On the “Hannity and Trump Comedy Hour,” Wednesday night, they talked about Trump’s apparent pivot on illegal immigration. One meeting with the National Hispanic Advisory Council for Trump, and he appeared ready to turn his tough talk on illegal immigration to idyllic dreams of amnesty. And that’s after months of allowing the nation to believe he would deport all illegals.
Many supporters who adored that tough talk may have to realize it was just campaign bluster, and they really don’t know what Donald Trump will do in office.
Although he has not yet released a definite plan at the time of this writing, Trump floated the idea Wednesday that we should consider allowing those who were here for a long time, and have not broken any laws to remain.
The signs were there all along, for those willing to see them: Recall that Trump repeatedly said that after he deported the 11 million, he’d quickly “bring back the good ones.” For example, in an interview with Dana Bash, which aired July 29, 2015 Trump said:
“I love the idea of immigration, but it’s got to be legal immigration…. I want to move them out. I want to move them back in and let them be legal. But they have to be in here legally.”
On the August 16, 2015 episode of “Meet the Press,” Trump told Chuck Todd:
“We have a lot of really good people. They’re illegal…. They go out, and we’re going to try and bring them back rapidly, the good ones. Rapidly. You know the word ‘expedited’?”
Many GOP voters ignored the part about bringing the good ones back, and continued to believe what they wanted to believe: that he was going to deport all the illegals for good.
During the February 25, 2016 debate, Trump finally got caught: Wolf Blitzer asked him this:
“Mr. Trump, you’ve called for a deportation force to remove the 11 million undocumented immigrants from the United States. You’ve also promised to let, what you call, ‘the good ones,’ come back in. Your words, ‘the good ones,’ after they’ve been deported.
“Senator Cruz … calls your plan amnesty. Is it?”
After first falsely accusing Sen. Cruz of being “in charge of amnesty,” Trump replied this to the question:
“We have at least 11 million people in this country that came in illegally. They will go out.… some will come back, the best, through a process. They have to come back legally.… it may not be a very quick process, but I think that’s very fair, and very fine.
“They’re going to get in line with other people. The best of them will come back, but they’re going to come back through a process.”
It sure won’t be quick: there are an estimated 4.4 million Mexicans on that line – waiting up to 12 years for legal residency – unless Trump plans to greatly enlarge the annual quota for legal entrants from Mexico. In fact, according to the American Immigration Council:
“Illegal aliens cannot just ‘get in line.’ There are lines, but a large number of aspiring immigrants are not eligible to be in any of them.”
One thing’s for sure: Trump got well-deserved blowback for his flip-flop:
An article by Chris Pandolfo in Conservative Review asked, “Is Mr. Trump’s plan substantially different from Mr. Bush’s? Or the Gang of Eight bill’s?”
In fact, Trump’s current plan is not the same as the Gang of 8 Bill, if we can believe what he said Wednesday. He emphasized that illegals would not get citizenship under his plan. Gang of 8 established a 13-year pathway to citizenship for illegals.
Conservative Review also said Trump’s likely new plan is the same as Jeb Bush’s plan. That is apparently true. From OnTheIssues.org:
Jeb Bush: “I have a plan, including controlling the border, dealing with the visa over-stayers, making sure we have a path to legal status, not to citizenship, for those that pay a fine, learn English, don’t commit crimes, work and pay taxes.” Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina, Feb 13, 2016.
The next night, Trump flipped again, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “There is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back. Fox reports that he will have a meeting with Hispanics in Vegas, Friday, so perhaps he’ll flip back again.
In his appearance with Hannity Thursday, Trump failed to mention that Congress would have to draw up and pass a bill to carry out his plan, a bill that might or might not pass in the House.
Is Trump even aware of that? Or does he intend to issue an executive order like Obama did?
Hannity didn’t ask him that; they both simply pretended that Congress didn’t exist. Here’s some of the whacky exchange:
Hannity: You’re not a criminal alien, you committed no crimes. But you didn’t respect our laws and sovereignty. You also seem to be indicating there might be something other than they have to go back… am I reading that right?
Trump: You have to follow the laws of our country… you have to follow the laws. Now I’ll ask the audience: You have somebody who’s terrific, who’s been here—
Hannity: 20 years?
Trump: Right, a long time. Long court proceeding, long everything, OK? in other words, to get ‘em out. Can we [instead] go through a process—Or do they have to …get out? Tell me, I don’t know. You tell me.
Hannity: if you think we should go through a process and maybe [they’d be] given a chance, clap.
[Audience claps and cheers.]
Hannity: How many think they should go?
[Audience claps and cheers louder.]
Trump: Do it again, do it again. So let me ask you: this place is packed; does everybody get this kind of a crowd?
[To the audience] You have someone that’s been in the country for 20 years; he’s done a great job, has a job, everything else. Do we take him as a family…whatever, and send them out? … And it’s a little unfair to people; but we are going to let people come in anyway. It’s not going to have an effect. Do we tell people to get out or do we work with them and let them stay in some form?
[This blather seems to mean that he’d immediately take in the 4.4 million Mexicans waiting to enter legally, then give legal status to the 11 million.]
[To the audience] Okay are you ready? So I’m just curious. … wait… so the gang members, the bad ones, all of that: what do you think?
[Audience claps and cheers.]
Trump: Anybody disagree on the gang members?
Hannity: Wait, this is important…. You’re saying: if they can prove they’ve been here… but no citizenship?
Trump: No citizenship.
Hannity: Everyone agree with that? [cheers]
Trump: let me go a step further: they’ll pay back taxes, they have to pay taxes; there’s no amnesty as such; There’s no amnesty.… Look, this is like a poll: there’s thousands of people here.
Hannity: Mr. Trump, you heard from the audience… what does your gut tell you to do?
Trump: …We are going to come out with a decision very soon. The bad guys are out of here! … I’m tellin’ you.
Hannity: Let me throw a statistic into the mix here…. We have 95 million Americans right now out of the labor force. We have the lowest labor participation rate since the 70s; …. So if we secure the border, that would prevent competition, for the 95 million out of work—
Trump: One hundred percent. By the way, when he says “secure,” this is a real border; we’re not playing games.
They’re vastly oversimplifying: If Trump first admits the 4.4 million Mexicans waiting for legal residency, which he hints at, that would allow them to work. Fairus.org estimates 8.5 million illegals work now. If he then amnestied 11 million illegals, even more of them would compete for jobs. All of this would greatly affect the job market—particularly for unskilled black and Hispanic citizens—whom Trump’s immigration policy was supposed to help.
When Hannity later asked him, “No birthright citizenship?” Trump replied, “Right.”
What’s most striking is that Trump’s surrogates—even the most ardent hardliners on illegal immigration—are so captivated by him that they meekly embraced his reversal on the Hannity show. That includes Hannity himself, who claims to be a conservative.
Senator Jeff Sessions appeared later, and took no exception to Trump’s plan, which is unquestionably amnesty; with a beatific smile, he declared: I think Donald Trump represents probably the last chance we have to fix our country.”
Sheriff Joe Arpaio, when asked by Megyn Kelly if Trump’s apparent plan was not a 180 degree change from his earlier promises was unable to respond coherently on Trump’s flip-flop:
Arpaio: First of all, we would not even be having this conversation if … he had [not] had the courage to bring up the illegal immigration problem…. Now he’s looking at the situation with 11 million people. He’s always said you have to obey the law.… So let’s see what his plan really is.
Megyn Kelly: You just heard him; you heard him say…we’re going to get rid of the bad ones first, but as far as those who’ve come to this country 15 years, 20 years [ago]; it’s just so tough. It’s a very different message, is it not, sheriff, from what we’ve heard from Donald Trump to date?
Arpaio: I don’t know; he hasn’t made a decision; I’m very happy that he’s meeting with the minority groups; he knows how to relate to people on the street. I’m sure he’s picking up some ideas. But I also believe that he said he’s going to enforce the law.
However, Ann Coulter—who just released a new book called In Trump We Trust, was an exception: Thursday night, she told Hannity:
“It sounds as though some campaign consultant has slipped into his campaign. And I don’t think he should’ve been hiring Rubio’s speechwriter for his interview with you, making all these ridiculous talking points for amnesty…. saying some really dumb things.” She didn’t revoke her support of Trump, though.
Of course it is amnesty, identical to Obama’s attempted legalization of 5 million, which was halted by the courts; except it’s twice as big and maybe Trump would go through Congress.
Hannity actually defended their stroll down amnesty lane, claiming, “What he did was survey the crowd.”
Coulter replied, “all that nonsense about paying back taxes…. We’ll be giving each illegal alien approximately $30,000 in earned income tax credit refunds.” Alas, Hannity was too far gone to rescue; he quickly changed the subject to the Republicans who refuse to deify, or at least support Donald Trump.
Early in the Hannity show, he displayed a graphic showing that, according to figures from fairus.org, illegal immigration costs the nation an estimated $113 billion annually. The implication of the show’s celebration of amnesty was that this amount would go down if the 11 million were legalized and paid taxes.
However, statistics belie this rosy notion. Center for Immigration Studies figures show that immigrants—legal and illegal—take money out of the system at much higher rates than native-born Americans, due to their lower level of education. In fact, legalizing 11 million people may increase what they take out of the system because they’d then be eligible for cash welfare and housing, plus an earned income tax credit of ~ $30,000 per household, as Ann Coulter noted.
In addition, they would be eligible for Obamacare and eligible for Social Security retirement and disability benefits, which will hasten the collapse of that already strained system.
Plainly, Trump has been telling people what they want to hear, making up policy as he goes along. Going for amnesty now will lose him many of his supporters, while not earning him new ones using the tried-and-failed GOP method of attracting Hispanic voters by caving on amnesty.
The Dems call him a racist, but under their policies, illegal aliens steal millions of jobs from citizen blacks and Hispanics. Trump could reach out to them by stressing that fact, and returning to his never-mentioned but excellent immigration policy paper which says: “Put American Workers First.” It’s not “Whites vs. blacks and Hispanics”; it’s Americans vs. non-Americans.
Trump can solve the immigration dilemma without deportation by removing all incentives for illegals to remain here: 1. Rigorously enforce the law, against employers of illegals, with stiff penalties. 2. Deny illegals all forms of welfare that are not legally mandated to their citizen children. In addition, figures from fairus.org show that educating the children of illegals costs a whopping $52 billion a year. Of those children, 3.4 million have birthright citizenship, but 1.3 million do not. Denying education to the latter would save $14.4 billion annually. 3. He should adhere to his Immigration Policy Paper, and put American workers first. If he did all these things, illegal aliens would not want to come here, and many of those who are here would leave.
Common sense tells us that Democrats push pro–illegal alien policies to increase their voter base, but it’s likely also meant to collapse the system, as per Cloward and Piven. For these reasons, our catering to illegals must end. Trump started out as a fake candidate mouthing conservative principles, to get the nomination. It may not be too late for him to become a real candidate, if he returns to those principles, especially to those in his immigration policy paper.