Naked Opinion

Trump’s Attempt to Clarify Immigration Policy

“Build the Wall! Build the Wall! Build the Wall!” Is Trump slowly showing vulnerability to deviate away from his three-word immigration policy?

“Build the Wall! Build the Wall! Build the Wall!” Is Trump slowly showing vulnerability to deviate away from his three-word immigration policy?

“Build the Wall! Build the Wall! Build the Wall!” For over a year, we have listened to Donald Trump and his ignited crowd continuously assert the building of a “great, big, beautiful wall” on the Southern border of the United States. On top of that, a border that would be paid by Mexico itself. With those three words, Trump acquired support from a variety of anti-immigrant supporters and, eventually, the Republican Party nomination. But, we must ask ourselves, after the meeting with Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto; after the topics discussed at the Commander-In-Chief Forum; and with a short two-months left until election day, is Trump slowly showing vulnerability to deviate away from his three-word immigration policy?

Mexico Isn’t Paying for the Wall

As one could imagine, Trump’s visit was blatantly disapproved by the public, especially by the Mexican people who, let’s just say, make Trump-like piñatas for a reason. Aside from the piñatas and the decreasing approval rates of Peña Nieto, things were looking “good,” per se. Many journalists were even speaking of Trump as being more “presidential-like.” But, of course, many more claimed him to be the biggest hypocrite of all based on his previous comments about Mexican immigrants. All seemed well for Trump, until, embarrassingly, the Mexican President Tweeted about his stance on the payment of the wall, and it all goes downhill from there.

On one side, we have Donald Trump informing us that he and Peña Nieto discussed the good ol’ wall, but NOT the payment. On the other hand, there’s Peña Nieto, who Tweeted: “At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall.” So, who’s lying? Who knows.

What we do know is Trump likes to check his Twitter feed often and probably takes it more seriously than he does the presidency. Consequently, he attempted to clarify his policy by the introduction of a new ten-point immigration plan at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona. After all, he simply needed a new immigration policy to make up for the one that was publicly discredited by the Mexican President.

It’s Looking A Lot Like 2012

A few months ago, Donald Trump mentioned the consideration of “softening” on his immigration plan on the Sean Hannity show. However, this “softening” remains as ambiguous as many of the things he says. Just a few days ago, at the Commander-In-Chief forum, Trump expressed consideration of legalization for undocumented immigrants who would like to serve in the armed forces. Could this be the “softening” he was referring to?

All of this is déjà vu. In 2012, Mitt Romney held a bold stance on immigration that included vetoing the DREAM Act. But, as soon as he got to Florida, he began to soften, saying almost exactly what Trump did at the forum: “I wouldn’t sign the Dream Act as it currently exists, but I would sign the Dream Act if it were focused on military service.”

But that’s not all that is replaying itself, Trump, like Romney, is struggling with the Latino vote, the voting group that was highly influential in the 2012 election and one that could definitely determine this election.

In other words, Trump’s “attempt” to clarify his immigration policy is not about improving immigration policy. It is an attempt to gain the Latino vote. And, just like Romney, he won’t succeed.

Is Trump vulnerable for a defeat because of his bold immigration policy? Should he “soften” his stance to attract the Latino vote? What do you think?


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About the author

Jaqueline Villalpa Arroyo

Jaqueline Villalpa Arroyo

Jaqueline Villalpa Arroyo is a Donaghey Scholar at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she is pursuing Systems Engineering, French, and Journalism as possible fields of study. Jaqueline is also a 2015 Yale Young Global Scholars Program alumna, where she received the Director’s Award in the Politics, Law and Economics session. Her passions include immigration reform advocacy, political studies, poetry and photography.


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