In a 2013 email published a few days ago by WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton expressed views wildly at odds with those of the American citizenry: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.” Most of Donald Trump’s Republican defectors are poised to help her achieve her open-borders dream.
As Republican elites continue to defy Republican voters on the crucial issue of immigration, it’s not surprising that the Senate’s open-borders crowd is refusing to back the man who–largely because of his hawkish immigration position–was chosen by Republican voters to be their party’s nominee. While only 30 percent of Senate Republicans voted for the open-borders “Gang of Eight” legislation (30 percent too many), the percentage was far higher among Trump defectors. Among senators who were in office in 2013, 55 percent (6 of 11) of those who now say that they cannot support Trump voted to support the “Gang of Eight” legislation.
Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.) says she “cannot support” and “will not vote for” Trump. Susan Collins (R., Maine) says she “could not support” Trump. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) says Trump “needs to withdraw from the race.” Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) says Trump “should drop out.” John McCain (R., Ariz.) says he “will not vote for” Trump (but will instead “write in the name of some good” Republican, who in McCain’s imagination is running for president). And Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) says she “cannot and will not support” Trump, who has “has forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee.” All six voted for the Gang of Eight bill.
Over in the House, Speaker Paul Ryan has largely withdrawn his support from Trump, saying he’ll no longer campaign for him and will not defend him (although he still endorses him). Now that Marco Rubio has been (partially) chastened, Ryan is perhaps the most prominent and forceful Republican backer of open-borders immigration law.
The Gang of Eight legislation wasn’t voted upon in the House after it passed the Senate, so it’s harder to gauge rank-and-file House members’ views on the matter. The Huffington Post, however, published a list of 121 Republican House members that the Gang of Eight reportedly thought were “persuadable on immigration reform.” That’s only about half of the Republicans in the House at the time, yet most Trump defectors appeared on that list. Of the 17 Republicans who were in the House in 2013 and aren’t currently supporting Trump (according to USA Today’s list), 13 (76 percent) were listed among those who were “persuadable” on immigration. And that doesn’t even include Cory Gardner (R., Colo.), who was on that list as a congressman and is now a Trump defector in the Senate.