Campaign 2016 updates: Donald Trump insists that on Day 1 he’ll deport criminals in the country illegally
In Iowa, Donald Trump continues to toggle on immigration positions.
Is Trump’s immigration plan starting to sound like nothing more than status quo?
Here’s a question: What if Donald Trump’s immigration plan ends up being not much different than how things work today?
That seems to be possible scenario after top campaign officials retreated Sunday on both his signature “deportation force” to remove 11 million immigrants, but also on the possibility of granting legal status to certain immigrants.
The latest statements clouded Trump’s already shifting thinking after a tumultuous week that saw him zigzag across the immigration debate.
Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on “Fox News Sunday” shot down any chance that immigrants could stay in the U.S. and become legal residents.
If immigrants want to gain legal status, Conway said, they need to leave the U.S., go home and reapply.
“No legalization, no amnesty,” Conway said. “We all learned in kindergarten to stand in line and wait our turn.”
But both Conway and vice presidential nominee Mike Pence also backed away from Trump’s earlier promise for a “deportation force” that would round up and kick out the estimated 11 million immigrants now in the country illegally.
Pressed on what to do with those already here, Conway suggested tougher enforcement of existing laws.
“That’s really the question here,” she said on “Face the Nation.” “We have agencies that already exist that are meant to be doing this already.”
So what’s the upshot of these latest positions?
It’s starting to sound like the process already in effect under President Obama.
Obama has already focused the Homeland Security agencies on deporting criminal immigrants, as Trump has been emphasizing in recent days. In fact, deportations under Obama hit an all-time high but have since become more targeted.
Trump says he will still act on his promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico, beefing up a barrier that already exists in some places along with virtual surveillance.
Trump’s team has indicated he will deliver a sweeping immigration address at some point, but it has been repeatedly postponed.
Trump’s pivot last week toward what he called a “softer” approach on illegal immigration now appears to have been a trial balloon that angered all sides.
But so far his latest position doesn’t seem to offer any new ideas. In fact, it sounds more like the status quo.
Trump campaign says it doesn’t want support from white supremacists
As Donald Trump tries to improve his standing with African Americans and other minority voters, his running mate said Sunday the campaign doesn’t want support from white nationalists.
“We don’t want the support of people who think like David Duke,” said vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said about the former Ku Klux Klan wizard, whose Louisiana campaign for the U.S. Senate has been emboldened by Trump.
A new poll Sunday showed the Republican ticket still capturing just 5% of the black vote despite Trump’s attempts to court minorities last week.
“Trump’s outreach to African American voters appears to be falling flat among that demographic,” the report said.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said he didn’t know Bannon, but was becoming acquainted with him.
“I go with the flow based on what the campaign wants to do.” Preibus said on “Meet the Press” Sunday. “I don’t know Steve Bannon, to tell you the truth, very well.”
Last week, a decades old domestic violence case against Bannon brought more unwanted attention to the campaign, stemming from a 911 call involving his now ex-wife at their Santa Monica home. Misdemeanor charges against him were later dropped.
The race for 270 — which states are critical?
A presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the White House. Most states predictably vote red or blue, but a small handful swing either way and make up the main election battlegrounds. What does it take to win the presidency?