Reid: On Immigration ‘No Meaningful Difference’ Between Trump, GOP

‘When it comes to immigration policy, and frankly most other policies, there is no meaningful difference between Republican Party and Donald Trump’

“Mr. President, in the aftermath of these remarks about John McCain, Republicans have been falling all over themselves to criticize Donald Trump. But it makes me wonder. Where were all of these same Republicans when Mr. Trump slandered millions [of immigrants]? It was only a month ago that Trump said and I quote, ‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.’ That’s quote. When Trump insulted a Senator from Arizona, a member of his own party, Republicans couldn’t denounce him fast enough. But when Donald Trump called immigrants ‘rapists’ there was nothing but silence -- nothing but silence. There is an ugly truth behind that silence, and it is this: when it comes to immigration policy, and frankly most other policy, there is no meaningful difference between the Republican Party and Donald Trump. Consider the facts, just on this one issue. Trump rejects a pathway to citizenship for these undocumented. Instead, he favors ‘a system of merit’ that creates ‘a road to legal status.’ He's never ever spent two sentences defining that. We have heard before same kind of talk from Republicans, those running for president, I think we have 16 of them now.  Jeb Bush rejects a pathway to citizenship. He claims to support a pathway to legal status, but ‘not necessarily citizenship.’ Scott Walker rejects a pathway to citizenship. He said ‘if somebody wants to be a citizen, they need to go back to their country of origin, get in line, no preferential treatment.’ The junior Senator from Texas also rejects a pathway to citizenship. He [Ted Cruz] said, ‘I think that it is likely that there could be some bipartisan solution to those who are here illegally if a path to citizenship were taken off the table.’ Governor Chris Christie rejects a pathway to citizenship, too. He said, ‘an extreme way to go.’ Trump wants to terminate President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, tearing apart millions of families and about 800,000 DREAMers. We have heard that before, too. Jeb Bush also wants to repeal President Obama’s executive actions. On Fox News’ he said – that was on The Hannity show -- he would ‘repeal Obama’s executive amnesty.’ The junior Senator from Texas also wants to terminate the President’s executive actions. Here is what he said, ‘If I am elected President, the very first thing I intend to do on the first day is rescind every single unconstitutional or illegal executive action from President Obama.’ Governor Chris Christie is actively opposing the President’s executive actions. In fact, his state joined a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s actions. The junior Senator from Florida also rejects President Obama’s executive actions that keep families together. Senator Rubio’s spokesperson told one news outlet [Breitbart News] ‘immigration executive orders won’t be permanent policy under [a Rubio] administration.’ These are the facts. When it comes to immigration policy, and I mention sadly most other policy issues, there is no daylight between Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican field. So while the rest of the Republican presidential hopefuls may not engage in the same repugnant rhetoric, make no mistake -- they are all on the same page with Donald Trump. I ask each Republican running for President: Name one difference between your immigration policy and Trump’s immigration policy. Given recent history, it will be a deafening silence. When Trump insulted McCain, Republicans couldn’t denounce him fast enough. But when Mr. Trump called millions of hard-working immigrants ‘rapists’ and ‘murderers,’ -- nothing but silence. Maybe this is because none of the Republicans running for President can name a single way in which they disagree with Trump’s policies on immigration. In the meantime, Democrats will continue to fight to pass comprehensive immigration reform, just as we did more than two years ago. We’ll continue to fight Republican piecemeal legislation that criminalizes immigrant – all communities. And we will continue to fight for immigrant families who are constantly being scapegoated by today’s Republican Party.”

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