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On Immigration, Trump Takes A Page From Pete Wilson’s 1994 Playbook

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On Immigration, Trump Takes A Page From Pete Wilson’s 1994 Playbook

Donald Trump immigration pinata

By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

LOS ANGELES — More than two decades have passed since Republican Gov. Pete Wilson aired a television ad showing Mexicans scurrying across the border as an announcer declared, “They keep coming: 2 million illegal immigrants in California.”

Wilson’s short-term gain — he won both re-election and passage of a ballot measure to deny public services to immigrants in the country illegally — was soon outweighed by a devastating Latino backlash that turned California into a Democratic stronghold.

So there was a flashback quality to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s hourlong denunciation of illegal immigration at a campaign stop Friday in Beverly Hills.

The New York real estate mogul accused Mexico’s leaders of “ripping off the United States” in lopsided trade deals and professed grudging admiration for their “cunning” ways.

“The fact that they’re sending criminals and prisoners into our country, and that our people are stupid enough to put them in jails, or let them roam the street, which is even worse, I have to respect them for it,” Trump said.

He appeared with a group of people who have lost family members in crimes or traffic accidents involving immigrants in the country illegally. “The illegals come in, and the illegals kill their children,” Trump said.

It was jarring rhetoric in a state where politicians for years have avoided striking such a harsh tone on immigration, a touchstone issue not just for the growing ranks of Latino voters, but also Asian-Americans.

Even Republican Tim Donnelly, a former state lawmaker who once led Minuteman border patrols to curb illegal crossings, avoided hard-line rhetoric on immigration last year in his unsuccessful run for governor.

Trump’s approach also runs counter to California Republicans’ turnaround plan, which entails running more Latino, Asian and female candidates to rid the party of its image as a domain of white men with conservative stands on immigration, abortion and other social issues. In Orange County, Republicans won hotly contested state legislative races last year in districts where its candidates were Vietnamese-American and Korean-American.

Trump, who campaigned Saturday in Arizona with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose aggressive tactics against illegal immigration have stirred national controversy, has rebuffed a request by Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus that he “tone it down.”

“I’ve been worried about his remarks and their affect on the Republican brand,” said Ruben Barrales, the president of Grow Elect, a group that seeks to elect Latino Republicans in California. “But the more it continues, I think the more you’re going to see Republicans step up and separate themselves from him.”

Art Torres, a former California Democratic Party chairman, said Trump “can do lasting damage” to Republicans, particularly in such states as Nevada and Colorado, swing states where the 2016 GOP presidential nominee will need to cultivate Latinos.

Through two decades of relentless election defeats, Torres added, Republicans in the state have learned the hard way that rhetoric like Trump’s appeals essentially to “fringe” conservatives in states that have large Latino populations.

“A lot of it is just that — fringe rhetoric,” he said.

Mindy Romero, an expert on voting trends who heads the California Civic Engagement Project at the University of California, Davis, said Republicans in California “should be very concerned” about Trump’s potential to block any party rebound by stirring up reminders of Proposition 187. The 1994 ballot measure would have denied education and other public services to immigrants in the country illegally, but was overturned in court.

“Here in California, when he talks this way, he just ignites a fire,” Romero said. “People are going to react in a very visceral, emotional way.”

Wayne Johnson, a Republican campaign consultant in Sacramento, said Trump appeared to be trying to consolidate a support base in a crowded primary field and keep his poll ratings high enough to ensure a spot in presidential debates.

“I think right now, it’s not about the Republican Party,” he said. “It’s about Trump.”

But if Trump keeps at it, Johnson said, “it could become about the Republican Party.”

Photo: Supporters from The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles cheer as a protester does a mock sweep up of trash with a life-like pinata of Donald Trump inside a trash can outside the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel on July 10, 2015 in Los Angeles. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)



  1. Independent1 July 14, 2015

    It’s interesting that Donald even has Rupert Murdoch, Fox News Mogul, even calling his lies out ; that immigrants are a major contributor to American crime – which by the way, are at such low rates that haven’t seen since the 1970s.

    Rupert even points out what study after study have shown; illegals commit far less crime than native-born Americans.

    From Newsmax:

    Rupert Murdoch: ‘Trump Wrong’ on Mexican Immigrant Crime

    Conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch called out Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Twitter Sunday, saying the real estate mogul is wrong to say Mexican immigrants – or any immigrants – commit more crime than legal residents.

    Mexican immigrants, as with all immigrants, have much lower crime rates than native born. Eg El Paso safest city in U.S. Trump wrong.

    6:03 PM – 12 Jul 2015

    So FBI says 267000 illegal aliens incarcerated. Who are the other two million presently incarcerated? Seems like social breakdown.
    6:35 PM – 12 Jul 2015


    1. Otto Greif July 14, 2015

      Murdoch has always been an open borders shill.

    2. paulyz July 15, 2015

      The reason their crime rate went down was only because of strict enforcement measures taken there, while communities all around the area had increased crime rates. You are incorrect in your stating Illegals have a low crime rate when a much higher rate of i carceration of Illegals than their percentage of the population. Even so, don’t we have enough crime & unemployment without importing more? Also, the stats on lesser Illegal entry are very misleading, since Obama ordered DHS to not arrest Illegals and not deport Illegals in the process of deportation. Plus the Thousands of criminal Illegals he released into our neighborhoods.

  2. 13observer July 14, 2015

    Donald Trump/ Steve King 2016!

    1. Independent1 July 14, 2015

      Wow!! Talk about ‘wildest dreams’!!!

      1. 13observer July 14, 2015

        You think people aren’t tired of the huge “illegal alien” problem we have here? Trump or King are not afraid to rally the people on this!

        1. Independent1 July 14, 2015

          The only people ‘tired of the huge illegal alien problem’ are clueless idiots such as yourself who have bought into just one more fake GOP boondoggle. There were actually more illegals in America before the 2008 Great Recession – for over a year, there were more illegals leaving than coming. And Obama has deported more of the ‘problem illegals’ than the last 2 presidents combined. So there is LESS OF AN ILLEGAL ALIEN PROBLEM TODAY, than there was 20 plus years ago – where were you then???

          1. 13observer July 15, 2015

            Ok? Regan and Bush didn’t get it just like Clinton and Obama don’t! Now let’s talk about Ike and how he removed illegal aliens! Trump and King will be like Ike! No more P.C. BS ……… ENFORCE THE LAW!

          2. Independent1 July 15, 2015

            Right?? And Ike’s harassing of the immigrants is one of the reason that he governed over the 3rd worst economy since the Great Depression behind Bush 1 and Bush 2 . And why he leads all presidents in having allowed 3 recessions with America struggling through a recession for almost 1/2 of his 8 years in office.

            See this chart and note that along with job creation this chart represents economic strength; and note too that every Democrat had better economic results than every Republican at least since economic disaster president Hoover was in office.
            (You may want to note that in reality, Saint Reagan was at best a mediocre president – Nixon actually outperformed him on the economy; as did Carter by a lot.)

          3. paulyz July 15, 2015

            The recession that officially ended in 2009 you mean? Obama “recovery” was worse than that recession, caused by Democrats Dodd-Frank’s sublrime loan disaster.

          4. 13observer July 15, 2015

            While Presidents have much to do effecting the economy; illegal immigration supported by the democrat party trading welfare and non-enforcement for votes is what will result in making Trump/Cruse 2016 a success!

          5. paulyz July 15, 2015

            But in a post above, you just claimed that ILLEGALS are so good for our Country, now you say how great Obama is in getting rid of Illegals? More contradictions from an unprincipled Liberal.

          6. Independent1 July 15, 2015

            I never claimed that ALL IMMIGRANTS are saints. What I’ve said is that immigrants are FAR LESS LIKELY than native-born Americans to commit a crime. In a tweet, Rupert Murdoch, Fox News mogul, verified that point out that El Paso, with a very high concentration of illegals, is one of the safest cities in the nation. (Rupert actually claimed it was the safest.)

            So you’ll note that I pointed out that the illegals Obama has been deporting, are the low percentage of “problem illegals’!!! No contradiction: there are a few rotten apples in even the finest barrel of apples you’ll ever find.

  3. Independent1 July 14, 2015

    Please don’t take what I’m about to say as my thinking that America should not continue to do everything it can to keep immigrants from illegally crossing our borders. My intent with what I’m about to say is that it’s my feeling the GOP is doing virtually the same thing with our immigration situation, as George Bush and Dick Cheney did with the contrived threat that Iraq posed to America: they greatly exaggerated the threat for their own political and financial gain.

    The current gross exaggeration of the illegal immigrant situation in America, is just one more GOP boondoggle that if it actually resulted in deporting large chunks of illegal immigrants, could well throw America into another Great Recession.

    It’s my opinion, based on the facts, that despite them being here ‘illegally’, illegals are contributing far more to the American economy and the average American’s jobs, than they are ever costing our country.

    1) They not only contribute billions to our general tax funds, but also billions to SS and Medicare.
    2) The menial work they are willing to do which I will argue native-born Americans would not do unless paid exorbitant hourly salaries – which American consumers would not support. This ‘menial work’ supports millions of jobs for native-born Americans.
    3) The economic activity that illegals provide with their purchases (Texas reported that illegals added 18 Billion to its 2013 economy), greatly offsets the otherwise minor additional costs that our states and federal government pay to provide social services to illegals, beyond what they already spend to provide those services to native-born Americans. (This is what the CBO concluded from studies it performed.)

    4) And studies have shown that illegals are actually less ‘crime-prone’ than native borns; and therefore are not the enormous menace to our society that conservatives would like to brainwash Amereicans into believing.

    So this whole boondoggle of the GOP about the great menace that immigrants pose to our country is just that – an enormous boondoggle; and like many other GOP boondoggles, one that has the potential to create just one more GOP created economic disaster.

    American’s need to realize that no matter what efforts are made to seal our southern border, those efforts are not going to prevent determined immigrants from crossing the border. They also need to realize that the efforts that have been done already – some of which are already creating environmental disasters and damage to endangered species – have already reduced illegal immigrant crossings to levels not seen in a couple decades; and so rather than continuing to address this GOP boondoggle further, we should be putting this issue to bed; and be content with allowing the ICE to do what it can to control the situation on illegals; and instead focus our country’s political efforts on issues that will make the lives of all Americans better and not so contentious.

    1. KathyKursh July 14, 2015

      If they want to punish go after the people who hire them.
      Frankly I am tired of the GOP going on and on about securing the border yet cut Government. It is government employees that work the border. Put those employees to work going after those hi employ the undocumented. If there are no jobs people won’t come here.

      1. Independent1 July 14, 2015

        Problem is, immigrants, including illegals, are in fact doing jobs that Americans simply will not do. So without many illegals, native-born Americans would be losing their jobs: like some carpenters, electricians and plumbers who are working on projects where illegals do all the grunt work of digging ditches, carrying bricks, climbing ladders with shingles, harvesting crops, cleaning hotel rooms and on and on.

        When Alabama passed its strictest in the nation immigration law, it only took 4-6 weeks for companies in Alabama to figure that out. Construction companies trying to fix tornado damage in Tuscaloosa, cried to state legislators because they couldn’t find replacements for the legal and illegal immigrants who had fled the state – and said if they couldn’t repairing the tornado damage was going to turn into a real problem.

        And farmers cried to legislators that their crops were rotting in the fields, because they couldn’t find anyone to replace the illegals mostly that had fled. The state even tried getting prisoners to do that work, but they wouldn’t work anywhere near as hard as the illegals, so the farmers said, NO THANKS! And said that unless the law was changed, they would have to leave the state or go bankrupt.

        Most Americans have no idea how dependent America is on immigrants (including illegals) for doing the really grunt work needed by farmers, construction and even the hotel industry and more; and mostly Mexicans have been doing that work since WWII when the U.S. purposely allowed them (3 plus million) into the country to do work that there were not enough Americans to do because there were so many men in the armed forces and women working in factories during the war.

        And few Americans give thought as to just how much it would COST THEM if enough employers were demonized and stopped hiring illegals. A lot of work wouldn’t get down. There would be shortage of many foods and greatly increased cost for construction and even food products if farmers and construction companies had to pay 3-4 times the wages to native-born Americans to get construction work done and their crops planted and harvested.

        1. KathyKursh July 14, 2015

          You are so right about the work that is done by the undocumented! Still we should punish the employer first, raise salaries of the workers and maybe some Americans would do their jobs. There does not seem to be a simple answer to any of this. I really do not have a solution, but the employers should not be allowed to pay slave wages to earn money for themselves. I think we Americans should have to pay the full price for our products then maybe we would appreciate the work done by the undocumented and make some changes.

        2. Otto Greif July 14, 2015

          There wouldn’t be shortages of any foods.”Grunt work” isn’t what drives the US economy.

          1. Independent1 July 14, 2015

            Sorry but you’re categorically wrong! Grunt work is what drives a lot of native-Americans’ jobs.

            Without illegals willing to work the fields and harvest produce and fruit. Thousands of truck drivers would not have work; and many farmers would go out of business creating shortages
            that would drive food prices sky high.

            Without immigrants to dig ditches and do the back breaking labor of pouring cement and carry bricks – thousands of carpenters and plumbers and electricians wouldn’t have construction jobs to go too.

            Without immigrants, many of them illegals, hotels and motels would have no one to remake beds and clean rooms and would therefore not be able to operate.

            And it goes on and on. The CBO has projected that it’s the impacts of illegals in our economy that are actually keeping more than 8 million native-born Americans working. And that doesn’t include the fact that immigrants, many of them illegals, actually run 35% of America’s small businesses which also employ millions more native-born Americans.


            Sure raising wages would improve the economy, but not raising wages wouldn’t create a recession; deporting a few million illegal aliens would create a recession worse than the Great Recession Bush idiot allowed to happen.

            Just ask the GOP legislators in Alabama how their idiot strongest immigration law in the nation virtually crippled the Alabama economy in just six weeks and forced them to make it much less immigrant averse.

            Like so many right-wingers. You’re totally clueless about your posting comments!! You clearly don’t know the truth ab out how critical immigrants, including illegals, are to the American economy!!!

          2. Otto Greif July 15, 2015

            Mexico must be the most powerful economy in the world, it’s full of Mexican grunt workers.

          3. Independent1 July 15, 2015

            Mexico and Central America are full of people desperate to find a better life (many escaping very dangerous lives – and they’re clearly not all from Mexico) and having grown up with little or nothing and willing to do anything to help themselves and families that depend on them. That’s a lot different than what parents teach kids growing up in America – try to sell me on the notion that any American parents encourage their kids to be field hands, or manual labor workers in construction, or chambermaids, etc. etc.

      2. Independent1 July 14, 2015

        I forgot to mention, that I agree with your comment about being tired of the GOP going on and on about securing the border and then cutting funding for protecting the border.

        And on top of that, I’m tired of the GOP turning a long-term illegal alien situation into just one more GOP boondoggle like Benghazi, and Fast and Furious and the fake IRS scandal, and just anything they can dream up to harp on so as to deflect attention from the fact that they’re totally inept at governing. And everything they attempt turns into one more disaster for America. They have a 100 plus year history of creating one disaster after another; one recession or depression after another.

    2. Otto Greif July 14, 2015

      Illegal aliens are not vital to the economy, native born Americans getting higher wages and having lower housing costs is not bad for the economy.

      1. Independent1 July 14, 2015

        Illegals not being vital to the U.S, economy is PURE HOGWASH!!!!!!!!!

        1. Otto Greif July 15, 2015

          That’s not what economists say.

          1. Independent1 July 15, 2015

            If economists are downplaying the impacts of illegals, it’s because the only thing they’re taking into account is the actual spending that illegals are doing. And given that there’s only 11 million of them, cutting out their spending wouldn’t have a major impact on our economy.

            While economists that may be saying kicking out illegals will not have a big impact on our economy, are clearly not taking into account the impact those illegals have on millions of native-born Americans’ jobs.

            When it’s illegals that harvest a large percentage of America’s produce, and illegals who support the building of a lot of commercial and even private buildings, and illegals who actually allow the hotel and motel industry to operate at nightly rates that Americans will pay – in all of these doing the dirty work these industries need to function for a fraction of what Americans would want – Americans who wouldn’t do the work anyway; only totally clueless economists would say kicking out illegals wouldn’t have as dire impact on our economy!!!!!!

          2. Otto Greif July 16, 2015

            Economists are quantifying what illegals actually contribute to the economy, you are pulling things out of your anus.

          3. Independent1 July 16, 2015

            Any economists who would claim that illegal immigrants don’t influence and stimulate the U.S. economy are clueless idiots!!

            Here’s just an example of one way from an article in writerbeat.com:

            During some immigration related television interview I once heard a farmer say “In my thirty years I’ve never left fruit on the vine.” What he means is that without access to cheap labor, the cost to remove the strawberries is greater than the value of strawberries. What alternative does he have than to leave the fruit on the vine?

            If those strawberries had to be picked by legal residents the cost of picking them would skyrocket. If the cost skyrocketed we probably wouldn’t be the world’s leader in strawberry production as we are now (Top 5 Strawberry Producing Countries). In being the world’s leader, there are many high paying jobs in the strawberry industry that legal residents fill such as trucking, marketing, management, sales, warehousing, etc. Not to mention the economic benefits we receive when we export strawberries versus if we had to import strawberries. All of this is made possible thanks to the strawberry industry’s access to cheap labor. And don’t for one second think the strawberry industry is the only industry which depends on illegal immigrants for its existence.


            Just extrapolate that to almost every field grown product that you may purchase at the grocery store; and try factoring in what it would cost to either not have those items, or have to by 3-5 times as much for them

            And on top of that, consider that the CBO has projected that just giving illegals a path to citizenship would lower our country’s deficits by over 180 Billion dollars over the next ten years and than add trillions to our economy in the years ahead.

            And don’t forget that 35% of all small businesses are run by legal and illegal immigrants; businesses that not only give native American’s jobs, but also contribute billions in tax dollars to our country’s general tax revenues (not to mention the billions illegals add to SS and Medicare that because they don’t qualify for these benefits is extending the life of both of these programs).

            And see this article from USNEWS which states that just implementing immigration reform would create 14,000 new jobs IN EVERY CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT!!

            The CBO has projected that implementing immigration reform today, would add over 203,000/yr for the next next years.

            If you have some actual economists who say that illegal immigrants don’t have a positive effect on the American economy – you better not listen to them because they’re clearly either totally ignorant or nothing more than RWNJs trying to sell you on more lies!!

            By the way, I don’t how you can call a segment of the American population that is driving enough activity to keep 8 million Americans working – not making a significant impact on the U.S. economy. Remember, it was the loss of about 8 million jobs that threw America into the Great Recession.

          4. Otto Greif July 16, 2015

            Harvard economist George Borjas isn’t ignorant or a liar.

          5. Independent1 July 16, 2015

            Sorry, if Borjas actually said that illegal immigrants don’t have an impact on the American economy – he’s CLEARLY IGNORANT OF THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT SITUATION IN AMERICAN!!

            And you haven’t proven that Borjas actually ever said that!!!!!!!!

          6. Otto Greif July 16, 2015

            You should ask them to adjust your medication.

          7. Otto Greif July 16, 2015

            “If farm wages rose 40 percent, and this wage increase were passed on to consumers, average spending on fresh fruits and vegetables would rise about $15 a year”


          8. Independent1 July 16, 2015

            Hogawash!! That’s nothing but someones totally misguided projection. The costs of harvesting a product are direct expenses and have to be included in the price of a product.

            If what it costs for illegal immigrants to pick a quart of strawberries is $1, and native-borns will end up being $2 a quart of strawberries is going to go up by ONE DOLLAR!!!!!!!

          9. Otto Greif July 16, 2015

            All joking aside, you clearly have mental problems and I hope you get help before you harm yourself and/or others.

          10. Independent1 July 16, 2015

            And what makes what you just posted ludicrous, is that the difference between what farmers now pay illegals and what they would pay native-borns is no where near 40%- the increase native-borns would require is more like 300-500%

  4. Otto Greif July 14, 2015

    California went Democrat in 1992

  5. Otto Greif July 14, 2015

    Crime statistics are misleading because Hispanics get labeled white:


    1. Independent1 July 14, 2015


      1. Otto Greif July 15, 2015

        Stop denying reality.


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