Donald Trump is making news about immigration again. The suggestion from his campaign over the past few days that he is “softening” his stance on deporting the estimated 11 million undocumented people who are in the United States has been greeted somewhat less than enthusiastically by some of his supporters. Trump has announced that he will give a major speech on immigration this Wednesday. So now, surrogates for the man who “tells it like it is” are out on the airwaves, trying to make sure everyone understands what he has been and is going to be saying.
One of those surrogates, Kayleigh McEnany, probably wishes she had slept in on Monday morning. Instead, she got up early for an appearance on CNN’s New Day, where her assertions were completely destroyed by Democratic strategist Maria Cardona.
Host Alisyn Camerota starts by asking McEnany if Trump will “clarify” what his plans are regarding deportation when he speaks on Wednesday. McEnany responds that there will be no amnesty and that no immigrants will be granted citizenship unless they return to their home country and apply to enter the U.S. legally.
Camerota lays out exactly what that will mean:
So every single one of the 11 million plus undocumented immigrants will have to leave the country.
McEnany responds that Camerota is correct. But, the host observes, the whole idea of allowing those immigrants to apply to return and become citizens is new, and not what Trump had been saying during the primary campaign. “He meant deporting all of them,” Camerota reminds McEnany. “Does that stand this week?”
McEnany answers, “He’s setting priorities. That may be the last priority.” She follows that by saying that Trump’s priorities will be what the voters want them to be, which is fine for some things, but not usually the best way to make major policy decisions.
This is where Cardona gets into the conversation. Camerota notes Trump’s recent assertions that the deportations will be handled in a “humane” way. “What is the humane way to deport people?” she asks.
That is the question, Alisyn. What does that mean? That there will be cushions on the buses and they’ll get milk and cookies on the way to the border. Who knows?
She goes on to say that Trump has been in a predicament ever since he realized that he can’t win without more support from Hispanics, women and “moderate” Republicans. That, she argues, is the reason Trump has talked about “softening” his stance. But she notes we are seeing that Trump’s position on deportation hasn’t really changed at all. She continues by saying that the GOP candidate has no idea how immigration law works, and that if these undocumented immigrants return to their home countries they cannot do anything about returning to the U.S. for ten years. “So again we’re talking about a candidate who is clueless on immigration policy,” she says, as McEnany does her best “deer in the headlights” imitation.
Camerota asks McEneny to explain what Trump means by “humane” deportation, but of course she starts talking about something else, complaining about how unfair it is that people in other countries who want to come here legally can’t do so because of all the illegal immigrants who are here. Then she jumps to Trump’s favorite talking point on immigration — the undocumented “criminals” who have been released by the Obama administration.
McEnany attacks President Obama for releasing “20,000 criminals” in 2015 as Cardona chuckles. She brings up sanctuary cities and the murder of Kate Steinle. When she is finished, Camerota gives Cardona a chance to respond, and she unloads as McEnany sits speechless, blinking rapidly.
The fact of the matter is that under both George W. Bush administration and the Obama administration, there are some convicted criminals who have been released.
But guess why? It is because many of them — most of them, in fact — have actually served their sentence here in the U.S. jails. In addition, many others have been granted release by immigration judges and immigration courts. Additionally, there are various countries — China, Cuba, Vietnam — who don’t accept deportation, who don’t accept removals back to their own home country.
So again, cluelessness when it comes to real immigration law, what we are really facing in terms of the solutions that are needed.
Cardona says yes, there is more coordination needed between ICE and local police. But she says Trump isn’t talking about anything like that. “He talks in platitudes, not real solutions,” Cardona concludes.
Another day, another Trump surrogate destroyed by the facts. Maybe we should just start telling you when that doesn’t happen. Nah, this is too much fun.
Here’s the exchange, via CNN:
Featured image via screen capture