The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, on a day in which Donald Trump will meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and deliver an immigration policy speech in Phoenix:
“Donald Trump and his campaign are engaged in a desperate attempt to repackage an unfit candidate running on overt nativism. Both the grandstanding trip to Mexico and tonight’s hyped immigration speech in Phoenix are key components in this rebranding effort. The Trump campaign’s new brain trust wants to maintain the candidate’s support from a base that loves Trump’s racism, while attempting to fool suburban voters that he is more reasonable.
The new phrases that will be part of Trump’s immigration speech – enforce the law, no sanctuary cities, mandate E-Verify, institute entry-exit controls, etc. – are focus-group tested and purpose-built to remove the stench of his odious embrace of mass deportation. But this is a change in packaging only. The word blizzard we will hear tonight should not and cannot obscure this fundamental fact: the intended outcome of Trump’s immigration strategy is unchanged: every undocumented immigrant must leave America.
Let’s not be fooled. The only way undocumented immigrants can gain legal status with a path to citizenship in the United States is if Congress changes the law to create a way to apply for and get approved here in America. Trump is likely to say something like ‘those here illegally who want to live in the U.S. have to return to their country and apply like everyone else.” This is nothing but a cruel hoax. There is no line for undocumented immigrants to get into in their countries of origin. That’s why many came without authorization. Undocumented immigrants are not going to leave jobs, family, and homes in America to apply for re-entry when under current law there is no way to gain re-admission.
Here’s the test for tonight: will Trump promise to work with Congress to change the law so that undocumented immigrants are given a chance to apply for legal status from within the U.S.? If not, then it’s deportation for all, with a happy face sticker slapped on the brand new packaging.”