Since day one of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has made nativism the centerpiece of his campaign.
In recent weeks, however, Hispanic allies have begun to make a pathetic attempt to explain away Trump’s own chilling immigration-related insults and policies. This spin is similar to what other Republicans, such as Rep. Darrell Issa and Senator Jeff Sessions, have attempted.
An Associated Press story today quotes Helen Aguirre Ferre, the GOP Director of Hispanic communications: “Trump has already said that he will not do massive deportations … he will focus on removing the violent undocumented who have criminal records and live in the country.” Alfonso Aguilar, head of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, joins in: “Two or three weeks ago, (Trump) conceded in an interview in Bloomberg in which he said the term ‘massive deportation’ is not used by him, and it was planted by a journalist … He said he wants to remove only people with criminal record, not people without criminal record. It could be the openness toward a legalization.”
In the Bloomberg article, cited by Aguirre Ferre and Aguilar, Trump said he didn’t like the description of his plan as “mass deportations.” He did not change his position. Specifically, when pressed on his stance, he said, “No, I would not call it mass deportations.” Clearly aware that “mass deportation” is very unpopular with the American people, he was hoping to re-brand his stance.
In fact, Trump has never rescinded, rejected, or backed away from any of the below immigration plans and rhetoric that he has outlined on the campaign trail:
Donald Trump launched his campaign over a year ago by calling Mexican immigrants rapists, criminals and drug-dealers. He refused to walk those remarks back or apologize for them. He later called Mexicans and other immigrants “killers.”
When two followers attacked a 58-year old Latino man in Boston, he called them “passionate.”
Donald Trump then called for the mass deportation of 11 million immigrants by a “deportation force” over the first 18-24 months of his presidency.
Donald Trump called “Operation Wetback” a 1950’s mass expulsion initiative that trampled civil liberties and killed hundreds, a model.
He promises a 14th century wall to deal with a 21st century migration challenge, and says he will make Mexico pay for it.
He is looking to revoke birthright citizenship of 4.5 American children born of immigrant parents in the United States and calls them “anchor babies.”
He pledges to rescind protections for 700,000 Dreamers on his first day as President.
He threw Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of a news conference, sneering, “Go back to Univision.”
He argued that Judge Curiel, a highly reputable judge born in Indiana, could not be trusted because “he’s Mexican.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “These attempts to whitewash Donald Trump’s overt nativism are as ridiculous as they are dangerous. Trump’s attacks on immigrants and immigration reform have been evident from day one. He may not like the term ‘mass deportation’ but he sure has embraced the position. His Hispanic apologists, once known as strong supporters of immigrants and immigration reform, should reconsider their support of someone who wants to remove 25% of the Latino community from America. If Trump actually wins and follows through, their support for him will haunt them for the rest of their lives.”