After alluding to the usual arguments about border security, Santorum warned the crowd:
But there’s also another threat to our border. There’s another threat on the issue of immigration. And that’s the threat to hardworking men and women in this country who have seen over the last 20 years—both legal and illegal—35 million people come into this country … You want to know why median income has come down? Because … we’ve brought in roughly 35 million unskilled workers to say, “We’re going to compete against you.” And guess what’s happened? Since the year 2000, there’ve been about 6 million net new jobs created in America. Do you know what percentage of those net new jobs are being held by people who were not born in America? Answer: All of them.
Santorum proposed a crackdown on legal immigration of unskilled workers. His proposal, like his diagnosis, earned hearty applause. The next speaker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, spent much of his speech calling for a border fence. Then came Donald Trump with a cruder pitch: “Mexico? The worst. What they’re doing to us on the border is incredible. It’s incredible. People coming over like a sieve, and they’re taking our jobs.” The audience cheered as Trump promised to slap a 35 percent tax on cars made in Mexico: “We’re not gonna let you come across with the illegals, the cars. We got everything coming across: We got illegals, we got free cars …” He concluded: “I would build the greatest wall you have ever seen. The greatest. You know who’s gonna pay for the wall? Mexico.” The crowd roared.
Its going to be an ugly, ugly GOP primary season. They have to know that they are burning their bridges to so many Americans that its becoming almost impossible to get enough votes to win the general, but the pressure to throw redder meat to the base in the primaries is apparently overwhelming.