Trump Embraces Obama’s Immigration Policies

He can’t make up his mind.

Reporters’ heads have been spinning the last couple of days while they try to understand Donald Trump’s position on dealing with the 11 million undocumented people in this country. For months now the Republican nominee’s position has been simple: Deport ’em all! Now he appears to be waffling on that one. This is precisely why I gave up on trying to document Trump’s position on policy issues months ago. It is a constantly moving target. I would simply remind you that on this issue, one of Trump’s primary supporters told us a while ago that we should think in terms of “virtual walls and rhetorical deportations.” It was a huge tell.

Even so, some of the things Trump said to Bill O’Reilly last night about his deportation policy are pretty interesting. Much as he rails about President Obama’s approach to ISIS, only to embrace most of his strategies, he seems to be parroting exactly what the current occupant of the White House is doing on dealing with undocumented people. Take a listen:

Last night the candidate pulled the rug out from under everything he and Republicans have been saying about Obama: “What people don’t know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country.” Wait…I thought there were hordes of people getting into this country and the President refused to do anything about it! Trump just admitted that is a lie.

Next, Trump says ““The first thing we’re gonna do, if and when I win, is we’re gonna get rid of all the bad ones. We have gang members, we have killers, we have a lot of bad people that have to get out of this country.” Hmmm…that sounds a lot like what President Obama said way back in 2014.

That’s why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent. And that’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.

It also sounds a lot like a couple of memos ICE Director John Morton sent to his employees back in 2011. At the time, right wing media went nuts.

The White House, acting through John Morton, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has set up a mandate that could wind up granting amnesty to many illegal aliens…

The memo sets forth categories that DHS officers, agents, and attorneys are to consider in determining whether or not to cancel deportation/removal proceedings or efforts — regardless of where in the system an alien may be…

Such guidelines will lead to utter chaos with thousands of DHS employees making helter-skelter decisions as to whether an alien should be granted amnesty.

The result will be selective enforcement of the nation’s current immigration laws. The granting of unbridled discretion to DHS officials will subject them to a myriad of troubles including bribery.

It will be interesting to hear what they think about the fact that Donald Trump is now parroting the strategies of the Obama administration. Time for a death hug?

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.