It’s fair to say that Donald Trump didn’t win over this undecided Republican voter.
Lost in the mix from last week was an interaction between Trump and a woman named Jamie Eckman during a Today Show town hall event.
The issue was immigration. But unlike the usual vitriol we see whenever this topic comes up around Trump, Jamie has undocumented immigrants in her family and wanted to know if Trump would deport them and others who have been in the US for years.
Trump’s response? He sure would. And to top it all off, Jamie’s undocumented immigrant relatives are the parents of an active-duty serviceman:
Voter Jamie: My relative is a natural-born American in the military, deployed in Oman. His father and stepmother are undocumented citizens here in the — undocumented people here in the United States for the last 25 years without any way of adjusting their status. If you’re president, what will you do for those members that are the fabric of our country, that have been here for 25 years undocumented? Won’t they be deported?
Trump: When you say natural-born citizens, that’s interesting. I assume you were born here. Why do you mention that? Because you know who always says that? Ted Cruz. He was born in Canada and lived there for four years. He says “I’m a natural-born citizen when, actually he was born in Canada. But, you know what? He has no path right now..
Eckman: I’m not for Cruz.
Lauer: What’s your plan for her relatives?
Trump: They’ve been here how many years? We’re going to do something. For people that have been — look, we’re either going to have a country or we’re not going to have a country. But many people are very fine people. and I’m sure these are very, very fine people. They’re going to go, and we’re going to create a path where we can get them into this country legally, okay? But it has to be done legally.
Eckman: You will deport them first, right?
Trump: They’re going to go, and then come back and come back legally. We have wonderful people. It’s too tough to say you’ll never come back again. They’re coming back, but they’re coming back into our country legally. so important. Now, that might not be the perfect answer for you.
Deporting the parents of a member of the military — that’s some real patriotism from Trump right there.
There’s no word on how Jaime ended up voting in the New York primary last week, but it’s fair to say her vote didn’t go for Trump. And judging from her question’s phrasing — that undocumented immigrants make up “the fabric of our country” — she’s most likely among the majority of Republican voters who actually favor a pragmatic approach to immigration.
But you keep pushing that mass-deportation talk through the general election, Don, and we’ll see how much lower you can get those turnout numbers on November 8th.