As near as we can tell, Donald Trump's campaign platform is basically three things: 1) extreme vetting of Muslim immigrants, 2) building a wall and deporting 12 million Mexicans, and 3) solving crime on day one. None of this is at all achievable, but up until this week, he's repeatedly promised to make it all happen. Much winning and so forth.
On Monday night's The O'Reilly Factor, Trump dashed all hope for item #2, which is arguably the most infamous of his campaign promises. In fact, he not only eliminated the possibility of doing something above-and-beyond the call of duty to make sure the GOP doesn't get a single Latino vote for the next century, but he vowed to merely continue what President Obama has been doing.
"I just want to follow the law," Trump said in response to O'Reilly who asked if his immigration policy has changed. Clearly it has.
So, the status quo, then, right?
Trump continued, "We’re going to obey the existing laws. Now, the existing laws are very strong. The existing laws, the first thing we’re gonna do, if and when I win, is we’re gonna get rid of all of the bad ones. We’ve got gang members, we have killers, we have a lot of bad people that have to get out of this country."
And then he named names, "As far as everybody else, we’re going to go through the process. What people don’t know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country, Bush the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well, I’m gonna do the same thing."
"I'm gonna do the same thing." The same thing Obama did. And this distinguishes Trump's immigration policy from the Democrats in what way again? Maybe we should ask Trump supporters what they think Trump means, because it seems like he wants to continue Obama's policy, which has helped to generate a net-zero rate of undocumented immigrants entering the country.
Trump added, "We are going to get rid of the bad ones. The bad ones are going to be out of here fast. And you know, there are plenty of bad ones, gang members, gang leaders." Yes, we got that the first time he mentioned it... three seconds earlier.
"They are going to be out of here so fast, your head will spin. As far as the rest, we’re going to go through the process, like they are now, perhaps with a lot more energy and we’re gonna do it only through the system of laws that -- are in existence," Trump said.
Again, this is Trump on Bill O'Reilly's show talking to the most hardline Fox News viewers, telling them that Obama's posture on immigration has been strong enough to continue it under a would-be President Trump [shudder]. This is like Trump saying he's going to repeal and replace "Obamacare" with an all new bill called "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Actually, no. This is more like Trump suggesting that Obamacare is just fine and that he'll just follow the law -- follow the law so fast your head will spin.
No wonder Trump's "alt-right" crowd is so confused and incoherent. For the last 15 months, they've been told Trump will do much more than Obama and improve the system to completely eliminate the problem. Walls, deportations, and so on. After engaging in shovel-fights all over social media since then, they're now tasked with repeating Trump's new policy, which he admitted on Fox News, without any griping about earpieces or technical glitches, is exactly the same as the Obama policy.
Incidentally, Trump told a rally crowd in Akron that he still intends to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it -- a proposition which Mexico has flatly refused to accept, obviously. But there it is. The gibberishy red-meat to overshadow the reality that he thinks Obama. and George W. Bush before him, were deporting plenty of undocumented immigrants.
Cue the alt-right's exploding heads.