So How Many Positions on Immigration Has Donald Trump Had This Week?


Donald Trump has a busy day today. He’s meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, in Mexico, in a last minute conversation before his scheduled immigration speech tonight in Arizona. This could be one of the most important speeches of his campaign, as Trump attempts to clarify his position on his signature issue of illegal immigration, an issue that he has manage to seriously muddy in the last few days. This week he has made many, many claims about his stance on immigration. In some cases he has taken both sides of an issues without hours of each other.

In preparation for what is sure to be an interesting day on the Trump Train, here is a short attempt to summarize the myriad of positions on illegal immigration that Donald Trump has taken.

Trump has threatened to deport every person here illegally as well as their families, even if some of the children were born here and are citizens. This is not Constitutional, according to the 14th Amendment. This is in stark contrast to 2011 when Trump said immigrants should be reviewed on a case by case basis, when he told Bill O’Reilly “it’s hard to generalize, but you’re going to have to look at the individual people, see how they’ve done, see how productive they’ve been, see what their references are, and then make a decision.”

He suggested last week that there might leniency for those here illegally if they pay back taxes and begin a path to citizenship, instead of deporting everyone.

Trump was even open to the idea of amnesty as recently as 2013, as long as the border was secure.


He also held the belief that “some great wonderful people” from Mexico are “doing the job Americans won’t do.” Which is so disgustingly patronizing that I’m surprised it still shows up in political discourse. Here’s the video:

He didn’t really think that Mexico was sending “great wonderful people” when he said that they’re “sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

After praising “Operation: Wetback” from the 1950s in the debates, he then blasted it last week.

After saying the he might be “softening” on immigration, he reversed himself again saying it’s a “hardening.” Or maybe he didn’t, who knows. He told Anderson Cooper that “I don’t think it’s a softening. I’ve had people say it’s a hardening, actually.”

And let’s not forget about THE WALL. Trump has even backtracked on this, what essentially is the cornerstone of his campaign, saying that it might not be an actual wall, but a “virtual” wall of surveillance and technology. He has stated in nearly every speech that the US will build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.

Is Trump trying to pivot to appeal to the general election voter that is not as anti-immigrant as the primary voter? Or is Trump throwing out so many different versions of his “policies” that a person that doesn’t want to vote for Hillary can pick and choose which side of the issue they like, as Donald Trump has espoused all of them at one time or another?



Donald Trump Goads “Crooked Hillary” To Release “Detailed Medical Records” Though Trump Has Not Done So


Donald Trump’s health declaration from his doctor, Dr. Harold Bornstein, has come under scrutiny this week. Bornstein revealed to NBC News last week that he wrote the letter in five minutes while Donald Trump’s limo waited downstairs. “I get anxious when I get rushed. So I try to get four or five lines down as fast as possible so that they would be happy,” he said of the letter which declared Trump’s test results as “astonishingly excellent.”

This letter is the sum total of medical information that Trump has released, a weird, dashed off letter that is long on Trumpian hyperbole and short on details. Trump’s blood pressure and PSA levels are the only specifics given in the letter that is filled with typos and outdated information.

trump letter

For starters, Jacob Bornstein died in 2010. Probably time to get new letterhead. The website mentioned in the letter does not exist, although some enterprising Hillary vote bought the domain and it now redirects to The salutation is a typo: “To Whom My Concern.” Why would this doctor be astonished by excellent results? Are all of his patients very sick? As to whether Trump would be the healthiest individual ever elected, I’d really like to compare his results to James Madison’s first, thank you.

There is no mention of Trump’s family history, history of injuries, heart rate, cholesterol or breathing rate. No specifics are released about his “astonishingly excellent” lab results other than his PSA score is 0.15.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has released a detailed two page letter, with plenty of specifics and delves into family history, lab results, past injuries and illnesses as well as specifics about her diet, activity and lifestyle. It really is everything that the Trump letter is not. Clinton’s letter is detailed and serious in tone, and manages not to contain any hyperbole, typos or outdated websites.


Trump’s New Ad On Taxes Is A Total Mess

Team Trump announced a new ad today, and a new plan to spend $10 million airing in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia. This ad focuses only on the economy, essential saying that Clinton wants to raise taxes and Trump wants to lower them, thus creating jobs.

“In Hillary Clinton’s America, the middle class gets crushed, spending goes up, taxes go up, hundreds of thousands of jobs disappear, it’s more of the same, but worse,” the voice over in the ad says. “In Donald Trump’s America, working families get tax relief. Millions of new jobs created. Wages go up. Small businesses thrive. The American Dream, achievable. Change that makes America great again.”

In a surprising bit of transparency, the Trump Team actually include some footnotes for the claims that they make about Hillary Clinton’s plans to ruin America. Unfortunately, those footnotes are a confusing mess of contradictions.

When the ad says “working families get tax relief” it references “A Pro-Growth Tax Code For All Americans, GOP: A Better Way, 6/24/16” which is the official House GOP plan penned by Paul Ryan that Trump has not endorsed. Additionally, when the ad promises “millions of new jobs” it cites an analysis of that same GOP plan by the Tax Foundation. Nowhere is Trump’s current plan, just a regurgitation of the GOP plan.

The mess goes on. The promise that “wages go up” and “small businesses thrive” under a Trump Presidency are bolstered by the Tax Foundation’s analysis of Trump’s old tax plan, one that he abandoned weeks ago, and removed from his website.

Trump’s original tax plan from almost a year ago that is referenced in the ad had tax levels of 0%, 15% and 25%. Trump has abandoned that plan in favor of the less ludicrous 12%, 25% and 33% bracket supported by the GOP, and referenced in the earlier part of the ad.

There are other big differences between the two plans that Trump references in the ad and the candidate’s current plan. Those are all different plans, in case you weren’t reaading closely. Trump’s plan would keep a deduction on business loans that is expected to cause a $1.2 trillion shortfall over 10 years, among other differences. The GOP plan omits this deduction.

This ad is further evidence that the Trump Team does not have a coherent tax plan, and seems to be falling back on their GOP peers to do the heavy lifting in crafting a viable tax policy. It is truly amazing that the Trump campaign would announce only their second official television ad that is full of contradictions and outdated sources and policies.


Click to access ABetterWay-Tax-PolicyPaper.pdf

Trump Says “KKK Member” Is Hillary’s Mentor, Though He Quit in the 1940s


In an apparent round of “I know you are but what am I” on the election playground, Donald Trump responded to accusations of bigotry and racism this week by drudging up a somewhat embarrassing Hillary Clinton story of racism that happened in the 1940s and 1950s. Here is a video of Hillary Clinton praising West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd upon his passing in 2010.

Robert Byrd contributed to the founding of the Ku Klux Klan chapter in his home town of Sophia, WV in the 1940s. “After about a year, I became disinterested, quit paying my dues, and dropped my membership in the organization,” Robert Byrd said in 1952 of his short involvement with the KKK. So that was more than 65 years ago that Byrd was involved with the KKK. Since then he was one of the longest serving Congressmen in history, serving for 57 years until his death in 2010.

He has repeatedly apologized for his participation in the organization, and it dogged him throughout his political career. “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times … and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened,” Byrd said in his memoir.

It is disingenuous for Trump to retweet the statement by Diamond and Silk using the present tense for Byrd’s KKK membership, saying that “she said a KKK member was her mentor.” That implies that he is a current member, not a lifetime congressmen who disavowed the Ku Klux Klan when Truman was president and later became an advocate for civil rights.

The NAACP has come to the defense of Clinton, saying that Robert Byrd’s life should be “championed.”

“Senator Byrd reflects the transformative power of this nation,” stated NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Senator Byrd went from being an active member of the KKK to a being a stalwart supporter of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and many other pieces of seminal legislation that advanced the civil rights and liberties of our country.”

What is more American than this story? A man sees the folly of his racist youth, and spends his entire life making up for it. He spent 57 years serving the public in Congress as a champion of civil rights, even receiving a “100% rating” from the NAACP.


Yes, Robert Byrd Was Once In The KKK, And Yes, It’s OK That Hillary Clinton Once Praised Him, Here’s Why

Donald Trump Isn’t Telling the Truth About Clinton’s Emails


In a press release on Thursday with the calm and understated title of “DONALD J. TRUMP ADDRESSES CLINTON CORRUPTION AND HER SABOTAGE OF THE INNER CITIES,” Donald Trump distorted the news of Hillary Clinton’s discovered emails by accusing her of leading a “major criminal enterprise,” and exaggerating the number of emails by 100%.

Hillary Clinton’s actions constitute all of the elements of a major criminal enterprise.

She created a private illegal email server in order to hide her corrupt dealings. She did so knowing full well it would put American lives at risk by making classified information highly vulnerable to foreign hacking. But, she didn’t care – as long as it helped her get away with her crime, no risk to America was too great.

Then, to further cover-up her crime, she deleted 33,000 emails to keep them out of the hands of authorities and the American public.

As a further element of the criminal cover-up, she claimed under penalty of perjury that she turned over all of her work related emails. We now know this to be one more massive Clinton lie. The FBI found thousands of work-related emails she failed to turn over, including the new discovery this week of 15,000 more work-related emails she failed to disclose.

While it is true that the FBI found thousands of work-related emails the Clinton campaign did not turn over, there was no new “discovery” of 15,000 more emails. The FBI actually found 14,900 work related emails total in their year long investigation, many of which were not work related and thus irrelevant to the investigation. So Trump exaggerated the number of emails by more than 100%.

Trump accused Clinton of deleting the emails to “cover-up her crime,” but a massive FBI investigation failed to turn up any crime. Director Comey went so far as to state that “no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.” Comey recommended that no criminal charges be filed and that there were no violations committed concerning the handling of classified material.

Comey went on to say that it “there was no archiving at all of her e-mails, so it is not surprising that we discovered e-mails that were not on Secretary Clinton’s system in 2014, when she produced the 30,000 e-mails to the State Department.”

Trump retweeted an article from Daily Caller that alleges that the Clinton office used an email shredder called BleachBit to completely delete emails. While giving a much higher level of security to deleted emails, which seems like a good thing, it consequently makes them much harder to recover. The FBI didn’t comment on the use of the shredder, or if the emails uncovered were part of the emails disposed of in this way.

Trump is lying that the FBI just found a “new discovery” of 15,000 emails. That is just didn’t happen. 15,000 is the total number of emails turned over to the FBI, but Trump couldn’t be bothered to fact check himself. Would it have made any difference if he knew it was untrue?

Trump is also making a completely unsubstantiated claim that she deleted the emails to “cover-up her crime,” a claim that for which he provides no evidence and is direct opposition to the findings of an intense FBI investigation.


Hillary Clinton Deleted Emails Using Program Intended To ‘Prevent Recovery’

Hillary Clinton Deleted Emails Using Program Intended To ‘Prevent Recovery’

Trump’s Dire Assessment of African American Communities Continues To Be Wrong


Donald Trump continued his appeal to African American today on Twitter. Or, if you believe the theory I proposed yesterday, Donald Trump continued his appeal to white voters to make them think that he isn’t racist. In any case, he brought up three statistics that he claimed were getting much worse for African Americans. Let’s dig in.

Yesterday on Twitter Donald Trump said “So many in the African-American community are doing so badly, poverty and crime way up, employment and jobs way down: I will fix it, promise.” Are poverty and crime up among African Americans and employment down?

poverty 2.PNG

According to the wonderfully graph heavy website Black Demographics, poverty among African Americans is down slightly from a high in 2010. While the current rate of 22.9% of Africans Americans living in poverty is up from a low of 19.3% in 2001, it is down from the rate of 24.1% in 2010 and well below the 29.3% of the early 1990s. So no, poverty is not “way up” among African Americans.

homicide 2

Despite the doom and gloom of Donald Trump, crime rates in America are way down, and black homicides are no exception. Drug arrests are down too.

Drug arrest rates

So what about employment and jobs? Surely one of the “facts” that Trump tweeted out was actually true. Unemployment among African Americans is also down. A recent estimate puts black unemployment at around 8.8% in March, falling by nearly in half since 2011.






Is Donald Trump Actually Speaking To White Voters When Courting Black Voters?

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Fort Worth

This week Trump has seemingly been attempting to court African American votes by appealing directly to black voters and addressing what he sees as the problems of the black community. Did he speech in black communities? Traditionally African American churches or colleges? No, he has been speaking to 99% white audiences in largely white areas. For example, he unveiled this new tack in Dimondale, MI, which is 92.7% white and only 0.7% black according to the 2010 census.

But is Trump appealing to the black community? His polling is dismal with African American voters, somewhere south of 7% nationally and as low as 1% in some key areas. Is he really attempting to persuade them by giving an ignorant and exaggerated stereotype of urban “war zones?”

“Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing. No homes. No ownership. Crime at levels nobody has seen,” Trump said to nearly all white audience in Akron, OH on Monday. “You can go to war zones in countries that we’re fighting and it’s safer than living in some of our inner cities. They’re run by the Democrats.”

He added a few adjectives from his previous statement where he posited the following in 92.7% white Dimondale, MI where he asked “What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose?” he said. “You live in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”

In painting this picture of war torn squalor and post-apocalyptic chaos, Trump is aiming his message not at the African American community, but directly at the white voters. He is simultaneously trying to prove to educated white voters that he is not racist by at least acknowledging that African Americans exist, while reinforcing what white supremacists already think about black communities.

“Look, it is a disaster the way African Americans are living,” he said. “We’ll get rid of the crime. You’ll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot.” To a white supremacist that sounds like increasing police presence in African American neighborhoods. “I know police in Chicago,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly. “If they were given the authority to do it, they would get it done.” Sounds like a call to for a real police crack down on those communities, doesn’t it? Something that the small cadre of supremacist Trump can really get behind.

Maybe this theory on appealing to white supremacists is giving Trump too much credit. What does seem more logical is that he is attempting to tell the educated white voters who traditionally vote Republican that he isn’t racist. He just did it in the most pandering way possible, reducing the complex problems of the African American community to a set of negative stereotypes. That doesn’t really prove that he isn’t a racist, and in fact probably does more to point to how ignorant he really is.


Trump Claims Hillary Clinton Wants To “Print Instant Work Permits” For Illegal Immigrants

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Fort Worth

At a rally in Wisconsin last week Donald Trump made an incredible claim about Hillary Clinton’s immigration proposals while clumsily trying to appeal to African-Americans.

“Now she’s proposing to print instant work permits for millions of illegal immigrants to come in and take everybody’s jobs, including low-income African-Americans,” Trump said to the gathered crowd. A cursory look reveals that pretty much this entire statement is false.

The Trump campaign refers to Clinton’s plan to fast track visas for foreign students that have graduated with high skilled degrees, promising to “staple” a visa to their Masters or PhD degree. This only applies to highly talented students that are in the US legally but would be sent back to their countries due to visa backlogs, not “millions of illegal immigrants.”

This only applies to graduates with a Masters or Doctorate degree in science, technology, engineering or math and thus would not be a threat to the “low-income” African Americans that Donald Trump is pandering to. “Everybody’s jobs” that they might be taking would be highly skilled position that the US desperately needs filled, and in many cases does not have enough native born applicants.

Hillary Clinton enjoys a 87% support rate among black voters. Trump has about 8%. That is a 79% advantage. Why would Clinton cook up a scheme to give African American jobs to illegal immigrants? It is unlikely that Hillary Clinton is going to alienate her strongest base in favor of a foreign minority that can’t vote.


Trump Reverses Course On a Number of Immigration Issues

Donald Trump has made a stern and tough immigration policy a cornerstone of his candidacy for President. From building a wall that Mexico will pay for to deporting all 11 million illegal immigrants in the US to painting all illegal immigrants as rapists and criminals, Donald Trump has taken a very hard line and unwavering stance against illegal immigration in the US.

That seemed to change yesterday as Donald Trump seemed to make some shocking reversals of his immigration policies. He even praised the deportation policies of the Obama administrations telling Bill O’Reilly this:

The first thing we’re gonna do, if and when I win, is we’re gonna get rid of all the bad ones. We have gang members, we have killers, we have a lot of bad people that have to get out of this country…they’re gonna be out of this country so fast your head will spin. We have existing laws that allow you to do that. As far as everybody else, we’re going to go through the process. What people don’t know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country. Bush, the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well, I’m going to do the same thing.

Trump’s new Hispanic advisors have leaked that there may be a shift in the candidate’s immigration policy, as his new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that it was “to be determined” whether a President Trump would attempt to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants in the US today.

Though Obama has deported many more illegal immigrants than any President in history, it is still surprising that Trump would praise President Obama for anything, much less parts of his immigration policy. Trump accused Hillary Clinton in his most recent attack ad of supporting “open borders,” but then praises the status quo for having “existing laws that allow you” to deport illegal immigrants.

Trump also said that “we’re going to get rid of all the bad ones,” which is essentially what has been happening for years under Obama. The Obama administration has been cracking down on criminals and gang members, though trying to create a path to citizenship for other law abiding people here without documentation. Trump would probably not endorse that policy.

It seems that through the advisement of his “Hispanic Team” Donald Trump is trying to appeal to some Latino voters by embracing Obama’s status quo of deportation enforcement, despite the vitriol of his rhetoric in the past. It is yet to be seen if this is a permanent policy shift, or a knee jerk response to falling polls. Trump may forget about this change of heart if his poll numbers don’t improve among Hispanics or if some other policy shift catches his eye.


Donald Trump’s First TV Ad Is Literally Completely Composed of Lies, Averaging One Lie Every 3.5 Seconds

Donald Trump just released his first official television spot. Much has been made of the disparity in television ad spending between the two candidates, as Hillary Clinton has outspent the GOP candidate $61 million to $4 million.

In keeping with Trump’s overall campaign, his first ad does not bear a lot of resemblance to reality. Politicus USA goes so far as to make the astonishing claim that this ad averages one lie every four seconds. Let’s take a look at the claims one by one.

“In Hillary Clinton’s America the system stays rigged against Americans.”
Donald Trump has been hitting this one hard lately. As the voice over in the ad says this line, there is a picture of a “Vote Here” sign and the words “system rigged” underneath it in case there was any doubt that he was talking about a rigged election. The last bastion of losers, if you can’t win you might as well say the system is rigged against you. The fact is that voter fraud is excedingly rare. Donald Trump has never produced any evidence that any national election in America has ever been rigged, much less that this election is “rigged.” The conspiracy necessary to fix a national election boggles the mind.

“Syrian refugees flood in.”
I suppose it depends on how you define “flooding in.” As of August 19th, the US has admitted 10,981 refugees from Syria since 2011, surpassing President Obama’s goal of 10,000. The ad shows a quote from Hillary Clinton that the “U.S. should take in 65,000 refugees.” She did say that, but the ad is disingenuous in portraying that as the actual number that the US has taken in when the real number is about 15% of that.

“Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay”
That isn’t what Hillary Clinton said in March:
“But if you are asking about everyone who is already here, undocumented immigrants, the 11-12 million who are living here, my priorities are to deport violent criminals, terrorists, and anyone who threatens our safety. So I do not have the same policy as the current administration does. I think it’s important that we move to our comprehensive immigration reform, but at the same time, stop the raids, stop the round-ups, stop the deporting of people who are living here doing their lives, doing their jobs, and that’s my priority.”

“Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay collecting Social Security benefits”
This doesn’t really make sense, as it is the opposite. Illegal immigrants are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits and actually paid $12 billion into the system while never being able to take it out. So this claim isn’t just false, it actually benefits the Social Security system to have illegal immigrants.

“Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line.”
They also can’t “skip the line.” If an illegal immigrant does manage to get legal status, they are required to pay into the system for 10 years before receiving any benefits from the Social Security system.

“Our border open, it’s more of the same, but worse.
Hillary Clinton is not for open borders, though she does propose immigration reform and to make the legal immigration process simpler. “We need to secure our borders. I’m for it, I voted for it, I believe in it, and we also need to deal with the families, the workers who are here, who have made contributions, and their children,” she said in November of 2015. “We can do more to secure our border, and we should do more to deal with the 11 or 12 million people who are here, get them out of the shadows.” She voted for legislation that would “create a path to citizenship,” but would also allocate money for strengthening border security.

Donald Trump’s America is secure. Terrorists and dangerous criminals kept out. The border secure, our families safe.
Donald Trump does not have a feasible plan for keeping terrorists, dangerous criminals or illegal immigrants out. He has proposed a ban on Muslims, and a wall on the border that Mexico will pay for, but has not actually released any details about how these things would happen. To say that America would be completely secure, have criminals and terrorists kept out, keep the border secure and everyone safe is absurd.

Change that makes America safe again.
The problem with this statement is that America is actually safer now than it ever has been before. You can’t make America safe “again” if has never been safer than it is now. Jonathan Rauch says that “America is safer than it has ever been and very likely safer than any country has ever been,” citing the lack of wars and historically low crime, as well as advancing medical technology. Terrorism is much less of a threat now than in the 1970s and 80s, with your chances of being killed in a terrorist today pegged somewhere between 950,000 to 3.5 million to one.

Donald Trump for President. I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message.
Ok, this statement is actually probably true. Donald Trump is running for President, and he did approve this message. This is literally the only true statement in this entire ad.

By my count that is eight lies in a thirty second spot. That puts the average at a whopping one lie per 3.5 seconds, actually making my count more lies than Politicus. This ad is completely composed of lies, with the exception that Donald Trump, an inveterate liar, approves this message.


Fact Check Devastates Trump As His First Ad Averages 1 Lie Every 4 Seconds

Unfit Demagogue Releases Ad Full of Lies