Trump's evolving immigration policies

Donald Trump's temporary ban on all Muslim immigration is evolving now that the candidate has pivoted to the general election.

In a series of extraordinary and confusing statements, Trump seemed to walk back his stance on both Muslim immigration and mass deportation, leading reporters to wonder if the candidate has any policy at all.

Bloomberg:

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Saturday that he wouldn’t characterize his immigration policies as including “mass deportations,” and that rather than a blanket ban on Muslims coming to the U.S. he’d focus on those from countries with links to terrorists.

Trump, in an interview at his golf course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, also said he would toss out the work done over several years on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping trade pact, and start from scratch.

The billionaire-turned-politician said his immigration policies would have “heart,” suggesting he may be shifting tone to transition into general-election mode after the bruising primary season.

“President Obama has mass deported vast numbers of people -- the most ever, and it’s never reported. I think people are going to find that I have not only the best policies, but I will have the biggest heart of anybody,” Trump said.

Pressed on whether he would issue “mass deportations,” Trump answered: “No, I would not call it mass deportations.”

‘Bad Dudes’

In Trump’s immigration plan, released in 2015, the U.S. will build a wall along its border with Mexico and make Mexico pay for the structure by, in part, impounding certain remittance payments. Trump has also said he would deport all undocumented immigrants, a number estimated at 11 million.

Trump, 70, continued eating fish and chips at his golf course’s clubhouse before adding: “We are going to get rid of a lot of bad dudes who are here,” he said. “That I can tell you.”

Earlier Saturday, Trump told reporters that he’d seek to restrict people from unspecified “terrorist countries” from entering the U.S. It marked a shift from a news release on Dec. 7 saying that, if elected, Trump wanted “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Deporting illegal alien criminals and strongly vetting Muslim immigrants from "terror countries" is about as mainstream as immigration policy gets. The question is, will anyone believe that Trump's about face on these two issues is sincere?

To go from trying to deport 11 million illegal aliens to less than a million illegal alien "bad dudes" won't satisfy the press and could alienate some of his supporters. And from imposing a total - if temporary - ban on Muslim immigration to allowing most Muslims entry into the US as long as they're not from "terrorist countries" is an astonishing walk back. 

I would assume most Trump supporters have no problem with these changes in policy. The question is, will it affect the vote of those who might have objected to those policies as they were originally posted. If Trump holds to these new positions, come November, most voters won't care if he changed the policy, only what the policy is. And compared to the Democrat's open borders policy and welcoming Muslim refugees with little vetting, Trump looks positively reasonable by comparison.

Donald Trump's temporary ban on all Muslim immigration is evolving now that the candidate has pivoted to the general election.

In a series of extraordinary and confusing statements, Trump seemed to walk back his stance on both Muslim immigration and mass deportation, leading reporters to wonder if the candidate has any policy at all.

Bloomberg:

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Saturday that he wouldn’t characterize his immigration policies as including “mass deportations,” and that rather than a blanket ban on Muslims coming to the U.S. he’d focus on those from countries with links to terrorists.

Trump, in an interview at his golf course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, also said he would toss out the work done over several years on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping trade pact, and start from scratch.

The billionaire-turned-politician said his immigration policies would have “heart,” suggesting he may be shifting tone to transition into general-election mode after the bruising primary season.

“President Obama has mass deported vast numbers of people -- the most ever, and it’s never reported. I think people are going to find that I have not only the best policies, but I will have the biggest heart of anybody,” Trump said.

Pressed on whether he would issue “mass deportations,” Trump answered: “No, I would not call it mass deportations.”

‘Bad Dudes’

In Trump’s immigration plan, released in 2015, the U.S. will build a wall along its border with Mexico and make Mexico pay for the structure by, in part, impounding certain remittance payments. Trump has also said he would deport all undocumented immigrants, a number estimated at 11 million.

Trump, 70, continued eating fish and chips at his golf course’s clubhouse before adding: “We are going to get rid of a lot of bad dudes who are here,” he said. “That I can tell you.”

Earlier Saturday, Trump told reporters that he’d seek to restrict people from unspecified “terrorist countries” from entering the U.S. It marked a shift from a news release on Dec. 7 saying that, if elected, Trump wanted “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Deporting illegal alien criminals and strongly vetting Muslim immigrants from "terror countries" is about as mainstream as immigration policy gets. The question is, will anyone believe that Trump's about face on these two issues is sincere?

To go from trying to deport 11 million illegal aliens to less than a million illegal alien "bad dudes" won't satisfy the press and could alienate some of his supporters. And from imposing a total - if temporary - ban on Muslim immigration to allowing most Muslims entry into the US as long as they're not from "terrorist countries" is an astonishing walk back. 

I would assume most Trump supporters have no problem with these changes in policy. The question is, will it affect the vote of those who might have objected to those policies as they were originally posted. If Trump holds to these new positions, come November, most voters won't care if he changed the policy, only what the policy is. And compared to the Democrat's open borders policy and welcoming Muslim refugees with little vetting, Trump looks positively reasonable by comparison.