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?