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The Marketplace of Bad Ideas brings us a couple of real stinkers today, both, coincidentally, from rightwing nutbars in California. Take your pick and tell us which idea is more horrific: From congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a proposal to pay for Trump's border wall by allowing 50,000 foreign rich folks a year to buy citizenship at the price of One Million Dollars a pop, or from a local immigrant-hating activist in the "Inland Empire," a petition drive to ban undocumented children from local schools -- a policy the Supreme Court found unconstitutional way back in 1982, as if that mattered.

OK, we actually know which one's more horrible already: It's the second one. But it's a close win.

First up, let's see what new stupidity Dana Rohrabacher is peddling after scribbling it down on a cocktail napkin in a drunken haze. He says he pitched his brilliant idea to Donald Trump in a meeting Tuesday at the White House, and that Trump was very excited about the possibility of selling off 50,000 citizenship-track visas a year for a million bucks each, because it simply makes so much sense:

"We have 50,000 people come into the country every year chosen by a lottery, which is ridiculous. If we're going to have people come in, OK, let's choose the people coming in," the Republican said on Wednesday.

You see, we already base immigration decisions on choosing the very best immigrants, offering visas to applicants who have in-demand job skills or who will supposedly invest in low-income areas (the Trump/Kushner real estate businesses are making a mint off that latter category by building luxury high-rises in "distressed" neighborhoods that suddenly turn rich). Other immigration slots are reserved for people who already have family here, plus a dwindling number of refugee visas.

The 50,000 "lottery" visas Rohrabacher would like to monetize constitute the only immigration opportunity for people who don't meet the other categories, and simply require applicants to have a high school diploma and to come from a country with relatively low current immigration rates. The idea is to provide a chance to immigrate for those plucky go-getters willing to come to a new land and make something of themselves, just like in Ellis Island times. Currently, most of those slots go to people from Africa and Eastern Europe. Rohrabacher doesn't see why we should let in any more tempest-toss'd rabble from the teeming shores -- you know, like all those historical immigrants with names like Drumpf or Rohrabacher who we like to celebrate -- when we could just as well focus Lady Liberty's lamp on those who can give us some gold before we open the door:

Under Rohrabacher's plan, the visa lottery would end and wealthy visa applicants would pay to become citizens within two years of their application. Such as effort would require legislation, which Rohrabacher says he hasn't finished writing yet.

Well, yeah, he's going to need a lot more cocktail napkins. Rohrabacher claims Trump found his scheme so appealing that the Great Man called in Reince "Still chief of staff somehow" Priebus and Steve Bannon to have them join the meeting, which lasted longer than Rohrabacher had planned because everyone liked the idea so much.

No telling whether this stupid proposal will get any farther than the "Daddy Trump liked my immigration crafts project!" stage, but we certainly can't see any downside to selling 50,000 citizenship slots to the highest bidders. As long as someone's making money off the process, it has to be a great idea. Can't you just imagine the amount of uselessness a 50,000 millionaire immigrants would add to our society? They'd be able to buy a whole lot of real estate -- more than they already do -- create jobs, and eventually lobby to have even more visas put up for auction and for even lower taxes on the obscenely rich. It's a real winner!

The other, even more terrible idea for telling non-wealthy immigrants to fuck right off comes from Joseph Turner of Torrance, California, who has filed to circulate petitions for a ballot measure in the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Turner, head of a nonprofit called "American Children First," wants voters to have their say on an initiative that would ban undocumented immigrants from attending any of the district's schools, and to charge "nonresident" tuition for children who are American citizens but whose parents are in the country illegally. Take that, 14th Amendment anchor babies!

"We can no longer subjugate the education and future of our children," Turner wrote in the filing on behalf of his nonprofit group, American Children First. "We will no longer take care of those who have broken our laws and seek to prosper at the expense of our children."

Ah, but what about the Supreme Court's 1982 decision in Plyler v. Doe, which struck down a Texas law that did exactly what Turner's proposed initiative is asking for? Pfft, Joseph Turner (we bet he keeps a Diary) has no use for such liberal twaddle; as the filing for the initiative makes clear, Plyler v. Doe can be ignored because it's fake and illegitimate and because Joseph Turner says so:

So there's your "substantial state interest": Illegals BAD. And just because some dumb Supreme Court decision said all children have the right to a public education regardless of their parents' immigration status, that's no reason the law can't be changed, especially after the Trump administration Makes America Great Again by appointing more judges who agree with Turner. He's got it all figured out: Anyone who argues that all children deserve to be educated is simply not really American anyway:

"I think we have a lot of fake Americans in Sacramento that say they are for educating all children but what that really means is they're for compromising the education that American citizens receive so we can pay for illegal aliens," Turner said.

To make the ballot, Turner's initiative would have to receive about 3,200 signatures from residents of the school district. We are not a lawyer, but we'd also assume County officials would have to sign off on it, which could be iffy since it would plainly be unconstitutional under Plyler; since the state Attorney General's office denied that whackaloon who wanted a statewide ballot initiative to execute gays, we imagine county officials might not let this thing go forward, but perhaps some of our legal beagles can clarify in the comments, which we do not allow.

Officials at the actual Yucaipa-Calimesa school district, thank goodness, are not hot on Turner's idea at all. Superintendent Cali Binks (winner of the Best News Name of Early April) said the district won't change how it treats students even as Turner's petition moves along, and encouraged all families to continue sending their kids to school regardless of what the crazy Trump supporter does. “We have a very tight-knit community and we care for everybody,” she said.

So much stupid on immigration today, and it's just barely one Eastern! There's still plenty of time for Florida or Texas to offer a terrible immigration idea, too.

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[LAT / LAT]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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