A prominent feature of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been his staunch position against illegal immigration. From the very moment he announced that he would run for the Republican nomination, the billionaire businessman has generated a rhetorical dichotomy between America and those that seek to enter the country from their homelands. He has promised time and time again to build a wall along the United States southern border to prevent illegal immigration from Mexico and the rest of Latin America and has made more than a handful of disparaging remarks about Mexicans. He has also promised to deport all illegal immigrants currently residing within the country – a plan that experts estimate would be unfathomably costly and nearly impossible from a logistics perspective. This harsh stance toward immigrants has ignited fierce debate amongst pundits over the potentially disastrous effects of a Trump presidency. Trump has, until this point, not backed down on his position, despite harsh criticism from experts in the field.
It seems like that has changed, however, with Trump’s new campaign leadership. His new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, alluded to the idea that Trump would be softening some of his stronger positions earlier this week when she said that Trump would be open to changing his mind on his plans for mass deportations. She has previously advocated for plans that would provide paths for illegal immigrants to obtain U.S. citizenship, so this hardly comes as a surprise.
Trump, himself, then explicitly stated last night that his position on immigration has decreased in severity substantially since the beginning of his campaign.
Sean Hannity, an adamant Trump supporter and Fox News host, spoke with Trump in a major interview last night. “Is there any part of the law that you might be able to change that would accommodate those people that contribute to society, have been law-abiding, have kids here? Would there be any room in your mind — because I know you had a meeting this week with Hispanic leaders,” he inquired.
“I did, I had a great meeting with great people, great Hispanic leaders, and there could certainly be a softening,” responded the Republican nominee, “because we’re not looking to hurt people.” Of course, this struck many as bizarre, given Trump’s vocal dissent toward individuals and families living within the United States illegally. “We want people — we have some great people in this country, we have some great, great people in this country. But we’re going to follow the laws of this country… we have very, very strong laws,” he furthered.
The reference to maintaining the “law” is in line with Trump’s rhetoric about restoring and preserving order in the country, however this is the first time that Trump has admitted to being willing to soften his position on this major issue that has attracted many far-Right and alt-Right conservatives to his campaign.
What do you think about Trump loosening his stance on immigration?