Texas, February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Stone

The worst part of the GOP Presidential debate in Houston involved its disproportionate focus on illegal immigration. The CNN moderators began with that topic, and stayed with it for more than a third of the debate’s running time. You’d think that the flow of unauthorized migrants represented the public’s top concern—but no poll has ever shown that to be the case. Even in Nevada, where Donald Trump won by a landslide, only 20 percent of Republican caucus goers listed immigration as their big issue.

This reflects the fact that the flow of illegals across our Southern border has declined sharply since 2007—thanks largely to security enhancements by President George W. Bush.

In very conservative South Carolina, 53 percent of Republican voters in the recent primary supported a path to citizenship—not just legal status—for undocumented immigrants. The relentless arguments over immigration make Republicans sound strident—and out of touch with the deeper worries of the public at large.

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  1. Chris Wryn  •  Feb 26, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Excuse me, but every non-liberal journalist who has visited the Southern Border in the past 2 years has come away aghast
    at the inflow of primarily working age single males from many ethnicities. They are coming in by the tens of thousands and we are not trying to stop them or find out where they are going. Rather, we are offering them a Drivers license and a Sanctuary city, free health care, free education and probably a job. This will be the downfall of America, just as sure as LEGAL immigration was a bane to America

  2. Steve  •  Feb 26, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I would like to know where you got your 20% figure from, and I would have liked for you to have listed the issues that made up the other 80%. I, for one, happen to believe that this is by far the biggest issue in this upcoming election because it hinges on so many other issues. If unemployment was 0% the economy would have a much better outlook. Many of these illegals work for such little wages it's almost a return to slavery, meanwhile many of us can't get jobs because companies can hire illegals for far less. When the money illegals do make is sent home to their country it does nothing to help our economy. A big part of the reason Americans have such high health care costs is because illegals get it free. Even legal immigrants are tearing our country apart taking down American flags and hoisting up Mexican flags. These people in southern California want to take it back for Mexico. Meanwhile, Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan have instituted Sharia Law.
    Now that we've given them drivers licenses and allowed them to vote, they sure aren't going to vote Republican!

  3. Chris K.  •  Feb 26, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    The Nevada exit poll (from the Fox News website):

    Which ONE of these four issues is the most important facing the country? (CHECK ONLY ONE)
    Immigration – 20%, Economy/Jobs – 29%, Terrorism – 19%, Government Spending – 27%

    • Mike DeRobio  •  Feb 28, 2016 at 7:55 am

      The problem with that poll and the answers is that Immigration, jobs, and gov't spending are all related. More illegal immigration leads to more gov't spending (at minimum food stamps for kids and free emergency medical care) and lower wages and fewer jobs for Americans. And even legal immigration (the H1B visa program) pushes down wages and eliminates jobs for Americans.

  4. John D. Fiat  •  Feb 26, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    The wrong issue? Sure, according to Mr. Neocon "open borders" Medved. But to the rest of us, this is THE most important issue in the U.S. today. In fact, as soon as Mr. Trump questioned "birthright citizenship" (the biggest cancer on our nation and society today), he earned my vote! I don't care that he has contradicted himself on gay marriage, abortion, etc. (and what politician hasn't flubbed on a few issues), I care that he cares more about the U.S. than Mexico or Israel. And speaking of wasting too much time on the wrong issue, that's what they always do with foreign policy at these so called debates. In fact, since the 2012 GOP debates, more than a few articles (only online of course) have asked the simple question, "Are these GOP candidates running for President of the United States or the president of Israel?

    Neocons are just pathetic. They are scared that Trump will win and cut back (or even eliminate) the Israeli gravy train, but they are even more scared that he would eliminate their control of our foreign policy, something that they've become way to accustomed to being in charge of (especially when the POTUS is a Republican). You see, unlike those boobs Cruz and Rubio, Trump doesn't need AIPAC's money, so they can't black him out of the media like they did with Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan, for not letting them set our foreign policy. And because of several reasons (one being that Trump's daughter is a converted Jew), they can't employ their usual MO and just brand any Anglo that they disagree with, an anti-Semite (a pathetic cry wolf word that gets weaker by the minute!).

    Go TRUMP!!!!

  5. Marie Beatty  •  Feb 26, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    I'm sad that our country has come to this. So many people say they don't care if Trump says this or that . The Donald was right that he could shoot someone and people would vote for him anyway. People should be praying for our country. We are in a heap of trouble.

  6. Stephanie Hart  •  Feb 27, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Mr. Medved, what planet do yo live on? Have you visited our southern border or the cities around there? I am from Houston and when there you feel like you are in a foreign country!!! All my friends feel the same way. You go to a mall on a weekday and you may be one of a handful of white Americans surrounded by hundreds of Hispanics and other foreigners shopping and not working. Maybe you should travel more before you put your statistics out there. It is scary in states on the border and crime is rampant.

  7. Stephanie Hart  •  Feb 27, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Another thing, was in a mall in Dallas recently and my friend and I were frightened at the number of middle eastern men followed by women in burkas!!!!!!!!!!! Your statistics are unreal! Go to places that are REAL and see what is happening!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Steve  •  Feb 27, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Hey Chris K., The problem with your Nevada exit poll is the one answer limit. If one uses a little common sense, they might notice that the Economy/Jobs & Terrorism are both directly related to Immigration. If we eliminate the cheap labor sending paychecks home to other countries and taking our jobs in the first place, as well as keeping out the scum that wants to blow us up, then guess what, your 20% becomes 65%.

  9. Nani  •  Feb 27, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    In actuality, election after election has shown that illegal immigration is a losing issue. The only reason why this has turned out to be a winning issue for Trump is because the Liberal MSM, Academia, and the very organized Democrats KNOW that this issue is a winning one for THEM. They know that in a nation of immigrants, nothing turns off voters like the vile rhetoric about Mexicans. Oh the illegal immigration crowd hide behind the term "illegal" and call anything short of rounding them up as Amnesty, but people get that there is real racism behind the self righteousness and they also get that none are safe from having the same card dealt to them.

    Democrats KNOW that the only way a Democrat will win, especially Hillary is if Trump is the GOP nominee. They have done everything in their power to make Trump a viable candidate. No matter what he says or does or did do, it's cool.

    Until the general election. Then you will find an angry media who will never tolerate the blowhard bully. They will make every Trump supporter look like evil bigots. If you think they went after GW or Romney, wait until they unleash on Trump! And if you think PC and free speech has been under attack, you ain't seen nothing yet. "The Donald" will be right up there with the "n" word and all his supporters will be forever linked with the KKK.

    It is a trap worthy of the House of Cards–and the illegal immigration crowd bought into it, hook, line and sinker. Too bad, America has to pay for it. America, Christians, the world.

    When and if Trump wins and this all comes about, remember what I have said. Look into the mirror and remind yourself that it is that person looking back that is to blame for they listened and believed the illegal immigration rhetoric. Remember that real conservatism starts within you, liberals look for others to blame.

    • John D. Fiat  •  Mar 1, 2016 at 12:02 am

      OK, you're either a RINO or a Demonrat troll. Trump is the GOP's only chance against Hillary and those other two couldn't even beat a communist named Colonel Bernie Sanders. The "illegal immigration crowd" hides behind the term "illegal?" No, you and the other Neocons/Libtards hide behind the word "undocumented" and mantra's like "they want to come out of the shadows", "they're only trying to improve their families futures", "ICE is using dirty tactics and arresting undocumented mothers in front of their children."

      Do you care if a bank robber is arrested in front of his or her children? No (I hope). Well, a criminal is a criminal!

      • Nani  •  Mar 1, 2016 at 8:55 pm

        Oh pluhlez, Trump is Hillary's only chance of winning. If you think the MSM and academia went after Bush, McCain and Romney, what they will do to Trump if he is the GOP nominee is going to make what they did seem like child's play! It wouldn't surprise me in the least to learn that they had paid Trump to run. After all, he was more their friend than anyone in the Republican party.

        And really, calling someone a RINO or a Troll for disagreeing with you is as childish as throwing a tantrum against the "establishment". And getting OLD, don't you think? But look who you're supporting. Every time I hear that man whine about not being treated fairly, I want to tell him to grow up. You need to do the same.

      • Jason  •  Mar 4, 2016 at 12:39 am

        Nani is absolutely right. Of course she must be a RINO because she takes a position different from your own. Whatever. The sad part is that our party in general and conservatives in particular have fought for years against the democrat lies that were racist, sexist, homophobic bigots. Now it looks like they may have been right, at least for 30 percent or so of our party. I hate to say that but I see no other explanation for supporting this miscreant. And don't come back with this ridiculous outsider establishment BS. It takes two parties to engage in a bribe and to think this clown is any less corrupt than the politicians he was bribing is sheer idiocy. He will lose and lose badly. I've seen a couple of polls recently where Hillary beats him in Texas. Texas! Sadly most of the damage cannot be undone. Trump has fractured the party and exposed its baser elements. That's too bad because I have a feeling the demise of the GOP will be the demise of the USA. With Hillary in the White House along with a probable Democratic Congress (thanks to Chump weighing down the ticket) and with her newly confirmed Sonya Sotomayor clone justice, you'll get to see what open borders really look like. Thank the Donald. And while you're at it say goodbye to religious liberty, protections for the unborn, and gun rights. But don't worry you will have continued race baiting, more negotiating with terrorists, worship at the holy alter of climate change, and oh yeah, more taxes on the middle class, the permanence and expansion of Obamacare, terrorist refugees, more bowing to the poor mistreated muslims in our country, and an expansion of entitlements (think "free" college), and oh, don't forget another fifteen trillion in debt. But we will have shown those damn RINOs. Idiot.

  10. Steve  •  Mar 1, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Way to go John D. Fiat. Just thought I'd throw in one of my all time Libtard favorites…
    "Requiring voters to show ID is racist"

    • Jason  •  Mar 4, 2016 at 1:06 am

      That is a favorite liberal lie. Trump will probably be adopting it soon. He has already borrowed the liberal talking points of planned parenthood doing wonderful things for women, bush lied us into war, and the nonsense about people dying in the streets. Four years ago he said Romneys immigration plan (create an environment that encouraged self-deportation) was "too mean spirited." True. Look it up. Doesn't really jive with the whole tough on immigration stance does it? That is until you learn he told the NY Times he didn't really mean all this wall and deportation stuff – it was just for the voters. Not true. Tell the Times to release the tapes. Don't hide behind this ridiculous "respect for off the record" BS. He doesn't respect anything, especially the NY Times. He's a scam artist and his supporters are either too stupid to see it or too embarrassed to admit it. You decide.

      • Nani  •  Mar 5, 2016 at 2:48 pm

        Jason, I feel your pain. Years ago, I remember getting into conversations with other commentators, trying to understand why Laura Ingraham didn't feel that paying a fine for breaking a traffic law was amnesty but it was amnesty if an illegal paid a fine. I wanted to know why "border security" meant one border, to the South, not the very liberal North where they'd probably give terrorists a lawyer instead of throwing them in some dark third world jail. I wanted to know why free enterprise people was now in favor of job protectionism. I wanted to understand why people didn't believe sixth generation farmers who claimed that the summer jobs filled by past generation teenagers was being replaced by air conditioned McDonald's; I mean wasn't conservatives supposed to be for the small business?

        Finally, I said to a fellow concern commentator; "It's about race, isn't it?" She agreed. And I could tell it broke her heart as it had mine for we had both felt that we had found kindred spirits in a world filled with media and academia liberals.

        But have you noticed that there is one thing that most Republicans have in common? Hope. And the belief that the glass is half full. And like you, I believed that there was a small core of people, who tired of losing, PRETENDED to be Republicans–and then the base. But you CAN NOT be the base of a group you hate and have no respect for. It is fundamentally impossible. They are a poison whose sole purpose is to destroy the GOP. Why? Because after years of pretending to be Republicans, they were upset that Republicans were acting like, well, Republicans. Notice how they will call themselves everything BUT Republican? So if they, out of necessity could join the GOP, then if the GOP was destroyed, then Republicans could join THEIR party! This is why despite hating and having zero respect for the GOP, they won't simply leave and create a party they can honestly support. I mean, really, who in their right mind would remain party of a group that you feel "betrayed" and "lied" to you?

        This is the belief I held on for many years. Then Trump came along and I had to look at the character of not just the people who are supporting him but at the rest of the party of Republicans. Each primary and every endorsement had me wondering just how much I had in common with a group that would put a bully in the lead of a very important race?

        But I said, hope always rises its head. More and more pundits are coming forth to fight. The radio talk show mafia and Fox who gave up pretense of being fair and balance have been called out. On the line rests influence with a bully that can turn on them at any time and credibility among those who would buy their books and pay to hear their speeches. More commentators like you are challenging the hate and anger whipped up over falsehoods.

        In the end, we will learn if the time has come to walk away and let them all hold their breath until they realize that no one cares.

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