Arizona's "deplorables" are duking it out over the DACA kids in advance of a planned March4Trump/Spirit of America rally Saturday on the lawn of the state capitol in downtown Phoenix, one of several such pro-Trump rallies scheduled across the country for this week.
What local organizers had billed as a "unity" event in a press release for the rally has devolved pre-demonstration into angry denunciations, mostly over the issue of President Donald Trump's supposed sympathy for young men and women who qualify for Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
As a result, one of the emcees for the event has been booted: the occasionally MILFy Valley wingnut Michelle Dallacroche, founder of the erstwhile Mothers Against Illegal Aliens, and currently the host of her own online radio show, aptly named MADWomanRadio.
During a recent conversation, Dallacroce told me that she had been asked to emcee the rally by event organizer and anti-immigration activist Barb Heller — best known for her die-hard support of ex-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Dallacroce said Heller fired her from the volunteer gig after the nativist firebrand posted the first of several videos blasting Trump for going "soft" on the DACA kids, whom Dallacroce claims owe their allegiance to another country, primarily, Mexico.
"Stop pandering because they're children, Donald Trump," she sputters angrily in one video. "Get a set of fucking balls, okay? You said you were going to enforce our laws and that's across the board. These people are illegal aliens."
Wearing a leather cowboy hat with an American flag design, Dallacroce called the issue of the DACA kids "the Achilles heel" of illegal immigration. If America lets them stay, "you're cutting your own throat as a nation."
Trump had been elected, in part, on this promise, Dallacroce said in the video, and now was not the time to weenie out.
This female Howard Beale of the internet told me that Heller claimed to be getting a lot of complaints from pro-Trump activists about her tirades. Heller suggested to Dellacroce that she should have held off on doing the video until after the rally. But because she didn't, the ax had to fall.
"What do they have a problem with?" wondered Dallacroce as we spoke. "It's not like I molested a child. It's not like I got arrested for drinking and driving and was in jail overnight."
The infighting continued on Heller's Facebook page, with Dallacroce calling out Heller and Heller's Facebook friends coming to Heller's defense. One told Dallacroce that she was "beginning to sound like CNN," and another said she sounded like "you are 14 and need meds."
Thing is, Dallacroce is emblematic of a split in the nativist crowd over Trump's evolving position on DACA and the DREAMers, one recently addressed by a report in the New York Times.
And that split could be exacerbated by any announcement on the program Trump may make tonight in his address to Congress.
During the campaign, Trump promised to rescind Obama's executive order affecting some 850,000 DREAMers, who were brought to the United States illegally when they were children. But since winning the election, Trump's stance on DACA recipients has softened considerably.
In a post-election interview with Time magazine, Trump rowed his dingy back on DACA, promising "to work something out" that will "make people happy and proud."
More recently, at a White House press conference, he called DREAMers "incredible kids. " He said it was "one of the most difficult subjects I have," stating that his administration would act "with great heart."
Rubber met road in a February 20 memorandum from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, outlining how DHS and other entities would enforce Trump's January executive orders, which initiated more aggressive enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.
The memo stated DHS would "no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement," save for two major exceptions: those benefiting from DACA, and those qualifying for DAPA, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents, the latter of which is being held up by a federal court order.
Many involved in the upcoming Trump rally in Phoenix are willing to cut Trump some slack on the DACA/DAPA issue, Heller in particular.
Heller told me that she agreed in principle with some of what Dallacroce says, but she thinks Trump needs more time to fully implement his policies, and that Trump's only had about a month in office so far.
She confirmed that Dallacroce was asked to hold off on her fiery videos attacking the president.
"She continued to ream the president and what he's doing," Heller said. "And that's not what this event is about. It's about pulling our nation together."
In her press release for the event, Heller bills the Phoenix rally as a demonstration of unity, open to all Americans.
"We invite you to set aside any differences you have," reads the release. "The intent of the rally is to bring peace, to spread love over hate, to unite not divide, and support not resist."
But despite this kumbaya sentiment, the coin of the realm in a gathering of right-wingers is being more right-wing than the next person.
And when it comes to anti-immigration stalwarts, this means rounding up those here illegally and sending them packing, no ifs, ands, or buts, a position Dallacroce sticks to.
She told me that the planned to continue to slap around Trump in her videos, and she would not be dissuaded by those who want her to go easy on the president.
She called her detractors "fake patriots," saying that they were hypocrites and betraying their own cause.
"So the only person who can openly talk about anything is Donald Trump?" Dallacroce asked. "When Trump talks the way he does, everybody loves it, right? But if anyone else says anything, you're shut down because you're not polite enough or you shouldn't act that way if you're in the Republican Party. Fuck that shit!"
It is ironic and rather amusing to watch the fur fly on this one, especially since Trump is the enemy of political correctness, and here his followers are enforcing a kind of right-wing political correctness that's little more than a blind obedience to Trump.
After all, this is a function sponsored by the nativist biker group Riders USA. It will feature such anti-immigrant hardliners as Senate Bill 1070 author Russell Pearce, sleazy out-of-work border hawk Paul Babeu, and ex-Graham County Sheriff Richard Mack, head of the Oathkeeper-esque Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.
And yet, all of these Messican-hatin' bad boys are freaked out because Michelle Dallacroce isn't playing nice? That's rich.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.