The New Trump Policy: ‘No Amnesty, but We Work with Them.’ By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Republican nominee who’s now telling us he’s going to allow certain illegal immigrants to stay in the country.
There’s no amnesty, as such, there’s no amnesty, but we work with them . . . Now, everybody agrees we get the bad ones out. But when I go through and I meet thousands and thousands of people on this subject, and I’ve had very strong people come up to me, really great, great people come up to me, and they’ve said, ‘Mr. Trump, I love you, but to take a person who’s been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and their family out, it’s so tough, Mr. Trump,’ I have it all the time! It’s a very, very hard thing.
This is the guy who scoffed at all of his primary rivals when they said that deporting 11 million people would be “so tough.”
Hey, immigration hawks, tell me you expected Donald Trump to be polling audiences in late August about whether it was worth it to try deporting illegal immigrants who have been here for 20 years.
DONALD TRUMP: Now, can we be, and I’ll ask the audience, you have somebody who’s terrific, who’s been here --
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): 20 years.
TRUMP: Right, long time. Long court proceeding, long everything, okay? In other words, to get them out. Can we go through a process, or do you think they have to get out? Tell me. I mean, I don’t know. You tell me.
HANNITY: Well let me -- let’s do a poll.
TRUMP: I’d like to know, I’d like to know.
HANNITY: How many think they should go through a process that maybe give ‘em a chance? Clap, we gotta hear you.
TRUMP: How many people --
HANNITY: How many people think they should go?
TRUMP: Do it again
“I don’t know, you tell me”? Yeah, yeah, tell me again how he’s the only one who’s serious on illegal immigration. If you were one of those people loudly insisting that Donald Trump was the only one who was willing to stand strong, the only one who was willing to make the tough choices, the only one who was willing to stand up for the country . . . well, you should spend some time in quiet contemplation about how and why you were so easily snookered by this snake-oil salesman.
Yes, this is a giant flip-flop. Back in November:
“Are you going to have a massive deportation force?” Mika Brzezinski asked.
“You’re going to have a deportation force, and you’re going to do it humanely and you’re going to bring the country–and frankly, the people, because you have some excellent, wonderful people, some fantastic people that have been here for a long period of time,” Trump said. “Don’t forget, Mika, that you have millions of people that are waiting [in] line to come into this country, and they’re waiting to come in legally.”
“So people will face ramifications if they don’t leave, if they harbor them?” Brzezinski asked.
“People will leave,” Trump said.
“How are you going to pay for this? Are they going to be ripped out of their homes? How?” Brzezinski asked.
Trump said such an operation would be inexpensive.
“They’re going back where they came,” Trump said. “If they came from a certain country, they’re going to be brought back to that country … They can come back, but they have to come back legally.”
No ifs, no ands, no buts, no qualifications or hedging. It’s a really, really bad time for Ann Coulter to be releasing a book entitled In Trump We Trust, when she’s now declaring that he’s making a colossal mistake.
Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies is a genuine immigration hawk, who’s bothered to study the details of the issue, and one of the men I respect the most in this debate, even when I don’t agree with him. He’s been wary about Trump from the beginning. This morning he’s disappointed, but not completely surprised.
I’ve been joking to reporters over the past couple of days that Trump’s supporters wouldn’t be likely to abandon him unless he embraced Chuck Schumer’s immigration policy.
. . . Trump on Hannity Wednesday lamely repeated the lies of the anti-borders crowd: It’s not really amnesty! They won’t get citizenship! They’ll pay back taxes! (Schumer’s been running that con for 30 years.) Even his constant talk of a border wall seems to be his version of the Gang of Eight bill’s phony Corker-Hoeven amendment.
Trump didn’t need to “soften” his immigration position — he needed to define a coherent one and stick with it. His immigration platform has been on the campaign website for months and makes no mention of either mass deportation or amnesty. All he needed to have done was say that his freelance talk of deporting all the illegals was a gut reaction to the breakdown of our immigration enforcement system, but that further study and consultation showed that the more practical approach was to take the steps called for in his platform to shrink the illegal population over time.
In response to the insistent “But what about the illegals?!” questions, he should simply have said that it is a secondary question that won’t even be discussed until the illegal flow is stopped and reversed. That’s it. It’s not rocket science.