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Santorum on Deporting Immigrants: ‘It’s Not Like We’re Sending Them to A Difficult Country’

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Okay, it’s not that we — or anyone else — cares what GOP Presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum thinks.  The former Pennsylvania Senator is polling at about 4% in the primaries, behind Herman “I guess I did make payments to that woman” Cain, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann.   

Santorum apparently can’t catch a break even in an unsettled primary field where voters are anointing a new favorite, it seems, after each debate.  This could be because the last time Santorum ran for public office, he lost his Senate seat to an upstart challenger by 18 percentage points, the largest margin of defeat ever for an incumbent Pennsylvania senator. 

The things that Santorum says, really, don’t change a hoot in the world.  But just because we like writing about immigration, we thought we’d lift up something Santorum said a couple nights ago on Fox News.  Opposing the idea that undocumented immigrants who have been here for decades should have any path to legality or citizenship, even if they have family members who are here legally, Santorum said:

Yeah I feel bad, I don’t like to break up families, but you know the family can go back. We’re not sending them to Siberia. We’re not sending them to any kind of, you know, difficult country. They’re going to Mexico, which is a great country, a nice country. And they can go back like every other Mexican that wants to come to America and come here legally.

Marie Diamond at Think Progress hit back yesterday:

Santorum may think that being deported to Mexico is akin to taking a permanent vacation in Cancun, but most immigrants find it a harrowing experience. Immigrants, some of whom have lived in the U.S. since childhood, are forcibly removed from their families and sent to a place where they often have no remaining connections, no relatives, and no housing or job prospects.

We think that Santorum, who is after all running for the nomination of the party that frequently touts American exceptionalism, is forgetting something.  Nearly everyone who lives in the U.S. either is an immigrant or is descended from immigrants, as is the case with Santorum himself.  Immigrants come to the U.S. seeking a better life for themselves and their families, almost always leaving lives of little opportunity behind.  What drives immigrants to our shores today is no different from what brought Santorum’s ancestors, or anyone else’s, to the States.

Attacking immigrants seems like another ploy by Santorum to garner some much-needed attention in the media. We hear he gets plenty of unwanted attention from people who google him.