MSNBC Frets Trump's 'New Threat' to 'Terrorize' Illegal Aliens

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Saturday evening, MSNBC Live host Richard Lui presided over an all-liberal panel discussion of reports that ICE will be sending special agents into sanctuary cities to arrest illegal aliens that are taking refuge there. Lui described the move as a "new threat" to illegal immigrants, and his guests declared that President Donald Trump wants to "terrorize" illegals with "cruelty" to please his base.

And, even though the overwhelming majority of deportations that occurred under the Barack Obama administration were for illegals who were from Latin-American countries, the panel tried to portray Trump's targeting of illegals as being about race.

At 7:53 p.m. Eastern, host Lui set up the discussion:

RICHARD LUI: There's a new threat emerging for sanctuary cities as reported when we look at the L.A. Times on the front page. They're reporting that law enforcement officials in the city are pushing back against new ICE plans to deploy additional resources and agents to areas deemed sanctuaries to undocumented immigrants. So part of this is when we look at Nevada, when we look at the high Latino-American voting block, what this means.

Frequent MSNBC guest Danielle Moodie-Mills was first to use the word "terrorize" as she suggested that sanctuary cities should take precautions to protect illegal aliens:

DANIELLE MOODIE-MILLS, HOST OF DEMOCRACY-ISH: I think that it means that this administration is doing anything that it can to terrorize the Latin X community, right? And it is punishing -- using punitive punishments or states like California or New York just ending global entry because of the sanctuary rules that are here. And so we need to be paying attention to what this President is doing and what parameters there are that need to be put in place in states to protect this community that is under siege.

As attorney Midwin Charles weighed in on the issue, she also used the word "terrorize," and then tried to tie in racism:

MIDWIN CHARLES: I'm going to go a little bit step further and say that this isn't just to terrorize the Latino communities. It is also for Trump to score political points with his base because cruelty is the point. The more he can show that he is cruel against immigrants of color -- also very important to point out because you never see any talk of illegal immigrants from Europe or anything like that. It's the brown immigrants. And this is to make sure that --

Instead of challenging her claims, host Lui helpfully injected: "And there are from those countries."

Charles suggested European illegal immigrants are unfairly getting away with being in the U.S. as she responded: "Absolutely, absolutely. About 500,000 of them right now having a good time here illegally from Europe. No one bothers them."

Not mentioned was that, even during the Obama administration, about 97 percent of non-citizens deported by ICE were from Latin-American countries.

Host Lui then turned to Moodie-Mills and followed up: "And so it helps the base -- Midwin is saying -- and also potentially also affects the Latino voters showing up."

Even though it is illegal for non-citizens to vote in federal elections, Moodie-Mills theorized that President Trump is trying to suppress Hispanic voter turnout by targeting illegal immigrants:

MOODIE-MILLS: Yeah, I think that it's all about suppression, right? And it is about cruelty, and cruelty is the point. And those are the things that voters need to keep in mind when they are going out right now in Nevada, and will be in South Carolina and Super Tuesday. Who the Democratic nominee is going to be is not as important as what Donald Trump is doing at this very moment.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Saturday, February 15, MSNBC Live:

RICHARD LUI: There's a new threat emerging for sanctuary cities as reported when we look at the L.A. Times on the front page. They're reporting that law enforcement officials in the city are pushing back against new ICE plans to deploy additional resources and agents to areas deemed sanctuaries to undocumented immigrants. So part of this is when we look at Nevada, when we look at the high Latino-American voting block, what this means.

DANIELLE MOODIE-MILLS, HOST OF DEMOCRACY-ISH: I think that it means that this administration is doing anything that it can to terrorize the Latin X community, right? And it is punishing -- using punitive punishments or states like California or New York just ending global entry because of the sanctuary rules that are here. And so we need to be paying attention to what this President is doing and what parameters there are that need to be put in place in states to protect this community that is under siege.

LUI: We have an election and we have a census going on here, Midwin.

MIDWIN CHARLES, ATTORNEY: Yeah, absolutely. You know, two things: One, I find it incredibly surprising that, for a long time, the Republican party always stood for states' rights. I mean, that was sort of hallmark conservative values that the states had rights, and the federal government should not intrude upon them. Here you have with this administration a complete opposite. But I'm going to go a little bit step further and say that this isn't just to terrorize the Latino communities. It is also for Trump to score political points with his base because cruelty is the point. The more he can show that he is cruel against immigrants of color -- also very important to point out because you never see any talk of illegal immigrants from Europe or anything like that. It's the brown immigrants. And this is to make sure that --

LUI: And there are from those countries.

CHARLES: Absolutely, absolutely. About 500,000 of them right now having a good time here illegally from Europe. No one bothers them. But Trump always has to make sure that he keeps his base on lock. Why? Because it isn't growing, and he knows that. And so these kinds of things, what they do is they excite his base, and they keep his base coalesced around him.

LUI: Danielle, 30 seconds here, and so it helps the base -- Midwin is saying -- and also potentially also affects the Latino voters showing up.

MOODIE-MILLS: Yeah, I think that it's all about suppression, right? And it is about cruelty, and cruelty is the point. And those are the things that voters need to keep in mind when they are going out right now in Nevada, and will be in South Carolina and Super Tuesday. Who the Democratic nominee is going to be is not as important as what Donald Trump is doing at this very moment.

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