The US border is “very porous”, said the 1940s-born New Yorker with the cult following, flyaway hair and occasional blind spot for foreign strongmen. Employers of “illegal immigrants” can count on “virtually non-existent” sanctions. A travesty, as low-wage competition is the “last thing we need”.

It takes an independent soul, an awkward fit in Democratic and Republican life, to venture such heresies against received opinion.

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