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NPR anchor ties term ‘illegal immigrant’ to Nazi Germany

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NPR Latino USA anchor María Hinojosa told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Sunday her opposition to the term “illegal immigrant” stemmed from a conversation with Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel years ago in which Wiesel said the term was part of the horrors he faced in his youth.

“If there is an authority, you should be it,” Hinojosa said she told Wiesel. “And he said, ‘María, don’t ever use the term ‘illegal immigrant.’ And I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘Because once you label a people ‘illegal,’ that is exactly what the Nazis did to Jews.’ You do not label a people ‘illegal.’ They have committed an illegal act. They are immigrants who crossed illegally. They are immigrants who crossed without papers. They are immigrants who crossed without permission. They are living in this country without permission. But they are not an illegal people.”

The use of the term resurfaced for debate this week, with undocumented journalist and immigration advocate Jose Antonio Vargas and New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan recently discussing the use of it in the press.

“I see no advantage for Times readers in a move away from the paper’s use of the phrase ‘illegal immigrant,'” Sullivan wrote in an Oct. 2 column. “It is clear and accurate; it gets its job done in two words that are easily understood. The same cannot be said of the most frequently suggested alternatives — ‘unauthorized,’ ‘immigrants without legal status,’ ‘undocumented.'”

Vargas, founder of the advocacy group Define American, reiterated his call Sunday for media outlets to stop using the term, saying the term ‘illegal’ underscores the media’s tendency to discuss the issue simplistically.

“We have so largely dehumanized this issue,” Vargas said. “And our job as journalists — and I’m speaking as somebody who’s been doing this for more than a decade — is really being more descriptive in the way we use this term.”

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When Hayes brought up Sullivan’s point that “illegal” is a technical term while “undocumented” has its own connotation, Hinojosa asked if he knew someone who had broken the law.

“I don’t think I’ve known a single person who hasn’t broken the law,” Hayes answered, at which point Hinojosa offered up hypothetical examples of people who have broken traffic laws, or failed to pay child support, or have not paid taxes.

“That means that now your friends are an ‘illegal driver,’ an ‘illegal taxpayer’ and an ‘illegal father,'” Hinojosa suggested. “It is not a Latino issue. It is not an immigrant issue. Frankly, it’s not even an American issue. It’s a worldwide issue.”

Watch Hinojosa and Vargas’ discussion with Hayes, aired Sunday on MSNBC, below.

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Trump’s only winning strategy is to tear down Democrats — because he has nothing to promote: MSNBC panel

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President Donald Trump has little to promote for 2020, so political analysts on MSNBC think that he'll likely spend the campaign working to tear everyone else down.

Howard Fineman noted that if Trump intends to do a "tear down" campaign, the most important things Democrats will have are policy proposals to set themselves apart from a White House that is unwilling to pass anything through Congress.

"It's just a question of can he do what he did in 2016 and 2018, which was, frankly, mobilize voters in a fear-tactic kind of way," said Fineman during Monday's "Meet the Press."

Host Kasie Hunt said that it seems the new Trump poll numbers show that his base is losing enthusiasm as they go into the election.

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Trump being a ‘compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus’ is why he failed on Iran: Conservative columnist

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President Donald Trump's highly-criticized decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has resulted as was warned, with the country reviving its nuclear program, a conservative columnist explained in The Washington Post on Monday.

Conservative Max Boot took a victory lap in the hard-hitting column, reminding that he had signed a March 2016 letter by 121 Republican foreign policy analysts warning about Trump's approach.

"I wish we had been wrong, but we were all too right," Boot wrote.

"Trump has shown no ability to grow in office; but then it’s hard to learn if you all you read is Fox News chyrons. He is today the same compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus he was at the start of the 2016 campaign," Boot said. "Only now, the stakes are much higher."

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Congress needs to ‘follow the rubles’ on Trump: Oversight congressman

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told host Wolf Blitzer that Congress needs to "follow the rubles" on Trump to find out why he expresses an affinity for Russia to the point of contradicting U.S. national security interests.

"As you know, The New York Times is reporting that President Trump is being largely kept in the dark by his own administration about cyberweapons being developed for use against Russia's infrastructure as a warning to the Russians not to use their cyber warfare capabilities against America's power grid and America's infrastructure," said Blitzer. "What national security concerns does this raise, the president not being fully informed about what is going on?"

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