Following Donald Trump's town hall appearance on the Fox News Channel's "Hannity" show, in which he "softened" his tone on immigration, The Hill has published an article, "Hardliners shrug off Trump's softer tone on immigration", that quotes a few individuals such as Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who persevere in their support of the Republican presidential candidate.
During the town hall, Trump said, "Let me go a step further: They'll pay back-taxes, they have to pay taxes. There's no amnesty, as such, there's no amnesty, but we work with them." A number of supporters have tried hard to suggest it isn't a flip-flop, but I lean more toward Mark Krikorian's view on this, as he expressed it in National Review Online. It is a turnabout, and a dramatic and disappointing one.
You can say it won't be an "amnesty"; you can say "they will have to pay back taxes", but we've heard all that before, and when you look at the details — as CIS did, exhaustively, with the notorious Gang of Eight bill — it all proves to be hokum. Come to think about it, isn't that precisely why Trump hammered Senator Marco Rubio so successfully early in the nomination season? Because he was a prevaricator and flip-flopper on the need for immigration enforcement?
If you think that swirling sound isn't an immigration enforcement policy headed down the throne quickly, consider, for example, this snippet from that The Hill article:
Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), one of the earliest Trump backers, is promoting a system that provides legal status and work permits to the millions of people in the country illegally. He's calling it "rhetorical deportation" –– and he suggested Wednesday that Trump might be open to embracing the concept.
Just what, exactly, is "rhetorical deportation"? I'm thinking it would be kind of like a judge sentencing a criminal at his trial to "10 years in rhetorical prison" (collective gasp from the courtroom onlookers at the draconian sentence) and then sending him home with a stern lecture about being a better person. Such nonsense. Maybe Trump can also build a "rhetorical wall with Mexico" and call the job done.
Meantime, let's face it: if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck (except, perhaps, when it's a loon).