Immigration restriction is not hate
President Donald Trump's immigration agenda has always been considered exclusionary and prejudiced by progressives; now they consider it tainted by mass murder.
The El Paso massacre, carried out by a white nationalist waging a lunatic war against Hispanic immigration, is being used as a bludgeon against Trump and immigration restriction more broadly.
After years spent trying to rule immigration restriction out of bounds, the left is doubling down on ruling immigration restriction out of bounds.
It can't be that the only reason for protecting the border, rejecting bogus asylum-seekers, reorienting the legal immigration system toward skills rather than family unification and reducing overall numbers is rank hatred bordering on homicidal malice.
It can't be that the only choice is between extremely latitudinarian policies that allow asylum-seekers into the country, often never to be seen again, or mass murder.
It can't be that the only respectable position on immigration, safe for the general public, is whatever the Democrats' center of gravity on the issue is at any given time (always in flux and always moving left).
First, let's stipulate that Trump's words on immigration often are crude and inflammatory. Yet nothing he's ever said could possibly justify indiscriminately shooting people. Trump is not a terrorist, a supporter of terrorism or an enabler of terrorism.
The El Paso shooter's apparent manifesto overlaps with some of Trump's rhetoric, but what defines the document is its apocalyptic argument that slaughter is the way "to reclaim" the country.
The gulf between that view and Trump's -- that Congress should build a wall and change some highly technical asylum rules -- is vast. It is the difference between justifying criminality and advocating legislation, between quitting on America and calling for policies to solve one of its problems.
Much is made of Trump's use of the word "invasion," which also features in the manifesto. This is a loaded term best avoided. It speaks to a hostile intent among immigrants who, by and large, come here to improve their lives.