Appearing as a guest on MSNBC's Hardball show, former MSNBC political analyst and liberal author Ron Reagan made his latest incendiary attack on Republicans as he declared that President Donald Trump's base do not mind family separations at the border as long as it is "little brown babies being thrown in cages."
In addition to Reagan's obnoxious commentary, the segment also depicted a classic example of the liberal media not bothering to make a distinction between legal asylum seekers who follow the law in contrast with those who illegally cross the border first and then declare asylum when they get caught.
Early in the segment, host Chris Matthews brought up "family separation" of illegal immigrant families, and, as the group spent five minutes discussing the treatment of asylum seekers, not once were the words "illegal" or the liberal euphemism "undocumented" used to clarify for viewers that typically only illegal immigrant families are separated because the adults violated the law by crossing the border without permission.
In fact, in a segment that spent a total of seven minutes, 40 seconds on the subject of illegal immigration, it took six and a half minutes for Matthews to finally use the term "illegal immigration" as he called Senator Mitt Romney a "reasonable Republican" for wanting to use E-Verify to combat "illegal immigration."
Early on, Matthews turned to Jonathan Swan of Axios and asked why White House advisor Stephen Miller reportedly wishes to return to "family separation" at the border, leading Swan to assert that he wishes to use the practice as a "deterrent."
Matthews then brought up a hypothetical family in Central America who might wish to come to the U.S. and apply for asylum:
So a mommy and a daddy down in Central America in a dangerous situation says, "Do we make a chance -- do we gather our money together, what little we have, and make a run for the U.S. border and asylum, knowing that once we get there, our kids will be taken away from us?" Is that the choice?
As if going to a port of entry and avoiding prosecution for crossing the border illegally were not even an option, Swan misleadingly responded: "Yes, that is the deterrent effect."
When Reagan got his turn to speak, he suggested that people who do not agree with liberals on the issue are not "decent" as he began:
It's hard for people like us, I think -- and I'll include Jonathan in this because I'm sure he's a decent fellow -- it's hard for us to look at a situation like taking babies away from their parents, throwing them into cages, and maybe never reuniting them because you lose track of them -- it's hard for us to look at that and say, "Well, I guess it's, you know, it's tough, but it's acceptable."
The liberal commentator then added:
We find this appalling, absolutely appalling. And it's a little confusing to see a President apparently maybe again embracing this policy. Why would they do that? The optics are awful. Politically, it has to be a disaster. But I think Trump sees it differently, and I think his base sees it differently. I think he knows that, as far as they're concerned, as long as it's little brown babies that are being thrown in cages, they don't really care. It's fine with them.
Matthews followed up: "You think it's that bad with him? Really that bad?"
Reagan responded: "Yeah, yeah. No, I think so. I think he's entirely cynical about this."
Swan soon commented that it is uncertain whether the "zero tolerance" policy would return, leading Matthews to ask, "What is zero tolerance?"
Again, without clarifying that asylum seekers who follow the proper legal process typically would not have to worry about such consequences, Swann responded: "Zero tolerance is they prosecute everyone, which results in family separations." He then added that the Trump administration is pushing for a "hardline" policy that would "make it much more difficult for people to seek asylum."
As usual, no consideration was given to the argument that taking children across the desert or across a river is dangerous and should be deterred. Additionally, although there may be some legitimate asylum seekers who are being misinformed by smugglers about how to best enter the U.S., there are also no doubt some who cross illegally for nefarious reasons and only apply for asylum as a backup plan after they are caught, thus making it mandatory that Border Patrol closely scrutinize whether they are criminals or are victimizing the children in their company.
And seeking asylum after crossing illegally does not negate the fact that crossing without permission was illegal to begin with.
It is also of note that, even during the Obama administration, the overwhelming majority of asylum applications from Central American immigrants have been rejected.