On Friday's MSNBC Live, an all-liberal panel consisting of host Stephanie Ruhle, CNBC contributor Ron Insana and MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson fretted over the likely deportation of a U.S. Army veteran, Miguel Perez, who was convicted in 2008 of trying to sell cocaine to an undercover agent. Because he is not a citizen, after he finished his prison sentence in 2016, he was targeted for deportation because of the drug conviction, and, just this week seems to have exhausted all his options in trying to avoid being sent back to Mexico.
The group not only seemed to blame President Donald Trump and Republicans for his situation in spite of the case being initiated when President Barack Obama was still in office, but Insana even suggested that the story is an indication that the Trump administration is engaging in "ethnic cleansing."
After the group began the segment at 9:42 a.m. ET by fretting over the stalled negotiations over dealing with the DACA program, Ruhle brought up Perez's case as if Republicans were to blame:
But I want to put a face on where this is now. The Chicago Tribune put out a piece -- an Army veteran, a green card holder who has been in the United States since he was eight years old is facing deportation because of a felony drug conviction. This man served two tours of duty, I believe, in Afghanistan. He's about to go on a hunger strike over it. Stories like this guy's -- will this effect Republicans when they go home?
Insana began by bemoaning: "I don't know. They should. The fact that we're in the process of deporting any veterans whatsoever who have -- two tours in Afghanistan, by the way, is a serious deployment."
The group oddly did not seem to notice that the seven-year prison sentence he has already served -- which could have been as high as 15 years -- is a much worse punishment than being deported to another country where he will still have his freedom. Perez is also apparently a repeat offender as a drug offense is reported to have factored into his discharge from the military.
Insana soon provocatively brought up "ethnic cleansing" as he added: "But, you know, there's a strange twinge. I hesitate to use this expression, Stephanie, but it almost feels like a little ethnic cleansing is going on in the United States right now insofar as people of color are in danger here. And this is something that disturbs me greatly."
Host Ruhle shot back: "Doesn't that blow your mind that we're even saying that?"
Johnson then chimed in with one of his typical accusations that Trump administration members are white nationalists as he declared:
I have been saying this for a long time. It is a white nationalist agenda if you listen to what Richard Spencer, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka -- what these guys are saying. When the President says, "I don't want people from 'excrement hole' countries, but I want people from Norway," that's the only way you can interpret it. Their goal is to make America inhospitable for people of color and make them leave and prevent other people from coming in.
But, as documented by the Washington Free Beacon, Perez's deportation case was initiated in 2016 while President Obama was in office, so President Trump would seem to have had little if anything to do with how the case has progressed.