The vast divide between Trump's private and public comments on immigration


I loved the moment during President Trump's State of the Union address when he announced that the Department of Homeland Security was setting up an office to publicize victims of illegal alien crime. The gasps and moans from the Democrats were very audible. I also loved how Trump talked about building a wall and enforcing the law.

But President Trump's public comments on immigration were markedly different from his private ones. Just ahead of the State of the Union he met with the press in a private meeting and multiple sources (The New York Times, ABC News, CNN) all reported the same thing: that Trump thought the time was right to legalize the "Dreamers". From the NYT:

Mr. Trump broke from his tough immigration stance in a conversation with news anchors just hours before he spoke and said he was open to a the kind of broad overhaul that many Republicans and some of his core supporters have derided as “amnesty.”

“The time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides,” the president told the TV anchors at the White House, according to people present during the discussion.

But Mr. Trump made only glancing reference to a broad immigration overhaul in his speech, calling for a new “merit-based” system that only admits those able to support themselves financially, and never mentioning legalization of undocumented people. Overall, his speech held to the tough-on-immigration theme that marked his campaign.

Hours before the speech, Mr. Trump went so far on Tuesday as to raise the idea of granting citizenship to young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, one person present said. Such a change would go well beyond the temporary work permits President Barack Obama offered them through a 2012 executive order.

During his campaign, Mr. Trump criticized Mr. Obama’s directive as an “illegal amnesty,” and promised he would immediately end the program if elected.

If true, this would mean that Trump was not honest with his supporters on one of his most important promises. It calls into question his integrity.

What Trump is proposing to do is to go beyond even what Obama did. What's worse, he's not even willing to wait until the border is secured. Even as we speak, every day new "Dreamers" sign up under the Trump "Dreamer" program, which he took ownership of when he became president.

I thought the idea was to at least secure the border first, and then talk about what to do about those who remained here. Evidently President Trump feels that there is no need to wait.

This turnabout, if true, is disastrous for several reasons. It makes absolutely no sense to deport illegal alien parents but to let their children stay here. By offering the kids amnesty now, before a border wall is built, before the nation is secure, Trump is making the US a magnet for illegals, especially unaccompanied minors, just as Obama did. By giving up this concession now, Trump has left no bargaining chips to negotiate with Democrats, should he need their votes.

Most distressing is that Trump is saying one thing in private and another in public. With multiple sources confirming this story and a lack of denial from the White House, it is hard to believe it is not true. If true, it shows Trump being the ultimate cynic and not having the courage to state his true beliefs to the American public who elected him. That's always been my biggest problem with Trump--his lack of integrity and consistent belief system.

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