As ThinkProgress has been reporting, Republican presidential candidates have been engaged in a bizarre game of one-upsmanship on the issue of immigration, competing to offer the most merciless approach America’s undocumented population. After Michele Bachmann proposed deporting every single one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country — a plan that would cost more than $2.6 trillion — Gov. Rick Perry (TX) vowed that he too would “deport every illegal alien who is apprehended in this country.”
Now Bachmann is upping the ante with perhaps the most cruel anti-immigrant statement to date. Media Matters reports that in an interview with Fox host Bill O’Reilly, Bachmann dismissed the humanitarian crisis of mass deportations and reiterated her baseless fear-mongering about “anchor babies.” Bachmann then expressed a “can do” attitude when it came to O’Reilly’s mock idea of dragging immigrants onto buses in front of their screaming children:
O’REILLY: [T]here are a lot of people here who’ve been here for a lot of years. And if you’re gonna start dragging them out of here, it’s gonna be very, very difficult to do that…I’m just saying on a human basis, I don’t think that — theory is one thing. Dragging people out, putting them on a bus with their children’s crying can be quite something else.
BACHMANN: It can be done. That’s the thing, it can be done.
O’REILLY: It can be done, but at what cost?
Bachmann then cited the patently false claim that “50 percent of Mexico’s population has moved north of the border,” apparently hoping people wouldn’t do the math and realize that 56 million Mexicans have not, in fact, relocated to the U.S.
She concluded by insisting “I’m a compassionate person” — all evidence to the contrary.