“I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants.”
“People have to stop employing illegal immigrants. I mean, come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties, stand on the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx. You’re going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work and construction work and domestic work.”
The U.S. government should "spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in, and I do think that you have to control your borders.”
“As president, I will not support driver’s licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration, including border security and fixing our broken system.”
Who uttered the above quotes?
If you picked Donald Trump, that's understandable, but you'd be wrong. All four quotes came from the mouth of Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Hillary the Friend to Latinos, Hillary the Champion of Minorities.
What could account for such a dramatic about-face not only in the rhetoric Clinton uses, but also the policies she endorses? (It's not often brought up, but Clinton voted for a $7 billion border fence in 2006, during her time in the Senate, and unambiguously made the case that the U.S. needs barriers along the border to control illegal immigration.)
It's simple. Clinton needs the Hispanic vote to win the White House. She needs Hispanic voters to show up in large numbers on election day, so she's done everything she can to convince them that she's a friend to their community, going as far as to promise mass amnesty that goes beyond even what President Barack Obama has proposed.
Most of the above quotes were from Clinton the New York senator, who was speaking to a different constituency. At the time, she wasn't particularly concerned with the Latino vote because it wasn't necessary to keep her in office.
But on the national stage, Clinton not only needs their support, she realizes that granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants will instantly generate a massive new voting bloc that would tip the balance in favor of Democrats and likely lead to permanent one-party rule in the American political system.
That's why the 2016 version of Hillary Clinton is promising the moon to Hispanic voters.
"Don't let anybody tell you we can't make it in America anymore. We can, we are and we will," Clinton said, according to Investors' Business Daily. "But in order to do that, we can't be talking about building walls or turning the clock back."
Surprisingly little has been written this election season about Clinton's 180 on immigration policy, but then again, surprisingly little has been written about Clinton's race-baiting in the 2008 Democratic primaries when she needed the white vote more than the black vote, or Clinton's unequivocal support for the disastrous Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal before she realized that the majority of voters didn't want the deal.
The media narrative has Donald Trump as the mercurial candidate, the changeable one, and mostly that's because supposedly professional journalists can't even hide their contempt for the Republican candidate, even though objectivity is part of the job description.
Another popular narrative, revisited often, is Trump's lack of support among Hispanic voters. That's really not a secret, and it should be obvious to anyone who's paid attention to the race.
Trump has proposed building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and he's publicly questioned the objectivity of a Mexican-American judge. Often, outrage at the Republican candidate is captured in photographs of protesters outside his rallies, waving Mexican flags and comparing the businessman to Adolf Hitler.
Trump isn't popular with Hispanic voters because of the thing's he's proposed, and because he doesn't pander to them.
Likewise, GOP leadership shouldn't declare doomsday over polls, like a Univision survey released in July, that say 53 percent of Latino voters won't vote for Republican candidates.
If it hasn't become abundantly clear by now, the GOP will never win playing by the Democrats' rules. The GOP will never beat the Democrats at promising free stuff, at promising magic amnesty, free healthcare, free education and anything else the Democrats think will get people to pull the voting lever for them.
The GOP will never win at the politically correct one-upsmanship the Democrats have become so adept at. We're never going to see a Republican congressman successfully courting voters while presenting a flow chart on the hierarchy of privilege in the U.S., or whipping college kids into a frenzy by decrying "microaggressions" and "cultural appropriation." One reason for Trump's appeal is that people are sick of that sort of thing, and have been for some time.
And most of all, the GOP will never win with American voters if it co-opts the Democrats' strategy of selling out current constituents in order to court future constituents. Lawmakers and presidents are supposed to work in the interests of their own citizens, not hypothetical citizens who have already broken the law and consume billions of dollars in resources without paying a dime in taxes.
That doesn't mean Democrats have a patent on compassion. The U.S. is the friendliest nation in the world when it comes to welcoming immigrants -- there's an entire class of non-profits dedicated to helping immigrant communities. The government offers small-business loans to minority businessmen and women, and American laws protect the rights of people in this country, even if they're here illegally.
Additionally, American hospitals will never turn anyone away from an emergency room, even if the practice bankrupts them. Plus, American police departments have not enforced immigration laws for decades because they want crime victims who happen to be immigrants to be comfortable approaching the police for help, instead of worried that the police will help deport them.
Anyone who says the U.S. isn't magnanimous and incredibly generous is being disingenuous. Anyone who says U.S. policies are racist for serving the interests of the U.S. is divorced from reality. There has never been a nation in human history that did not look out for its own interests.
So all this fretting over the GOP's standing with Hispanic voters is pointless. If it's a contest about outdoing the other party by promising more giveaways, by selling out American voters, then the Republican party should not be part of that contest.