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Republicans are happy talk about people dying as long as illegal Mexicans are involved.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office sends an email to his list.

Ryan likes to tout his desire to improve the lives of the poor and promote “patient-centered” health care as cover for giving rich people enormous tax cuts, so it’s fake-surprising that this email wasn’t about an uninsured person. It’s anti-immigrant incitement.

Kate Steinle was a 32-year-old woman living in San Francisco, working at a medical company. This very weekend, two years ago, her life was suddenly cut short when she was shot and killed by a convicted felon.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez was an illegal immigrant with a rough criminal record of seven felonies. Not only that, but he had been caught already by authorities and deported—not once, not twice, but five times. This man should not have been on the streets.

This is one of President Donald Trump’s favorite scapegoating stories, and Ryan has fully bought into it. It’s fair to call this incitement because violent crime is at a historic low, and immigrants aren’t disproportionately violent. Ryan and Trump are whipping up xenophobic panic to build support for policies that won’t do anything to reduce the threat of violent crime.

The silver lining to this kind of racist agitation is that it gives the lie to the disingenuous pleas for decorum marking the right’s defense of the GOP health care bills.

Conservatives generally take great umbrage when Trumpcare critics quite rightly note that taking health insurance away from millions will lead to preventable deaths. They will have no notable objections to Ryan’s email, and their silence will demonstrate that their interest isn’t making sure arguments are passionless or even accurate. They’re soccer-flopping to avoid accountability for the human consequences of their ideas.