Some have said that Trump was ‘flip-flopping’ on his immigration stance in recent weeks. I did not see it as flip-flopping as much as just trying to change the verbage a bit so as not to offend quite so many. This is nothing new, as he has always changed the language and even sometimes the message, depending on whom he was talking to, in an attempt to reel in some more moderate voters who took umbrage at phrases like “deportation forces”. You know those people I mean … people with compassion and intellect, people who understand that there will be no “wall”, and people who are not in favour of sending immigrants to an almost certain death. People who do not favour the U.S. becoming a police state similar to 1930’s Germany. At any rate, his “softened” rhetoric has not worked, so when he gave a speech on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday, just hours after a publicity stunt quick trip to Mexico to meet with President Nieto, Trump returned to his old bluster.
I read the entire annotated transcript, all 7,371 words (link here), and here is my take: Ho-hum, pbth, where is the aspirin, and a glass of wine, please. That said, I will nonetheless attempt to give serious attention to his speech, albeit briefly, since nothing is changed and he still has the same “plan” he had a year ago, albeit with more detail, but still no substantive plan for implementation. He summed his “plan” up in 10 points (as always, my off-the-cuff, snarky remarks are in blue):
- “Number one, are you ready? Are you ready? We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall. One hundred percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it. And they’re great people and great leaders but they’re going to pay for the wall. On day one, we will begin working on intangible, physical, tall, power, beautiful southern border wall. We will use the best technology, including above and below ground sensors that’s the tunnels. Remember that, above and below.” Guess he figured out that the wall was a deal-breaker for his supporters, huh? “Above and below ground sensors. Towers, aerial surveillance and manpower to supplement the wall, find and dislocate tunnels …” Sounds rather like the Berlin wall, don’t you think? “Mexico will work with us. I absolutely believe it. And especially after meeting with their wonderful, wonderful president today.” He is making it sound as if Nieto agreed, which is a lie.
- “Number two, we are going to end catch and release. We catch them, oh go ahead. We catch them, go ahead. Under my administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country and back to the country from which they came.” Catch and release was ended by President George W. Bush in 2006. Trump should really do his homework before his mouth flies open.
- “Number three. Number three, this is the one, I think it’s so great. It’s hard to believe, people don’t even talk about it. Zero tolerance for criminal aliens. Zero. Zero. Zero. They don’t come in here. They don’t come in here. According to federal data, there are at least 2 million, 2 million, think of it, criminal aliens now inside of our country, 2 million people criminal aliens. We will begin moving them out day one. As soon as I take office. Day one. In joint operation with local, state, and federal law enforcement.” There is no basis in fact on that figure.
- “Number four, block funding for sanctuary cities. We block the funding. No more funds.”
- “Number five, cancel unconstitutional executive orders and enforce all immigration laws. We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants, 5 million.”
- “Number seven, we will insure that other countries take their people back when they order them deported. We’re like the big bully that keeps getting beat up. You ever see that? The big bully that keeps getting beat up.” So he admits he is a bully? And no, I don’t want to live in a nation that considers itself a bully, and no I do not want a leader who is a bully.
- “Number eight, we will finally complete the biometric entry-exit visa tracking system, which we need desperately.” Wonder what that will cost, or will he make Mexico pay for it?
- “Number nine, we will turn off the jobs and benefits magnet.”
- “Number 10, we will reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, the forgotten people. Workers. We’re going to take care of our workers. And by the way, and by the way, we’re going to make great trade deals. We’re going to renegotiate trade deals. We’re going to bring our jobs back home. We’re going to bring our jobs back home.” Yeah? How? “And if companies want to leave Arizona and if they want to leave other states, there’s going to be a lot of trouble for them. It’s not going to be so easy. There will be consequence. Remember that. There will be consequence. They’re not going to be leaving, go to another country, make the product, sell it into the United States, and all we end up with is no taxes and total unemployment. It’s not going to happen. There will be consequences.”
So there you have it. The same basic things he has been saying for 14 months, expanded, but still only his pipe dream. I am certain that his ‘tough talk’ appealed to some, mainly only those who’s support he already had. The problems with his speech and his “plan” are these:
- His “facts and figures” are largely inflated and his sources biased.
- He seems to forget that he is running for president, not for king. Almost every single proposal he suggests will come to nothing unless he can get the approval of Congress. Given that I predict a Democratic majority in the Senate next year, this is a pipe dream for Trump.
- He makes perfectly clear that he plans to deport all 11 million immigrants, sending some back to an almost certain death.
- His plan is rigid, it is cruel, it is costly, and it places added burden on nations that are, at least for the present, our allies.
Mexican President Nieto viewed the outcome of his meeting with Trump slightly differently than did Trump, saying he was “emphatic” that Mexico would not pay for the wall on the United States’ southern border. “I let him know that the people of Mexico felt wronged.” Enrique Krauze, a well-known historian, in a televised interview likened the president’s meeting with Mr. Trump to the decision by Neville Chamberlain, then the British prime minister, to sit down with Hitler in Munich in 1938.
As usual, the entire speech was filled with anti-Obama, anti-Clinton rhetoric, as he mentions both with almost every breath, blaming both for everything he considers to be a mistake. In sum, there is nothing new, and his plans are, for the most part, unachievable, his goals unattainable. What a waste of time for the people who attended his speech, as well as the people who watched on television. Just one more in the series of disgusting Trump speeches. Sigh.