Your Republican Party

[Content Note: Anti-immigrationism; racism.]

Insert eleventy million articles here about how Donald Trump is destroying the Republican Party, despite the fact that his extremist views are totally in line with the other candidates' positions. Here, for example, is Trump's fellow GOP candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at a townhall event in New Hampshire, on August 29, talking about tracking documented immigrants like FedEx packages:

Video Description: Chris Christie stands with a microphone in a room full of people, all of whom appear to be white and most of whom are elderly. Behind him is one of his campaign posters. He walks back and forth as he says: "Do you find it ironic, as I do, that if this morning, let's say, one of you have a child at college. They just left for college, like our daughter Sarah just did, to go back to Notre Dame last week. And, invariably, we will get a call from her in the next week or two, saying, 'Oh I forgot...this.' Fill in the blank, whatever it is. 'And I need it tomorrow!' So, we'll go to FedEx, right? And we'll package it up, and we'll drop that package at FedEx, and you can go online, and, at any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is. It's on the truck, it's at the station, it's on the airplane, it's back at another station, it's back on the truck, it's at a doorstep. She just signed for it. Yet, we let people come to this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of 'em. We can't— So here's what I'm gonna do as president: I'm gonna ask Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, come work for the government for three months. [laughter] Just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people— 'Cuz guess what? Of the eleven million people who are here illegally, forty percent of them didn't come in over the southern border. Forty percent of them came in legally with a visa and overstayed their visa. We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in, and then, when your time is up, whether it's three months or six months or nine months or twelve months, or however long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, 'Excuse me, thanks for coming, time to go.'"

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First of all, FedEx loses packages. Secondly, the reason, of course, that FedEx knows where most packages are at all times is because they are inanimate objects with trackers embedded on them that are scanned at every point in their short journey.

The only way to accomplish what Christie is suggesting is to treat every documented immigrant like someone on house arrest with an ankle bracelet or some other form of tracker. Or, perhaps, he would like them to wear collars that shock them if they try to pass over the electric fence around enclosures in which he'll retain them during their stay.

Not only is Christie's proposal objectionable just for its sheer dehumanization, but embedded within his narrative is this contemptible idea that most immigrants only come to the United States either with nefarious purposes or because they are desperate for everything the US has to offer them. And, yes, some people come to this country for those reasons. (There are plenty of people born as citizens who have the same objectives.)

But lots and lots of the people who enter this country on visas come as students or employees with specialized skills. Some of them are researchers or doctors or tech developers or teachers, or artists or musicians or actors, or any one of a number of people whose presence in this country is a gift to us.

Many other people come on travel visas and extend the legally allotted stay because they are seeking amnesty. Not because they want to harm people here, but because they want to escape harm in their countries of birth.

And, let me also note, as someone who spent years navigating the tangled web of Escherian nightmares that is the US immigration system, it's extremely easy to fuck something up. Also? You can do your absolute best to keep the ICE informed when you change address, but (I hope you're sitting down for this shocking news) they're not always great at updating their records, even when you, in good faith, try to make sure they know where the fuck you are at all times, because you don't want to miss crucial communications from them.

Maybe before Christie shoots tracking devices into the necks of people who immigrate to the US, he could try securing funding for the ICE for better computers and more staff. Just a thought.

But naturally "the federal government needs more money to do a better job" isn't quite the red meat for which conservatives are slavering. They want to hear all about how terrible these dirty immigrants are and how they try to cheat the system and ruin the country.

On behalf of our family, created via immigration: Fuck off, Chris Christie. And take your disgusting base with you.

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