Controversial conservative political commentator Ann Coulter offered her two cents about troops on the southern border this week.
First, during an appearance Tuesday on conservative radio show host Lars Larson’s program, Coulter suggested at least one illegal immigrant would have to be shot to teach others a lesson.
She issued the remark while responding to news that President Donald Trump plans to deploy the National Guard to protect the southern U.S. border.
Though she staunchly opposes illegal immigration, she worries that placing troops along the southern border will do little to stop it.
“[W]hat are they going to do, shoot the illegals? I mean, both Obama and Bush did this too. No, there’s a reason the chant was ‘we want a wall.” We don’t want to use the military to process illegals and let them into the country,” she initially said.
When Larson pushed back by noting that visible troops along the border might serve as a deterrent, Coulter then dropped her flip remark about shooting an illegal.
“I don’t know, we’ll see,” she said. “If I were an illegal — I mean, unless they’re going to shoot one and send a message to the rest, as Voltaire’s line in Candide is, ‘We hang one to encourage the others’ — if you shoot one to encourage the others, maybe they’ll learn, but otherwise, we’ll see, we’ll see.”
The full interview may be heard below:
In a tweet posted a day later, Coulter clarified her a position a bit more.
She argued that for the National Guard to be effective along the border, it must do more than just stand around. She recommended the Guard specifically pursue the “immediate detention and removal” of any illegals who cross into the United States:
Are they going to shoot the illegals? Just standing there doesn't do a thing. We need to do what Israel does: immediate detention and removal. https://t.co/byXxDbG2po
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 4, 2018
Radical left-wing blogs like Media Matters and Right Wing Watch immediately seized on her on-air remark and online tweet to paint her as someone who espouses “hate against immigrants” for racial reasons.
Interestingly, most of the backlash Coulter received for her rhetoric originated with supporters of the president who resent her constant criticism of his policy decisions:
Ann,I’m sorry I used to respect you now I just think you’re trying to sell books & be provocative! STOP just stop! #POTUS is truly working on EVERYTHING he has promised, it can’t be done overnight!
— 🇺🇸Lady De’Plorable🇺🇸 (@LadyRedWave) April 5, 2018
Some empathized with Coulter because of the immense damage illegal immigration causes to America:
The National Guard Must not let them (mostly men)cross into the USA or the courts will grant Habeas Corpus petitions filed by Dem lawyers and they will claim asylum as coached. Put up fences with razor wire and stand firm.
— mhdude1 (@Mhdude1Mhdude1) April 4, 2018
treat it as an invasion
— Charles Nielson (@chasby41) April 4, 2018
The Federation for American Immigration Reform noted last year that illegal immigration costs taxpayers roughly $134.9 billion annually. And unless our political leaders take fruitful actions to halt it once and for all, these costs will only continue to grow.