Welcome back to #TrumpWatch, where Tablet presents the daily low-lights of Donald Trump’s attempt to use the dark forces of bigotry to become President of the United States. Central to Trump’s campaign, and one of the main drivers for this series, is the Republican presidential candidate’s long-held desire to “force” some 11 million illegal immigrants out of the country via mass deportation, and keep them out by use of a wall built by Mexico. The best Mexicans would be brought back in—not the drug runners, criminals, or rapists. Doing this, would apparently, make American secure again. Now, he’s reportedly open to legalizing some undocumented immigrants.
Over the weekend, Buzzfeed reported that Trump, in a meeting with Hispanic leaders, had expressed an “openness to legalization with immigrants,” though a member of his campaign—a former communications director for UFC named Steven Cheung—”dismissed” this in as many words.
Still, Univision reported that Trump regretted comments he made in June: “When Mexico sends its people they’re not sending their best. 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, and some, I assume, are good people.” So good, in fact, that he apparently told Hispanic leaders he was working on a way to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants, “and that deporting them is neither possible nor human,” said Jacob Monty, a Texas immigration lawyer who attended the meeting.
Last July, The Washington Post, in an extensive examination of Trump’s comments, reported that “immigration and crime levels have had inverse trajectories since the 1990s: immigration has increased, while crime has decreased.”
Also at the meeting were former Breitbart.com exec and Trump campaign’s CEO Steve Bannon, and Kellyanne Conway, who took over as campaign manager for Paul Manafort last week. All signs point to the Trump campaign making a policy announcement this week. Considering these two bits of news, it seems Trump may soften his stance, and maybe even clarify how he’d plan to deport 11 million people, which is a rotten idea. But who knows. With Trump, all bets are off, especially when it comes to immigration reform, a campaign policy the specifics of which he’s been unclear about for a long time.
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Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.