On Tuesday, Campus Reform uploaded a video to YouTube in which Digital Director Cabot Phillips reads immigration-related quotes to students at American university in Washington, D.C.
Phillips first asked the students their feelings about "President Trump’s proposed border wall."
"I’m not a fan"
"Everyone has a shared reaction to this; it’s absolutely horrendous."
"The wall is a really unrealistic solution. There have been many videos showing people easily crossing the wall that is supposed to, like, keep people out, or whatever."
"It doesn’t make any sense. Isn’t there pretty much already fencing?"
After getting their reactions, Phillips read three quotes regarding border security to the students, telling them they were from the mouth of Trump. However, the quotes were actually from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Chuck Schumer.
In 2005, then-Senator Barack Obama said: "We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented and unchecked."
In 2008, two-time former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said: "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."
In 2009, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said: "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."
The students reacted predictably. When they believed the quotes came from President Trump, they said:
"It’s divisive. I think America is a land of opportunity, a place for inclusion."
"I just really think it’s [a] kind of hateful speech in general."
"It’s just a negative message. When he talks about illegal immigrants, it’s just ... rude to talk about people like that."
"There are racial biases, sort of deep embedded in there."
"In a word, I’d say it’s more jingoist."
"I think just the way that he’s referring to people across the wall is very dehumanizing."
Once Phillips revealed that the quotes actually came from three progressive Democrats, the reactions changed. Some of the students were at a loss for words, while one even seemed to be embarrassed, simply saying, "How ‘bout that?"
"I [pause] I mean [pause] um, yeah, Democrats and Republicans have said things about border control."
"That’s interesting. I didn’t think that, uh, that’s interesting."
One student tried to course-correct:
"That’s a very good surprise, by the way. If this were a Trump quote, I believe it would be a lot more, um, maybe a lot less calculated."
Another student didn’t seem to believe it, saying, "I don’t know, they just, they wouldn’t say that." Phillips replied, "Well, they did."
As is typical with these videos, they did find someone who was more educated about the topic at hand. A female student said that she wasn’t surprised because she’s a "little older" than most of the other students. "So, I remember Clinton’s administration and what they did with immigration, and what the Democrats’ stance was then," she said. "So I think it’s kind of interesting."
Check out the video here:
A June survey by Pew Research found that while 56% of Americans oppose a "proposal to substantially expand the wall along the U.S. border with Mexico," 40% favor such a project. That represents a minor change from when the survey was conducted in January 2018, when the ratio was 60% opposed to 37% in favor.
According to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll from late-December, 56% opposed Trump’s wall, while 44% approved. 51% of Americans polled said, "Democratic lawmakers and the president should compromise and agree on a $2.5 billion funding package for border security," reports The Hill.