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Tim Kaine On Morning Joe: America Is Not 'Deportation Nation'

Some important reminders about what is actually true about immigration in the US from Tim Kaine.
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This morning on "Morning Joe" Tim Kaine's interview brought out three important facts that get lost in the immigration fracas.

One, immigration with Mexico is at negative levels.

Two, Trump supporters and the rest of us are nearly all descended from immigrants. (And some of us can't trace US citizenship back before the Potato Famine of 1847, right Senator Kaine?!)

And three, Donald Trump is a total amateur at international diplomacy, and an embarrassment to us in the eyes of the world.

Here's the transcript:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST: All right, joining us now from Boston, the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.

We've been arguing about just like maybe you’re too nice for the job.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Too nice. Way too nice.

BRZEZINSKI: Maybe. Maybe, Tim. It just might be the only issue with you.

SCARBOROUGH: Senator --

BRZEZINSKI: Great to have you onboard. Congratulations, by the way.

SCARBOROUGH: Yes. You know --

SEN. TIM KAINE (D_VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: No -- no, there’s a lot of -- no, there’s a lot of issues with me.

BRZEZINSKI: No.

SCARBOROUGH: Yes, great to -- great to have you here.

KAINE: Yes, good to be with you guys.

SCARBOROUGH: Let's start with the headlines. Donald Trump goes to Mexico. And, well, first of all, let me just ask you, what was your -- what was your takeaway from the meeting in Mexico and the rally last night?

KAINE: Joe, kind of talking out of both sides of his mouth in the way that I think the diplomacy side of it was kind of embarrassing. And then the speech last night was frightening and divisive. So the diplomacy side, you -- the central piece of his whole campaign is immigration, deportation nation, we're going to build a wall, we’re going to make Mexico pay for it. But when he gets in the room with the president of Mexico, what, he forgets this?

He's been saying it and the Mexican president knows he's been saying it but he doesn't bring it up? Did he choke? Was he afraid? Did he have a little crisis of confidence at the end? You know, it -- it just shows that you can't -- you can't talk out of both sides of your mouth. And if he gets in that room and he doesn't bring up the obvious issue, that shows, I think, kind of an embarrassing amateur hour quality to the -- the trip.


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But then he comes back over to -- to Phoenix and he gives this speech that is, look, this same speech has been given throughout our history against the Irish, against Italian-American immigrants, against Jews coming from Eastern Europe. It is a deportation nation and they're all criminals and they're doing horrible things.

SCARBOROUGH: Right.

KAINE: That -- that is not going to make our country great.

SCARBOROUGH: So -- so --

KAINE: The continuous flow of new energy and new ideas has made our country great. Our nation of immigrants. And Donald Trump wants to be deportation nation.

SCARBOROUGH: So, senator --

KAINE: But that’s not going to -- that’s not going to help us.

SCARBOROUGH: So, let me -- let me ask you, though, about illegal immigration. We’ve said on this show several times that illegal immigration coming to this country has declined.

KAINE: Yes.

SCARBOROUGH: But, it still, though, has been at high levels. Certainly if you look -- I'm looking at Pew research from 2009 through 2014, they were still all record-breaking years. So what does Hillary Clinton plan to do to stem the tide of illegal immigration into America that depresses working class voters' wages?

KAINE: Yes, well here's -- here’s what we're going to do, Joe, is the -- Hillary is going to put on the table within the first 100 days of the administration an effort to do after 30 years what we need to do, which is reform our immigration system in a comprehensive way. And it’s going to have a couple of key pillars. It’s going to have the pillar of trying to keep families together as a key value. It is going to have helping employers figure out the immigration status and people they hire. It is going to be providing a path where people who are here, if they pay their taxes and submit to criminal background record checks and follow the law, over a period of years they could earn the right to citizenship, come out of a shadow economy where they're being paid subminimum wages, hurting American workers and be treated more fairly. That will help American workers and help the economy.

And, finally, we're going to do what we did in the Senate bill back in 2013, a significant investment in border security. You're right, illegal immigration is a problem and we have to have border security. The funny thing is, net migration from Mexico is now near zero.

BRZEZINSKI: Right.

KAINE: But we do need border security. And we did that in the Senate in a bipartisan way and the Republican House blocked us from doing the border security investments. We're going to make a run at this in the first 100 days and I think the American public in the November election is going to send a mandate that we want to do an immigration reform bill that's comprehensive after 30 years.

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