According to a new report from NBC News, Donald Trump’s formation of an Hispanic Advisory Council could signal a shift away from one of his most controversial proposals: the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants.
“Three of the Hispanics who are part of Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council spoke with NBC Latino after the meeting [on Saturday],” wrote NBC News. “Each spoke of an ‘open-minded Trump who asked for their ideas on how to address the estimated 11 million people in the country without legal status.”
According to the report, attendee Jacob Monty expected to see Trump propose a new way forward in a speech this week.
“I really liked that Trump acknowledged that there is a big problem with the 11 million people who are here,” said Monty, “and that deporting them is neither possible nor humane.”
Trump’s mass deportation proposal was always overshadowed by the centerpiece of his illegal immigration plan: a magnificent wall across the Mexican border. Even some of Trump’s biggest supporters have praised the wall while expressing doubt about the candidate’s plans to deport million of immigrants. The cost of such a roundup would be astronomical, and support for the proposal is weak even amongst hardline conservatives.
According to Monty, that plan is out. He didn’t say that Trump would consider granting amnesty, but he did say that many of those 11 million illegal immigrants would be allowed to stay “without fear of deportation.”
Members of the Never Trump camp will present this shift as a betrayal that proves the New York billionaire played American for suckers in the Republican primaries – that his new discretionary deportation proposal is just the Obama Doctrine under another name. And if some of Trump’s supporters see it that way, well, that’s understandable. No matter how you slice it, the end result is that 11 million illegal immigrants will continue to benefit from breaking this country’s border laws.
On the other hand, there is a difference between Trump’s (supposed) new proposal and “amnesty” as it has been defined by this president and his would-be Democratic successor. Obama’s “prosecutorial discretion” on deportations is not the problem. Far more dangerous were his attempts to go beyond that privilege using executive orders. In those orders, Obama didn’t just exempt certain illegal immigrants from deportation; he put them on a path to a quasi-citizenship, thus laying the bait for another surge.
If Trump can carry through on his promise to secure the border, we can manage our way around the illegals who have already rooted themselves in the United States. Is this the ideal way forward? Maybe, maybe not.
But it’s still far better than what Hillary Clinton has in store for us.