Geraldo: Damn it, we shouldn't be turning this murder by an illegal immigrant into a story about an illegal immigrant

The debate he and Martha MacCallum have in the clip below was so predictable that MacCallum didn’t bother to bring on a right-wing opponent to have it out with him. Why bother? She could easily handle it herself. Every time an American citizen is killed by an illegal, intentionally or not, the conversation proceeds the same way. In sum:

Geraldo: This is a tragedy but we mustn’t blame the entire illegal population for the terrible acts of one monster.
MacCallum: I’m not blaming all of them. But the fact remains that Mollie Tibbetts’s death was avoidable because the killer shouldn’t have been here.
Geraldo: What about all the American citizens who murdered people this week?
MacCallum: Like it or not, those people had a right to be here. Tibbetts’s killer didn’t.
Geraldo: This is a murder story, not an immigration story!
MacCallum: He. Shouldn’t. Have. Been. Here.

He shouldn’t have been here. Ask Agnes Gibboney, whose own son was murdered by an illegal years ago:

Like my son’s murderer, there were probably numerous opportunities at which Rivera’s illegal presence could have been determined and acted upon. Instead of officials catching him using a false ID card and Social Security number, government at all levels apparently failed to see the obvious until it was too late for Mollie and her family.

The apologists for illegal immigrants will no doubt tell us that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are not violent criminals, and they are right. But that’s not the point. They are all violating laws that exist to protect the best interests of the American people, which is reason enough to enforce our immigration laws. The fact that my son, Mollie, Kate Steinle, Sarah Root and many more whose names never made the headlines are dead is all the more reason why our immigration laws must be enforced.

You would think, after a thousand years of pushing for open borders, Geraldo would at least have honed his spin for those inevitable moments when some drunk who snuck across the border runs down an American citizen or, less commonly, a homicidal lunatic carves one up. He might concede a point to Mark Krikorian and other border hawks and agree that we as a society failed Mollie Tibbetts by not enforcing existing law more diligently before reminding everyone that we’ll never, ever reach zero illegal immigration no matter what we do. Tragically, as a matter of pure feasibility, some of these deaths are unavoidable. Geraldo doesn’t want to argue that, though, because he doesn’t want to encourage border enforcers even rhetorically.

He should just go balls out and embrace the logic of what his position actually is: He believes that a certain number of Americans being killed each year is a price worth paying for illegal immigration. Simple as that. He can feign offense at that accusation all he likes, just as he takes grave offense at Dan Patrick calling him an “accomplice” to murder in the clip. (“Accomplice” seems too strong. “Apologist” is better.) The hard fact is that Geraldo and like-minded people believe that a few dead American citizens are baked into the cake of open borders just as surely as a particular number of car accidents are baked into a freeway system with a speed limit of 55 m.p.h. If you want to make a delicious omelette of abundant low-skilled labor you need to break a few egg-skulls. And hey — statistically, it’ll almost certainly be someone else’s kid who ends up dead, not yours. That’s his position. He can whine all day but there’s no way around it.

I don’t know why he doesn’t focus on the flip side of that argument instead of yammering goofily that “This is a murder story, not an immigration story.” He should emphasize the economic realities of illegal immigration: Are border hawks really prepared to absorb the economic costs if they got their wish and suddenly every last illegal, whether homicidal or not, was sent back over the border? How many lives are they personally willing to trade for cheaper labor? Probably not “zero,” whether they admit it or not.

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