Author and political columnist Michelle Malkin told PJM she would choose real-estate mogul Donald Trump over Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) because Trump is surrounding himself with particular people she trusts.
Malkin was asked which candidate she thinks is the strongest on immigration issues:
“Unfortunately, Marco Rubio has been the worst. Now, unfortunately in an oversaturated 24/7 sound bite media culture you get coverage of these issues that’s half of a centimeter deep, so all you hear about is the ‘Gang of 8’ amnesty and you get the sense that all we are talking about is allowing 11-30 million people to come out of the shadows – that’s not what it is all about. It’s not nearly about giving these blank passes to people that are here illegally,” she said during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
“The ‘Gang of 8’ was stuffed with some — many – special-interest payoffs to so many different special interest groups and that’s what we get to in the book, the fact that you’ve got this endless pipeline of alien work permits without anybody pausing to ask, are those worker protections that were build into the H1B law in 1990 actually still in place? No, they have been sabotaged by immigration lawyers and lobbyists who are in those backrooms doing those deals,” she added.
Her latest book, Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America’s Best & Brightest Workers, was released in November 2015.
Malkin said the media is not focusing on the pending I-Squared bill, which Rubio co-sponsored in the Senate. Malkin called it his “second worst” immigration bill. The legislation would triple the number of H1B visas issued in the United States.
She said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has “seen the light” and is now better than Rubio on immigration.
“Only recently did he come around to making the connection between these programs and their effect on workers’ wages, not just on the lower end of the scale but we’re talking about the best and brightest. These are American-educated American workers in the so-called STEM fields,” she said.
Malkin said Trump is “all over the map” on immigration issues but has filled a void.
“The one thing is he filled a vacuum that was left by stupid, feckless Republicans who refused to listen to this exasperation and frustration, not just on the part of grassroots rank-and-file conservatives but all Americans, whatever part of the wage scale they fall on,” she said.
Malkin said there are “so many people” she respects that have put their trust in Trump.
“It makes a lot of people mad but I have said that if I were forced to pick between Trump or Rubio and Hillary, I feel like I would have to take that gamble and go with Donald Trump because he has people inside his tent now that I trust, people like Jeff Sessions, people like Chris Kobach, and I would rather gamble with that then go with the same old, same old tools of the open borders establishment – people that cannot say no to big business and who are bought and paid for,” she said.
For Malkin, the immigration debate goes beyond border security but involves red tape at the State Department incapable of vetting applications from the U.S. consular offices overseas. She cited the backlog of millions of individuals waiting to go through the legal process.
“All of these promises about ‘we’re going to vet everybody,’ you can’t do that – not with the amount of immigration that is coming in every year. Let’s put aside legal immigration; we are letting in 1 million people on green cards every year,” she said.
“There are massive backlogs of people who do want to come here legally, so who is the priority? And right there I think there has been an impulse from the open-borders lobby on both sides of the aisle to put illegal immigrants at the front of line of their priorities, and we saw that with many of these Republican candidates that have now fallen by the wayside, primarily Jeb Bush.”
Malkin rejects the notion that conservatism is in trouble if Trump wins the nomination.
“No, only people who identify the Republican Party and conservatism as yoked together – their fates yoked together – somehow would think the drowning of one would cause the drowning of the other. The conservative movement exists as an independent entity and it has to in order for all the work that I have done and all of these thousands of grassroots activists to matter,” she said.