How to Talk About Immigration Like a GOP Front-Runner

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This how Texas Gov. Rick Perry talked about immigration prior to his free fall in the polls:

But if you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart. We need to be educating these children, because they will become a drag on our society.

This is how Herman Cain, the current front-runner for the GOP nomination, at least according to opinion polls, talks about immigration :

Mr. Cain, speaking at a Tea Party-sponsored rally in Tennessee, made some of his most pointed remarks yet on the issue. He said he might use military troops “with real guns and real bullets” to stop intruders. Responding to anyone who might consider his remarks “insensitive,” Mr. Cain said the real fault lies with some illegal immigrants. “It’s insensitive for them to be killing our citizens, killing our border agents,” he said. “That’s what’s insensitive. And that mess has to stop.”

That’s in addition to the electrified fence that would kill anyone who would try to cross. Cain later said he was kidding—at least about the electrified wall of death part.

To reiterate: To talk like a GOP front-runner, DO “joke” about killing undocumented immigrants in your stump speeches. DO NOT suggest they should be treated with compassion, particularly when they had no choice in coming here in the first place.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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