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MSNBC's Wagner and Joy Reid Giddy Over GOP 'Alienating People of Color, Immigrants'

Media Research CenterOn Tuesday's The Last Word on MSNBC, substitute host Alex Wagner and MSNBC contributor Joy Reid rejoiced over the prospect of Republicans "alienating" minorities as Wagner devoted a segment to the disagreement between former Senator Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation and Senator Marco Rubio over the economic impact of immigration reform. As Wagner welcomed Reid as a guest, the two mocked Republicans:

ALEX WAGNER: Joy, I am in a state of disbelief that we are once again talking about Republicans alienating people of color, immigrants, and also back on the 47 percent. Can you believe what is happening?

JOY REID, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Takers!

WAGNER: Yes.

REID: Welfare queens!

WAGNER: Double down.

REID: Yeah, we want'em in our party. I love it.

After the two argued that giving legal status to illegal immigrants would benefit the country economically, Reid took another jab at Republicans as she concluded:

But all they want to do is frame this in the old 47 percent makers versus takers. This is why they're losing Hispanics. This is why they're losing rational people in the middle. But, you know what? Keep doing it, Jim DeMint, the Democrats love it.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, May 7, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC:

ALEX WAGNER: Joining me now, MSNBC's Joy Reid. Joy, I am in a state of disbelief that we are once again talking about Republicans alienating people of color, immigrants, and also back on the 47 percent. Can you believe what is happening?

JOY REID, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Takers!

WAGNER: Yes.

REID: Welfare queens!

WAGNER: Double down.

REID: Yeah, we want'em in our party. I love it. I think we've come full circle. Jim DeMint is finally now doing to the party from the outside what he was doing to it in the Senate. In the Senate, he was the guy who championed Tea Partiers who primaried his fellow members of the United States Senate on the Republican side. Now, he's out at Heritage championing this much-discredited study. Even Grover Norquist thinks it's bunk. That essentially says if you legalize these immigrants, they're gonna be takers, they're gonna take welfare, that's all they want.

WAGNER: And it's so, I mean, it is so counterintuitive to be saying this right now. The Center for American Progress, which is not exactly a bastion of conservatism, but has done studies on the economic impact of having a reformed legal immigration system, says that the economic benefits of undocumented immigrants granted legal status starting in 2013 but not eligible for citizenship within 10 years, which is always the caveat, the cumulative gain in U.S. GDP between 2013 and 2022 would be $832 billion. You reform the system, the country makes money.

REID: The country makes money because these people become legal, they become taxpayers. And in the Rubio bill -- this was his protege -- they're even barred from getting ObamaCare. They can't even get the benefits that you would think they'd be entitled to by working. So you're talking about people who would just be paying in but not even eligible to get anything back. They wouldn't be eligible for any of that. But all they want to do is frame this in the old 47 percent makers versus takers. This is why they're losing Hispanics. This is why they're losing rational people in the middle. But, you know what? Keep doing it, Jim DeMint, the Democrats love it.

WAGNER: Could they rename the Heritage Foundation the "House of Confusion and Obfuscation"? I don't know.

REID: How does that work out as an anagram? I think that's a good idea.

WAGNER: Joy Reid gets tonight's last word.

-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center