Rush Limbaugh (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rush Limbaugh admits his immigration fears are about voting, not security

Limbaugh said he would agree to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants, but they can't vote for 15-25 years


Charlie May
February 18, 2018 8:44PM (UTC)

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh may have just accidentally revealed why he's staunchly opposed to immigration, and it has little to do with border security.

For a second, let's all try to imagine a world where Limbaugh would be known as the absolute ruler.

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"I tell you what, I'll -- I'll make you another deal right here," Limaugh said on Fox News Sunday, channeling his inner President Donald Trump. "I would be willing right here to support an effort to grant permanent citizenship to whatever number of illegal immigrants there are in the country tomorrow if you will make as part of a deal they can't vote for 15 to 25 years."

Luckily none of us live in that world, at least not at the moment.

He added, "And if they will agree to that, then I'll grant them amnesty."

In the past week numerous immigration measures failed in the Senate, once again leaving recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) — otherwise known as Dreamers, in limbo. Trump also vowed to veto anything that didn't meet his exact demands, which included massive cuts to legal immigration, something even Republican lawmakers weren't fully onboard with. Sounding like Trump once again Limbaugh, instead, blamed Democrats for this.

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"It's a political issue that the Democrats do not want solved," he said. "All this is, is an effort by the Democrat Party to provide for themselves a current underclass. They need a permanent underclass that is dependent on the government for their survival. "

He added, "That's why they weren't illegal immigrants granted citizenship."

"They don't want the issue solved. They don't want any issue solved, legislatively or otherwise, before the 2018 elections," And I think Trump is
partially exposing that with the various different proposals that he's making. He's giving them pretty much what they want and they're turning it down because they don't want solved."

In reality the opposite has been the case, and Trump is the one who has repeatedly changed his mind in regards to the terms he would accept for an immigration deal.

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But Limbaugh's proposal, for many reasons, is not exactly practical. For starters, it would almost certainly violate the U.S. Constitution, something the firebrand has accused the political left of.

Outside of practicality, Limbaugh seemed to admit something Republicans and conservative talking heads of the like have beat around the bush of for years, which is the fact that they're not exactly thrilled about immigrants voting, and certainly not if they lean Democratic. That could be part of the motivation behind the GOP's overt war on voting rights, or its aggressively partisan gerrymandering tactics. Limbaugh's proposal also undermines much of his own side's argument, which is often rooted in the name of national security. If Limbaugh would so easily grant amnesty to roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants on the spot, he basically admitted that the threat often drawn up by the GOP and Trump isn't nearly as dire as they've made it out to be for so long.

Watch the full Limbaugh interview here:

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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