Any Weapon to Trump: Here’s National Review editor Rich Lowry on Twitter, explaining why his magazine’s otherwise excellent recent immigration editorial  is pitched as a dis of Donald Trump:

saying we need a fence is not a major contribution to debate, especially if you don’t understand or address the rest

& I have little time 4 anyone who says we need immigrants to do jobs americans won’t, even if he wants to build phenomenal wall

Trump has indeed said that, in a confusing CNN interview where he seemed to be veering in the direction of Mike Pence’s “Touchback” scam.**  It’s a silly thing to say (Americans will do a lot of jobs if you pay them more). But then again, Marco Rubio has said it too. Guess he’s through at National Review! There may in fact be nobody for Lowry to endorse, since practically every major Republican candidate has probably said it, at one point or another. Here’s Jeb!’s version, for example (“labor-intensive jobs that few Americans want”). …

Simply put, there are three big steps NR rightly says should be completed before we can even talk about amnesty (a fence, an e-Verify-style employment checking program, and a system to track visa overstays). Trump wants to finish one of them before any legalization, which is one more than his rivals have committed to finishing before legalization. If the rest of Trump’s immigration plan is vague and ill thought-out — well, Bush and Rubio have explicit, well-developed plans that are completely wrong (because they put amnesty first, meaning the enforcement can then be blocked, and they dramatically boost legal immigration). So why blast Trump? I suspect another imperative is at work — i.e. to get him out of the race …


** As Mark Krikorian notes, it would be better for Trump to simply repeat the sensible advice of NR‘s editorial:

“[N]o new national policy resolving the status of resident illegals should even be contemplated until real border security has been achieved. Republicans should press for enforcement as a standalone proposal, not as part of a wider immigration compromise. Once that enforcement is in place, then we can open the discussion about broader subsequent reforms …”