As the government shutdown continues due the impasse in Congress over the funding for President Trump's "big, beautiful wall," Campus Reform thought it would be enlightening to visit a college campus and hear from students on the problem driving the whole wall idea: illegal immigration.
What Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips found was that students at American University recoiled at the rhetoric of Democratic leaders — if they thought it was Trump doing the talking, that is.
As Campus Reform highlights in a video and accompanying article posted Tuesday, until very recently, Democrats have sounded a whole lot more like Trump than #AbolishICE leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In fact, here are a few quotes that the conservative group thought college students might be interested in hearing:
"Illegal Immigration is wrong, plain and simple. Until the American people are convinced we will stop future flows of illegal immigration, we will make no progress." -Senator Chuck Schumer, 2009
"We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented and unchecked." -Barack Obama, 2005
"I voted numerous times… to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders." -Hillary Clinton, 2008
So would students agree with the unequivocal assertions by Democratic leaders about the importance of stopping illegal immigrants from "pour[ing] into the United States undetected, undocumented and unchecked" and their commitment to "build[ing] a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in"?
The answer turned out to be no, so long as students were told the quotes were President Trump's.
Phillips begins by asking the students how they feel about the idea of a border wall generally. He gets a bunch of negative responses, including that a wall is "absolutely horrendous."
"Everyone has a shared reaction to this," says one male student, apparently speaking on behalf of the entire student population. "It's absolutely horrendous."
Others are more measured, simply dismissing the idea of a wall as "useless" and ineffective, while one cited the "fencing" that already exists.
But things get really interesting when Philips reads the above quotes "from President Trump."
"It's divisive," says one young man. "I think America is a land of opportunity, a place for inclusion."
"I just really think it’s kind of hateful speech in general," says a female student.
"It's just a negative message," offers another. "When he talks about illegal immigrants it's just, one, rude, to talk about people like that."
The "Trump" quote "underlies" a lot about "discrimination" and "prejudice," says another student.
"There are racial biases kinda deeply embedded in there," says a male student.
"I think it's, overall, just unacceptable," concludes one student.
Other key words dropped by students in response to the "Trump" quotes include "jingoistic" and "dehumanizing."
When Phillips finally reveals that the quotes were from Schumer, Obama and Clinton, the students are largely left speechless, sometimes laughing: "How about that?!" says one student, smiling.
Watch the video by Campus Reform below: