Donald Trump's Big Immigration Speech Probably Sounded A Lot Better In The Original German
Actual wall will be built even more bigly
Donald Trump finally laid out his real, no-kidding, definite immigration policy in a speech Wednesday night, and good Crom almighty, we're not sure we have enough alcohol to write about it. We're just going to stick to our original plan: Outline the Trump immigration plan, covering every concrete detail. Then, in our second paragraph... Pardon us while we kill some brain cells here.
Believe it or not, kids, this was a teleprompter speech. Trump has gotten a lot better at using a prompter, and while we wouldn't say he sounds natural reading from one, he now sounds almost exactly as unnatural with one as without. Here we should note, per WaPo's annotation of the speech, when Trump spoke in Phoenix in July 2015, he said, "I don’t use teleprompters like the president and I speak from the heart." He also said this wouldn't be a "rally speech," but instead would be a "detailed policy address." It did have some policy in it, but above all, it was a red-meat anti-immigrant speech, a nativist throwback to the style of his primary campaign. How good a speech was it? This good: David Duke positively loved it.
As usual, Trump promised to tell the cold hard truths about immigration, then proceeded to lie his damned thatch-topped head off. We won't get into all of it, because there's simply too much -- again, the WaPo annotations do a pretty thorough job of pointing out where he was full of shit. We'll just highlight a couple. Trump's main theme was that we face an enormous wave of violent crime being committed by undocumented immigrants, which simply isn't the case -- it's a myth that's been debunked repeatedly, including by the Wall Street Journal, where the reporting staff is still allowed to do some journalism. Yes, Trump trotted out the "Angel Moms," parents of people who were killed by immigrants, but apart from exploiting their suffering, it was bullshit. Americans are quite adept at doing murder and mayhem to each other, and immigrants actually commit fewer crimes per capita. Also, Trump pulls a lot of his scariest statistics about immigrants and crime from either his ass or from the "Center for Immigration Studies" (CIS) a wingnut group with roots in white supremacy.
For all Trump's teasing in the last week or so about whether his position on immigration was "softening," this speech was pure send 'em back rage, full of contradictions, and pure playing to the crowd in the auditorium. And frankly, Trump didn't even clarify a hell of a lot. He never said precisely what his plans are for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the country, except that they won't get "amnesty." He did make the perfectly reasonable promise that within the "first hour" of taking office, he'll deport all two million criminal aliens the government knows about -- another statistic not from the government, but from the CIS. The hell with his immigration policy; we want to know where he'll get the teleportation technology he'll need to accomplish that.
Along the way, Trump managed to spout some stuff that simply wasn't in English, like this bit of gibberish:
Countless Americans who have died in recent years would be alive today if not for the open border policies of this administration and the administration that causes this horrible, horrible thought process, called Hillary Clinton.
That Hillary Clinton -- what a horrible thought process, and apparently brought into existence by the Obama administration's open border policy (which also doesn't exist). At another point, Trump lamented that America's inability to force some nations to take back people we've deported makes us like "the big bully that keeps getting beat up. You ever see that? The big bully that keeps getting beat up." In a Trump administration, we'll be the biggest, best bully of all, because what good is being big if you can't be a bully?
Trump railed against the nonexistent Hillary Clinton promise to -- within her first 100 days in office, no less -- "provide Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare for illegal immigrants," which we'll give you a shiny new nickel if you can find any evidence of. In a stretch, it's "true," for those who eventually become citizens under Clinton's immigration reform plan, but nobody's getting citizenship in her first 100 days.
Trump also got approving applause for this zinger about the Special Immigration Stormtroopers he'd initiate under Immigration and Customs Enforcement:
Within ICE I am going to create a new special deportation task force focused on identifying and quickly removing the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice just like Hillary Clinton has evaded justice, OK?
Maybe they'll be able to deport her.
At another point in the non-rally, a Trump supporter got so excited about the prospect of Hillary Clinton getting what she has coming that they yelled "String her up!" We keep forgetting that's not surprising anymore.
An astonishingly large portion of the speech was devoted to atrocity porn: story after story of Americans slaughtered ruthlessly by illegal immigrants, punctuated by the claim that uncaring government officials "knew it was going to happen." Yes, they were horrible crimes -- but as we note, all groups commit horrible crimes. Somehow, crimes committed by people without papers are especially brutal. We kept expecting someone to hand Trump an actual bloody shirt to wave.
Trump vowed to end "catch and release" of immigrants, insisting instead that all immigrants be eaten, although he'd allow the cooking methods -- if any -- to be determined by the states.
Trump also promised he'd rescind President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) executive actions on immigration priorities. Bummer about that work permit or college degree you Dreamer kids thought you were getting. Mind you, Trump didn't refer to those covered by these orders as people, and certainly didn't stoop to anything so weak as noting those covered by DACA arrived as small children. No, they, and the parents of citizen children born here, are nothing more than "5 million illegal immigrants, 5 million!" And is he going to deport them all?
Ah, but that's where Trump got cute, terribly cute. He proclaimed, "Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country. Otherwise we don't have a country." But he also spent most of the speech railing against all the criminal aliens -- who are COMING TO KILL YOU -- and the need to round them up and get rid of them, which seems like an awful lot of attention to pay to a problem he'll make disappear in the first hour of his presidency. He also insisted,
For those here illegally today, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only. To return home and apply for reentry like everybody else[.]
Now, here's the bait and switch: after laying out all 10 of his bullshit points, Trump gave away what's really going to happen in a Trump administration: There's the wall, of course, and a deportation task force to root out the criminal aliens who somehow manage to remain in the country past the first 61 minutes of Trump Day One, and a bunch of other measures designed to save us from the murderous illegals who are all waiting to kill and rape us (with exemptions for sexy young models working for the Trump Modeling Agency and Company Store). Then here's what happens:
[I]n several years when we have accomplished all of our enforcement and deportation goals and truly ended illegal immigration for good, including the construction of a great wall [...] and the establishment of our new lawful immigration system, then and only then will we be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those individuals who remain.
That discussion can take place only in an atmosphere in which illegal immigration is a memory of the past, no longer with us, allowing us to weigh the different options available based on the new circumstances at the time.
So the real Trump immigration plan will be to ramp up the level of fear, encourage more hatred (and regrettable attacks on immigrants that the campaign certainly does not condone, wink-wink), pull off some great big immigration raids and pose approvingly in front of a trainload of Mexicans being sent southward (in wooden boxcars, ideally, since the visuals would simply thrill his biggest fans). But the real policy proposal in Phoenix was that Trump's going to look as tough as he can while putting off the toughest question -- the status of millions of undocumented migrants -- for "several years in the future." You know, like never.
Not that his audience noticed the sleight of hand. They were ready for raw meat on immigration, and Trump provided it. There was at least some evidence of the moderating influence of his new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway: Trump backed off his original plan to throw several Syrian refugee children into the crowd for them to tear to pieces.
[WaPo / WSJ / People for the American Way/ Vox]
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.