Trump’s Immigration Collapse Center Stage This Week

Donald Trump is in quite the policy pickle.

Pucker up: Donald Trump is in quite the policy pickle.

Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump will reportedly roll out some sort of new policy proposal on immigration reform this week. The plan is for Trump to clarify and expand upon his immigration reform proposals in a big speech on Wednesday in Arizona.

Trump is being forced to get into greater specifics about his immigration policies after flopping all over the place in a series of interviews last week. Apparently, the American public would like to know more about a set of policies which until now have consisted mainly of a) Promising to build a giant wall along the Mexican-U.S. border, and b) Magically identifying and deporting just the bad immigrants.

CNN explains how we got to this point, and why this is “immigration week” in Trumpville:

Donald Trump’s lack of clarity on his plans for dealing with some 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country has been so head-spinning in recent weeks it’s starting to look deliberate.

Facing headwinds among moderate voters who view his past rhetoric as racist, but trying to assuage his core conservative base, Trump has attempted something of an image makeover during the past two weeks — leaving Democrats and Republicans alike unclear on where actually Trump stands.

Naturally, Trump is blaming the big bad media for the fact that his immigration proposals don’t actually make any sense when you have to account for things like, you know, details and stuff. This isn’t going over very well with actual members of the big bad media, as the Washington Post explains:

The idea that we have “no control” over our border is not true. As Jerry Markon reported, as of one year ago, most available evidence indicated that thanks in part to stepped up border security efforts in recent years, “illegal immigration flows have fallen to their lowest level in at least two decades.” But beyond that, let’s pause to marvel at the spectacle of Trump blaming the media for this focus on mass deportations. That promise has been key to Trump’s candidacy for over a year. [Pols emphasis] As early as August of 2015 Trump was already saying on national television that all undocumented immigrants in this country “have to go.” A month later he said that his plan was to round them up “in a humane way.” A couple months after that Trump indicated that “they’re gonna have to go out,” and if not, “we don’t have a country.” In February of this year Trump said: “We have at least 11 million people in this country that came in illegally. They will go out.”

Now Trump insists that the aspect of his plan that really matters is his pledge to secure the border. Now, it’s true that Trump has long emphasized border security. But Trump also frequently vowed mass deportations, and that probably helped him win the nomination. Poll after poll after poll showed that GOP voters supported this goal.

Much to the chagrin of the Trump campaign, the media is also figuring out that Trump’s immigration policies were always intentionally vague. Or as Peter Beignet writes for The Atlantic:

What the commentary of the last few days has generally overlooked is that while immigration was key to Trump’s success in the Republican primary, Trump never actually offered an immigration policy. To the contrary, his success rested in large measure on his ability to avoid one.

And there you have it. Perhaps words still have meaning in politics after all.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    What have Democrats done to solve the immigration problem? Nothing.

  2. Colorado Pols says:

    From the Washington Post story above: 

    As Jerry Markon reported, as of one year ago, most available evidence indicated that thanks in part to stepped up border security efforts in recent years, “illegal immigration flows have fallen to their lowest level in at least two decades.” 

    • BlueCat says:

      We have even experienced a net loss over the years with more people returning to Mexico than coming in. But in Modster's mom's basement he's living in a world where taxes have skyrocketed stead of being at historic lows, tens or hundreds of thousands of Syrians have immigrated with no vetting instead of a just now attained 10,000 astringently vetted ones, night is day, day is night, etc.

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Obama deported more illegals during his first term in office than G.W. Bush did in his entire 8 year term. Residents of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras need to fix things in their own countries. And we don’t need any more Salvadoran gang members, like M19, here.

  4. JohnInDenver says:

    Looking forward to Trump attempting to get past his wish list (Wall built and someone else to pay for it. All people without citizenship or other licit status gone.) and deal with some of the difficulties.

    Still haven't heard an estimate of the wall's cost. Haven't heard how he'll deal with the property rights and treaty rights that would be impacted by such a wall. Haven't heard how he will convince Mexico to pay for it when they say they won't. Haven't heard how he would deal with any of the negative consequences of building the wall.

    Haven't heard what sort of priority there will be to getting people out of the country (other than "it will start on day one."). Haven't heard how he expects to get funding through Congress for additional enforcement and deportation costs or what he will do if he can't. Haven't heard what he will do with "mixed" families, with some legal and some not. Haven't heard estimates of TANF increases when working adults are pushed out. Haven't heard how he will react to the expected loss in GNP (one study suggests every million deported will cost 0.5% of GNP) or tax revenues.

    Anyone expect him to answer ANY of those questions?

    • Nate_ says:

      I still cannot fathom why Trump felt it was a good idea to promote this bizarre "plan" about Mexico paying for the Wall. Even in the very, very, very unlikely event Mexico somehow paid for this wall, did Trump ever think about the ramifications of a foreign government FUNDING a US national security program? If (in an alternate universe) Mexico did agree to pay, wouldn't they also have a right to insist on some level of control over how the wall was built, the contractors used to build it, the materials to be used (i.e. hay bales reinforced with sticks) and so forth? 

      But regardless, do any Trump supporters actually believe Mexico would ever pay for this wall?   

      • BlueCat says:

        I think a small number really believe the stuff he says and the rest just like hearing him say the parts they like (Mexico is gonna pay for a beautiful wall, believe me) and don't think he means anything he says that they don't like.

  5. JohnInDenver says:

    I hope Trump has to explain how much it will cost to build the wall, maintain enforcement at the wall, and deport the 11 million (and perhaps some of their families). And then we can find out if he is simply going to put those costs on the deficit and the debt or if he is going to pay something at some point.

    Once he clarifies what he thinks should be done to the 11 million, we can also have better estimates of the economic disruption that would be caused by Trump's plan. One estimate is every 1 million deported means a loss of 0.5% of GNP. If all of them go, that would mean a loss nearly equivalent to that of the Great Depression.

    And once we hear details, there can be one more effort to find out where Coffman stands on the Trump plan.

    • BlueCat says:

      He will certainly be asked to in the debates but will have nothing illuminating to say which won't matter in the least to his supporters who freely admit that they don't put much stock in specific things he says anyway. 

      My hope for the debates is that the viewership will be higher and broader than usual because of Trump and that he will look so hopelessly unprepared and unqualified to be president compared to HRC, so far from central casting for the role of President and Commander in Chief that, like HRC much or not or not, the average election year only voter will come away convinced that choosing HRC as an undeniably more qualified, intelligent, experienced grown up over Trump is a no brainer.

      Also that the debates which will not be viewed, no matter how good the ratings, by the majority of those voters will provide plenty of devastating Trump fodder for ads and highlights that do get widely viewed.

      • Davie says:

        I'm not that optimistic that the debates will do that much to expose Trump's weaknesses.  As we saw in the GOP debates, bluster, bloviation and a biting comeback combined with pathetically feeble journalist/moderators play well to The Donald's strengths.

        The Lincoln/Douglas debates, this ain't 🙁

        • BlueCat says:

          None of those was a sober one on one and the audience he was playing to was Republicans tuning in for the primaries. Even there, all he did was score with a plurality of those. I don't think the presidential debates will play to his strengths. with a more general public. We'll see soon enough. 

          • Davie says:

            If she and the moderators can get under his skin causing him to throw a tantrum or two, then yes, he could self-immolate 🙂

            It'll be a tightrope balance for Hillary to not descend to his level, but also not be so wooden to just stand there and take his usual guff.

            That's where I fear the moderators won't be willing or able to rein Trump in and hold him to account for his lies, misrepresentations, and meaningless glittering generalities.

            Hmm. Thinking about it, the one word that should bring Trump to a sudden stop is “How?” He never seems to have an answer for that.

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