On Wednesday morning, MSNBC again displayed why the stridently liberal news network has a reputation for taking in conservatives as contributors and then inspiring them to deliver commentary that sounds like it comes from the left.
Right-leaning contributor and Washington Post columnist George Will actually hit Republicans from the left on the issue of immigration as he and host Stephanie Ruhle conflated legal and illegal immigration without, of course, ever using the words "illegal" or even "undocumented."
And, for her part, MSNBC contributor and PBS NewsHour's Yamiche Alcindor cited unnamed Democrats she had spoken with who claimed Republicans are motivated by "racism" toward immigrants.
At 9:21 a.m. Eastern, the discussion sounded like it might focus on the Trump administration's efforts to reform the legal immigration system as host Ruhle turned to Will and posed:
For years now, you have also been writing about immigration -- for decades. In fact, we found a column that you wrote in 1993, saying this: "Fear touches the immigration issue at every turn ... If immigration law is changed in a manner that codifies fear and hostility, America's identity will be altered."
Ruhle then brought up apprehensions of illegal immigrants -- without calling them that -- as she continued: "1.2 million people were apprehended at the border that year, and yet America survived and thrived. Why does it feel different now?"
The veteran conservative offered no attempt at a legitimate explanation for why conservatives oppose illegal immigration as he answered:
It's a good question, and I don't know why. And I think it's because we finally have a politician in the current President who is willing to be a serious demogogue about this. I do not understand for the life of me why conservatives do not recognize that immigration is an entrepreneurial act. These are people uprooting themselves and their families often, coming to a country where they have linguistic challenges, finding their way in and assimilating with remarkable speed.
He then went on to argue that the U.S. needs more immigrants to pay for aging Americans' Social Security benefits in the future.
Driving home the fact that the conversation was partially about illegal immigration, images were shown of illegal immigrants crowded in line in Mexico waiting to get into the U.S.
After Will declined to inform viewers of any of the arguments conservatives typically give for curtailing illegal immigration, Alcindor spoke up to implicate racism as she cited the views of liberals as if liberals were experts on what motivates conservatives:
George Will was talking about this idea of why can't conservatives understand that immigration is something that helps the country thrive. I would say organizations like the NAACP and Democrats that I've talked to say it really comes down to race. There's a changing face of America. There are more people of color being born -- more immigrants of color coming to America .And, as a result, there is this fear -- at least some Democrats and people that I've talked to think it's really born out of racism -- people don't want to see their neighborhoods and their families change.