November 1, 2017

Senator Angus King took a moment to correct the misinformation Trump is spreading around about the immigration lottery system put in place decades ago.

King took a moment to point out that " the so-called lottery system that the president was talking about, we voted against and abolished in 2013 on the comprehensive immigration plan which passed the Senate by a very strong bipartisan vote."

"I think it's important that that provision was voted against by most of the members of the senate, including myself, back when that bill came up."

Here is why it's important to be clear on that. That bill passed by a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Had it been brought up for a vote in the House of Representatives, it would have passed that body too, even if the majority to pass it had been Democrats. So Paul Ryan held it back.

The reason he held it back is because Jeff Sessions and his gang worked alongside the likes of Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Ginni Thomas, and other members of the right-wing messaging machine to pressure Ryan into keeping it from ever getting to a vote.

David Corn wrote about this group of miscreants in 2013 for Mother Jones shortly after they'd killed the bill.

At the March 27 meeting, Groundswell participants discussed one multipurpose theme they had been deploying for weeks to bash the president on a variety of fronts, including immigration reform and the sequester: Obama places “politics over public safety.” In a display of Groundswell’s message-syncing, members of the group repeatedly flogged this phrase in public. Frank Gaffney penned a Washington Timesop-ed titled “Putting Politics Over Public Safety.” Tom Fitton headlined a Judicial Watch weekly update “Politics over Public Safety: More Illegal Alien Criminals Released by Obama Administration.” Peter List, editor of, authored a post called “Obama’s Machiavellian Sequestration Pain Game: Putting Politics Over Public Safety.” Matthew Boyle used the phrase in an immigration-related article for Breitbart. And Dan Bongino promoted Boyle’s story on Twitter by tweeting, “Politics over public safety?” In a message to Groundswellers, Ginni Thomas awarded “brownie points” to Fitton, Gaffney, and other members for promoting the “politics over public safety” riff.


Groundswell members saw immigration as a life-or-death issue. “If we lose on immigration,” the post-meeting memo noted, “we lose on every other issue. The key to defeating this bill is Sen. Rubio. He can gracefully remove himself from the ‘gang of 8’ and still save face…The messaging on this issue has to be ‘we can’t trust Obama’ to enforce immigration laws after the amnesty.”

Why? Because the reason Donald Trump is president right now has nothing to do with tax cuts or even judicial appointments. Donald Trump is president because they played to the fearful GOP hater base, from day one.

The wall, the comments about Mexico sending rapists and murderers here, even his remarks about Judge Curiel played right into the racist base which now feels empowered.

In the end, for these haters, immigration is a life-or-death issue. And they're working the refs on the inside and on the outside to make sure we all understand that.

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