TRUMP, IT SEEMS, FAVORS AMNESTYSo will this be what ultimately topples Trump -- the fact that he'd actually like to find a way to keep some undocumented immigrants in the country?
... Trump himself is beginning to seem soft illegal immigrants. The Daily Caller notes that during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” yesterday, the tycoon appeared to back amnesty for some illegal immigrants.
Joe Scarborough asked Trump what he would do about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country once America secured its southern border. After arguing the real number of illegal immigrants is much higher and saying the first thing America needs to do is “take the bad” illegal immigrants and “get them the hell out,” Trump sounded like he was open to providing some type of pathway to legalization for the remainder.... According to CNN’s Chris Moody, when asked [in June] what he would do about the illegal immigrants already residing in the country once the border was secured, Trump replied, “give them a path.” A path to what? Trump didn’t say.
“And then the other ones -- and I’m a very big believer in merit system, I have to tell you,” Trump said. “Because some of these people have been here, they’ve done a good job, you know, in some cases sadly they’ve been living under the shadows.”
“We have to do something,” he continued. “So whether it’s merit or whether it’s whatever, but I’m a believer in the merit system. If somebody’s been outstanding, we try and work something out.”
Well, these quotes are already out there and they're doing no harm to Trump. And that's bizarre. It's one thing to say that Trump used to have moderate or liberal positions on a number of issues and used to give money to Democrats. (I see that yesterday Timothy Noah gathered up all that information about Trump's onetime non-conservative policy positions for Politico, in the hope, once again, that it will upset Trump's fan base. I trust that a check from Reince Priebus to Noah is in the mail.)
Trump fans say all that is in the past. But this immigration stuff is current. And it concerns what's become his signature issue.
Can it be that Trump's fans don't really care whether he's an actual immigration hard-liner, just so long as he says racist things about Mexicans and threatens to make the Mexican government pay for a border fence? Do the Trumpites care less about implementing hard-line immigration policies than they do about hating brown people?
I think Trump could possibly be damaged if someone in the first debate goes after him from the right on immigration, throwing these statements back in his face. But it might not matter. Trump might just start trash-talking Mexico again, and the Trump believers will respond more to the nastiness than to the actual policy.