‘The Cruelty Is The Point,’ Velshi Smears GOP As Racist On The Border

Why do Republicans care about the border? It is a simple question with a simple answer: it is a mess. But for MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, who had guest hosting duties for Wednesday’s Alex Wagner Tonight, it is because “they want to let fewer brown people in” and any measures to address the issue prove that “the cruelty is the point.”

Velshi began the show by discussing dueling op-eds from Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis in the Des Moines Register where they sought to convince voters that they would be the best candidate on the issue, “Now, what both Trump and DeSantis are advancing in these op-eds are neither actually fixes to our country’s border issues nor are they actually immigration policies. But they are the sort of plans you can tell people that you have, and they are articulating them to the public.”

Those plans, according to Velshi, are that “They want to let fewer brown people in. They want immigration to be the most painful process possible. They want to set new records in deportations. Again, none of that really addresses any of the root causes of migration or the actual problems with our immigration system, which are real. But it is a plan, and it is a plan around which Republicans are largely unified.”

Moving on from Trump and DeSantis, Velshi turned his attention to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and played a video “from last Friday of migrants, including children and adults, carrying children, attempting to cross a river at the southern border in Eagle Pass, Texas. The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, tweeted this video out today. Not out of sympathy for the plight of these migrants that you are looking at on your screen, and their harrowing journey, but to celebrate the razor wire that his government put up to make their journey more difficult.”

Is Abbott supposed to make the journey easier? That would incentivize more people to head to the border. If Velshi sincerely believes there are “actual problems” worth addressing he would know that. Instead, Velshi just smears them as racists and continuing in with his anti-Abbott ramblings, he declared that “Governor Abbott is currently facing up with a Biden administration in court about whether it was illegal for Abbott to put the razor wire up in the first place. But legal or illegal, and it probably is illegal, the cruelty is the point.”

No, controlling the border is the point as last month was featured the most encounters at the border since 2000.  

Here is a transcript for the January 3 show:

MSNBC Alex Wagner Tonight

1/3/2024

9:00 PM ET

ALI VELSHI: Now, what both Trump and DeSantis are advancing in these op-eds are neither actually fixes to our country’s border issues nor are they actually immigration policies. But they are the sort of plans you can tell people that you have, and they are articulating them to the public. 

They want to let fewer brown people in. They want immigration to be the most painful process possible. They want to set new records in deportations. Again, none of that really addresses any of the root causes of migration or the actual problems with our immigration system, which are real. But it is a plan, and it is a plan around which Republicans are largely unified. 

This is video from last Friday of migrants, including children and adults, carrying children, attempting to cross a river at the southern border in Eagle Pass, Texas. The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, tweeted this video out today. Not out of sympathy for the plight of these migrants that you are looking at on your screen, and their harrowing journey, but to celebrate the razor wire that his government put up to make their journey more difficult. 

Governor Abbott is currently facing up with a Biden administration in court about whether it was illegal for Abbott to put the razor wire up in the first place. But legal or illegal, and it probably is illegal, the cruelty is the point. And, again, this is not just Abbott, this is not just DeSantis, this is not just Trump. Today, the Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, led a delegation of 60 of his fellow Republican congresspeople to Eagle Pass, Texas, the same spot on the border that the governor was tweeting about. Members of that delegation threatened to shut down the entire federal government if their demands on border policy are not met. 

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