A central promise of Donald Trump’s campaign – to deport 11 million undocumented people – came into question on Sunday, with a series of conflicting reports and equivocations on the Republican nominee’s long-held, hardline stance on immigration.
Following the shakeup of Trump’s campaign leadership last week, the businessman has held a series of rallies with explicit overtures to minority voters – the same Americans whom he had unnerved for over a year, for instance by calling Mexican migrants rapists, wavering on whether to disavow a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and denigrating the Muslim parents of an army captain who was killed in Iraq.
The GOP is the party of Abraham Lincoln, he told a mostly white crowd in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Saturday night. I want our party to be the home of the African American voter once again.
Earlier that day, he spoke with Latino leaders in a private meeting that produced conflicting reports. People who attended the meeting told Univision and Buzzfeed Trump had hinted he was open to pathways to legal status for some undocumented people.
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump, quickly threw cold water on those reports, saying, Trump said nothing today that he hasn’t said many times before, including in his convention speech – enforce our immigration laws, uphold the constitution and be fair and humane while putting American workers first.
On Sunday, one of Trump’s staunchest allies, Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, made a similarly vague defense of the candidate.
What I’m certain about is that he did not make a firm commitment yesterday, Sessions told CBS. But he is absolutely committed to the first thing that has to be done, and that’s end the lawlessness to protect Americans from danger.
But he did listen and he’s talking about it, the senator added.
Pressed about whether that meant the deportation of 11 million people, Sessions said: He’s wrestling with how to do that. People that are here unlawfully, came into the country against our laws, are subject to being removed.
Since last fall, Trump has said he would use a deportation force to eject undocumented migrants from the US, but his new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, cast doubt on that on Sunday.
As the weeks unfold, as the weeks unfold, he will lay out the specifics of that plan that he would implement as president of the United States, Conway told CNN. Asked about whether those specifics included a deportation force, Conway replied: To be determined.
The firing of Trump’s former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, was in part motivated by the businessman’s steep fall in the polls in August. Trump trails Clinton by healthy margins in the swing states of Colorado, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and a CBS poll released on Sunday showed him down six points in Ohio as well. Among non-white voters, he fares even worse: recent polls have shown him losing 91% to 1% among African Americans, or receiving as little as 0% of their vote, and a national Fox News poll showed Clinton with a 46-point lead among Hispanic voters.
Before Conway and Steve Bannon, the head of the rightwing site Breitbart News, took over Trump’s campaign, the businessman frequently riffed about rigged elections at his rallies. Since the new leadership was installed, he has limited his improvisation and largely read off teleprompters – again raising the hopes of party members that the candidate might discover discipline.
He’s shown maturity as a candidate, the Republican party chairman, Reince Priebus, told ABC on Sunday. I think he likes the new style that he’s been out on the campaign trail producing.
That new style included a declaration of regret that approached an apology, but Conway refused to say to whom, or about what, Trump was apologizing. Priebus also tried to comfort anxious conservatives, some of whom – including senators – have abandoned Trump in disgust. Americans, Priebus said, want that product that Donald Trump presents. They also want to know that it’s going to be a safe product.
Trump has not completely kept to his new, more courteous script. At a rally in Dimondale, Michigan, on Friday night, his appeal to black voters veered into a bleak promise that he would at least offer them something new.
Look at how much African American communities are suffering from Democratic control. To those I say the following: what do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose? he asked.
You live in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?
On Sunday, Conway said she heard the appeal in those words, even though she is not a minority. I’m white. I was moved by his comments.
News Source TheGuardianNews