Media very confused as Trump maintains same immigration stance he's held all along

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday September 01st, 2016

Subtlety is his thing but not theirs, apparently.

We talked last week about how just about everyone is getting Donald Trump's position on immigration wrong. He is not going to round up 11 million people and deport them. Never was. Never will. What he's said all along was that everyone in the U.S. illegally will be subject to deportation, which means that unlike Obama and Hillary he's not going to concede up front that they'll be given a pass for breaking the law. He will prioritize those who are lawbreakers or otherwise causing problems in deciding who to deport, but no one just gets - for lack of a better term - flat out amnesty.

You might not get deported. But legal authorities are not going to declare you above the law.

Because last week he acknowledged the obvious - that some illegal aliens would be higher deportation priorities than others - the media thought he was endeavoring to "soften" his position. Apparently Ann Coulter was fit to be tied. But all Trump was ever doing was ackowledging a fairly basic detail about how his position would work in practice.

So yesterday, after an apparently pretty good meeting with the president of Mexico, Trump gave a major immigration speech in Arizona. And once again, the media are completely confused about his position - not because he isn't be clear, but because they're not smart enough to understand what's going on. Reuters:

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday that anyone who is in the United States illegally would be subject to deportation if he is elected, sticking with his hardline position after flirting with a softer approach.

In a major speech in the border state of Arizona, Trump took a dim view of the 11 million people who crossed into the United States illegally, a week after saying many were "great people" who had lived in the country for years and contributed to American society.

He said all people in the United States illegally would have "only one route" to gain legal status if Trump were to win the Nov. 8 presidential election: "To return home and apply for re-entry."

"Our message to the world will be this: You cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country," Trump said.

"People will know you can't just smuggle in, hunker down and wait to be legalized," he said. "Those days are over."

. . .

Trump used the Phoenix speech to clarify his stance on illegal immigration after prevaricating on the issue last week. He returned to the hardline rhetoric that powered him to the Republican presidential nomination over 16 rivals, heartening those conservatives drawn to Trump by the issue.

Ann Coulter, a conservative activist who had fretted that Trump might be softening, tweeted: "I hear Churchill had a nice turn of phrase, but Trump's immigration speech is the most magnificent speech ever given."

There is absolutely no inconsistency between what Trump said in Phoenix yesterday and what he said last week. He is simply vowing to maintain and enforce existing U.S. law, rather than proactively tell million of people who've broken it that they will face no consequences. As for the "dim view" Reuters claims he's taking toward people, that's their baseless extrapolation. Trump takes a dim view of their illegality, not necessarily of them personally.

As it stands today, just about anyone who wants to illegally enter this country does so will almost no fear of consequence, because politicians are openly declaring that the law will not be enforced, and go so far as to accuse anyone who would enforce the law as a racist and a mean old "hardliner." This is what Trump vows to stop. He will not grant blanket amnesty, and he will not reward those who have broken the law with a "path to citizenship" unless they reverse their illegality and go through the process of trying to enter this country legally. That's only fair to people who want to come here and choose to do so legally right from the get-go. A lawbreaker should certainly not be given a leg-up on that person in the quest for citizenship. Yet that's the very thing everyone from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton to Jeb Bush seems to want to do.

I guess Trump is just more subtle and nuanced than his unsophisticated, simple-minded media critics. Looks like he'll have to spend his presidency explaining to them how policy works.

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