In Jr. Varsity Debate, Santorum Speaks of the "Gift of Deportation", Jennifer Rubin Disapproves
January 15, 2016, 08:49 PM
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Candidate Rick Santorum has been consistently banging the drum on the immigration issue and its effect on the American worker, and has specifically called for a 25% cut in legal immigration.

During the Jr. Varsity Debate on January 14th, Santorum had this to say:

.....Manufacturing jobs have been lost in this country, 2 million of them. The bottom line is that this president has done more to take jobs away from the hard-working people who are struggling the most. And that's folks who are, as I said, the 74 percent of Americans who don't have a college degree. And they're out there talking about, well, we're going to provide free college for everybody. Well, who is going to pay for it? The 74 percent that don't have a college degree.

.....Let's just be honest, nobody is focused on the people who are struggling the most in America today. We talk about immigration. Talk about the president's immigration plan. He wants to bring in more and more people into this country. Let people who are here illegally stay in this country.

Almost all of the people who are here illegally, and most of the people who came here legally over the last 20 years, they're working in wage-earning jobs. That is why wages have flat-lined.

And we have unfortunately two political parties with most of the candidates in this field for some form of amnesty, some form of allowing people to stay here even though they're here illegally and for increasing levels of legal immigration.

I'm someone who believes that we need to be the party that stands for the American worker. And when we say we need to send people back, I mean we send people back.

Santorum is talking about deportation.
And let me just make one point. I was in Storm Lake, Iowa, the other day, near a Tyson's plant, 91 percent of the kids that go to the elementary school there are minority kids. And they said, well, what are you going to do with all of these people, their families, they've lived here for a long time?

I said, I'm going to give them a gift. I'm going to give them a gift of being able to help the country they were born in.

We're constantly told how beneficial immigrants are to our country. Why then can't they return to and help their home countries?
And I'm going to export America, the education they were able to see. They learned English language. They learned about capitalism. They learned about democracy. You want to stop flow of immigrants? Let's send six million Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, El Savadorians back into their country, so they can start a renaissance in their country so they won't be coming over here anymore. Transcript: Fox Business undercard Republican debate (Washington Post, January 14, 2016)
Talking about deportation as a gift was too much for the WaPo's resident "conservative" Jennifer Rubin, who responded with an opinion piece entitled Mr. Santorum, deportation is no gift (Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, January 15, 2016) Here's part of what she had to say;
At least we can be certain very few people watched the “undercard” debate. Unfortunately, a comment made in that debate and picked up by every outlet covering the event so epitomizes everything wrong with the far right that others may be tarred by it — or worse, encouraged to echo it. Rick Santorum declared of his plan to forcibly deport millions of illegal immigrants: “I’m going to give them the gift of being able to help the country they were born in. We’re gonna export America. They can start a renaissance in their country so they won’t be coming here anymore!” This is distasteful in the extreme. And it has nothing to do with conservative values.

For starters, ripping people out of their homes and communities, separating families (children born in the United States presumably would stay) and returning them to a life of hardship is no gift. To say otherwise is to infantilize them and treat them as less than worthy of respect. They have dreams and goals they want to pursue as does every other human being, grant them that at least. This does not mean you have to accept legalization and allow all illegal immigrants to stay, but to say that taking them where they do not want to go is a “gift” is cruel and wrongheaded.

It’s also about the most un-conservative thing one can say. The essence of conservatism is that we have unalienable rights, that individuals get to pursue their own definition of happiness.

So if foreigners' idea of pursuing "their own definition of happiness" includes settling our country illegally, then that's a-ok? How about foreigners who want to transform the United States into a Latin American country? That's "their definition of happiness". And how about radical Muslims who want to carry out terrorist attacks? That's "their definition of happiness".

So if any foreigner can claim to be pursuing his "own definition of happiness", that's his unalienable right, regardless of any other consideration?

No, a serious conservatism needs more than pop psychologized slogans hijacked from the Declaration of Independence.

Back to Jennifer Rubin:

Santorum, in one ill-conceived rant, will convince many non-Republicans that the GOP is precisely what it’s critics say — mean-spirited and exclusionary.....The GOP, the party of Lincoln, cannot become the party of Santorum, Donald Trump and Ann Coulter.