Tuesday, September 06, 2016

On Second, Third, Or Fourth Thought

Last Wednesday, Donald Trump in Phoenix read off one of those evil teleprompters

For those here illegally today, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only. To return home and apply for reentry like everybody else, under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined above. Those who have left to seek entry-

Jacob Monty, upon leaving Trump's Hispanic Caucus, promptly blasted the candidate for not having adopted his "plan that would improve border security, remove hardened criminals, and most importantly give work authority to the millions of honest, hardworking immigrants in the U.S." Defending the candidate, I argued

Monty feels wounded because Trump ignored much of his advice- and especially that he did not offer a road to legalization without citizenship, a chance for illegal immigrants to work for businessmen at substandard wages with few if any benefits.

I spoke too soon. Talking Points Memo reports

"We’re going to make that decision into the future," Trump told reporters when discussing the possibility for a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And when asked about Republicans who support a path to legalization without forcing immigrants to first leave the country, Trump replied, "Good question. I’m glad you asked it. ... That decision will be made," according to the Wall Street Journal.

Or maybe not, because

In an interview with ABC News' David Muir, Donald Trump refused to say if undocumented immigrants who don’t necessarily want to become citizens would have to leave the country, admitting the possibility that they could stay.

When asked if some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants could stay, Trump replied, "It could be but what’s going to happen is if you’re going to be a citizen, you’re going to leave and you're going to have to come back."

When Muir asked whether Trump is "open to them staying here undocumented," the candidate responded "I'm going to make a decision,or somebody will. Whether it's me or somebody else because by that time we'll have a secure border, we'll have a wall."

Let's summarize:in Phoenix, Trump was against legalization. With the Wall Street Journal, the "decision" whether to offer a path to legalization "will be made."  With ABC News, Trump reverted to his opposition to legalization expressed in Wednesday's speech, after which he suggested no decision had been made whether illegal immigrants could remain (in 2013, temporary worker program in Canada, below).  That's aside from the reversal in his speech from the reversal he had made about a week earlier. It takes "spinning" and maybe "spin" to a whole new level.

Jane C. Timm has catalogued "117 distinct policy shifts on 20 major issues, tracking only his reversals since he announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015."  And that was before this recent double flip.  It's almost enough to make one question Donald Trump's suitability for the presidency.

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