Wasn’t this Trump’s key issue, from day one? Isn’t this the heart cry of all his deluded followers, that he will build a great wall on the southern border and banish all illegal line jumpers back to where they came from?
Somebody needs to tell Katrina Pierson.
A spokeswoman for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump played down perceived inconsistencies in his immigration platform Tuesday morning, saying that immigration is not “a top priority” among the public and stressing his commitment to a policy that resembles “touchback” for undocumented immigrants.
In a defining speech on immigration last week, Trump said “there will be no amnesty” as part of his agenda, but illegal aliens seeking legal status could “return home and apply for reentry”. He then told reporters on Monday that he wasn’t ruling out “anything” as it relates to granting such individuals legal status.
In an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, Pierson blew off Camerota’s suggestions that what Trump is now saying is in opposition to his earlier stance on immigration: Deportation forces, followed by a massive wall. Period.
Trump has, in fact, shifted his position several times. He’s flipped, flopped, and pivoted so many times that more devoted politicos can’t be blamed for succumbing to motion sickness, as well as developing a healthy amount of skepticism.
KP: When it comes down to it, Mr. Trump’s governing principle is no amnesty—
AC: This is a big deal, Katrina. The idea that he might be open to legal status, also known as amnesty—
KP: It’s actually not. Immigration is not showing to be a top priority for Americans in this election cycle.
So the man who has spent the past year demonizing immigrants, harassing other politicians for their failure at the border, and has gained favor with the alt-right, newly-emboldened racist faction of the voting public didn’t actually mean what they thought he meant, and it’s ok, because he and his surrogates know it’s not that important to them, anyway?
Too much “wow” to touch on there, but some polls dispute Pierson’s statement.
According to a Pew Research Center study of voter priorities in the 2016 election, 77 percent of Republican-leaning and Republican registered voters said immigration is “very important” to their vote, a 30-percentage point increase from 2012. Overall, 70 percent of registered voters say it’s very important, which is a 29-point hike from the last presidential election.
“Leave and return legally” has been a central part of Trump’s immigration platform throughout his campaign. He proposed such an idea in July of last year, and his son, Eric, blamed the press in November for “misconstruing” his father’s stance. “The point isn’t just deporting them, it’s deporting them and letting them back in legally. He’s been so clear about that, and I know the liberal media wants to misconstrue it, but it’s deporting them and letting them back legally,” he told Fox News.
Pierson went on to insist that Trump is a negotiator, so nothing is off the table.
KP: But hold on, this is important. You asked the question, let me answer it. This is important, because Mr. Trump can’t promise to deport every single illegal alien in the country if there’s 30 million. There’s not enough time in his presidency to do that, which is why he laid out his priorities.
He can’t promise that. That much is true and reasonable, however, it hasn’t stopped him from stirring up populist anger and championing demagoguery since entering this race. Had he presented these more flexible immigration plans, mixed with his absolutely clownish inability to voice any firm policy on anything else with lasting effects on our nation, he likely would have fallen within the first month or two of his candidacy.
That’s not what he did, however. He grabbed that one, sour note, and he drove it hard, appealing directly to the masses and scapegoating “other.” He did promise something that his surrogates are now saying he always knew he’d never be able to do.
For those of us who knew and tried to warn the nation, there’s no joy and no satisfaction. There’s only a lot of head shaking and hopefully, those at the top are putting together a contingency plan for how to deal with the next, disastrous four years of a corrupt Clinton presidency.