In a meeting with Hispanic leaders, Donald Trump indicated that he may go soft on immigration.
Trump began his campaign over a year ago by taking a hardline stance on immigration. He claimed Mexico was sending murderers and rapists, demanded a wall be built, and repeatedly called for the deportation of over 11 million illegal immigrants. That has changed, at least partially, according to a report from Buzzfeed:
“He said people who are here is the toughest part of the immigration debate, that it must be something that respects border security but deals with this in a humane and efficient manner,” said Jacob Monty, a Houston-based immigration lawyer who sat in Trump Tower with other Latino supporters and Trump.
It seems like Trump is willing to soften his stance on immigration, which would be a good thing if people could trust him to keep his word as the Buzzfeed report mentions.
Trump will plainly struggle to convince many skeptical and frankly disdainful Latino voters that his effort to cozy up to the Hispanic community, much like a similar effort aimed at black voters, isn’t just the result of sliding poll numbers, rather than a warming heart.
“It’s a sign of desperation,” said Frank Sharry, a veteran of legislative immigration battles for America’s Voice. “Trump wants to fool these Republicans uncomfortable with his racism and bigotry that he’s pivoting. But a late head fake won’t be taken seriously by Latinos and their allies.”
Donald Trump had months to pivot like this but refused. Now he is pulling a full reversal in order to hopefully make up ground in the polls where he is currently down by an average of 5.7 percentage points to Hillary Clinton. The biggest question is not how undecided voters will feel about this, as Trump is not likely to gain many more Hispanic supporters, but how will his base respond?
Trump’s base is built around this hardcore stance that the wall should be built and the illegal immigrants should be deported. They railed against “Gang of Eight” Marco Rubio for his perceived weak stance, however they will most likely justify Trump’s flip-flop because let’s face it, nothing matters to them. It’s almost like Trump simply told them what they wanted to hear in order to win. Lord knows what he actually believes when it comes to immigration.