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Trump Supporters Back His Softening Stance on Immigration

Image: Trump Supporters Back His Softening Stance on Immigration

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By    |   Thursday, 25 August 2016 09:49 AM

Donald Trump's softening stance on deporting millions of illegal immigrants hasn't turned off his supporters or immigration hardliners — as long as he sticks to his core campaign vow to tighten border security.

"That's the most important thing," Trump supporter Krista Kosier tells The Washington Post at the GOP nominee's rally in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday. "He's still going to build the wall. He's still going to get rid of the murderers and rapists and those wreaking havoc in our country."

Another rally goer sees nothing wrong about the GOP nominee's evolving stance on dealing with illegal immigration.

"He always said that as he got closer to November he'd get into more details. Now we're seeing that," Ahava Van Camp tells the Post.

"It's not a pivot. He's on second base and getting closer to home."

Even immigration hardliners appear to be willing to give the nominee wider latitude.

"I'm not disappointed," Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Wednesday, The Hill reports. "He's going to … study the law, and he's going to follow the law, and see where that takes us on enforcing the illegal immigration problem that we have."

GOP Iowa Rep. Steve King argues he doesn't think the new tone means a new position.

"By crossing the border illegally, they're, by definition, criminals. And he has said he wants to remove the criminals in this country," King tells CNN, the Post reports. "So I would say that it would be tantamount to amnesty to reward people that break the law."

Some immigration conservatives even welcome the pivot.

"We oppose mass roundups and mass deportations, we think it's too costly and unnecessary [and] anything that pulls back from that we're glad to see," Roy Beck, head of NumbersUSA, which advocates for a reduction in immigration, tells The Hill.

"It seems like that is the direction that Mr. Trump is going in right now. And if that's the case then we applaud it."

But some Trump surrogates were floating different interpretations, including New York GOP Rep. Chris Collins, who backs the idea of "rhetorical deportation."

"There is just no logical way to ever deport 12 million people," Collins said Wednesday, The Hill reports.

"I have since day one called for deportation –– I referred to as a rhetorical deportation –– [where we] bring people in out of the shadows, go into a room, when they walk into the room, they are illegal immigrants, they get work papers, Social Security, we know who they are. [Then] they walk out another door as legal immigrants with work papers, not citizenship.

"So they have been deported, just not taken back across the border."

According to The Hill, Trump's shifting stance makes clear the dilemma facing Republicans as they try to attract the growing number of Hispanic voters – a mission that's particularly fraught for Trump.

"I can't answer what's definitely happening here," Beck tells The Hill. "[But] if he were to come out and say, 'It's fine for everyone to stay,' I think his base support would collapse. That would be really harmful to his cause."

Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions, an early supporter of Trump, said he believes the nominee will stick to prioritizing a fix for illegal immigration.

"That's got to stop and only once that's done, then you can begin to talk about what we should do in a proper way for people who've been here a long time," he said. "I think that's what he was suggesting."

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Donald Trump's softening stance on deporting millions of illegal immigrants hasn't turned off his supporters or immigration hardliners - as long as he sticks to his core campaign vow to tighten border security.
Trump, Supporters, Back, Stance, Immigration, Shift
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2016-49-25
Thursday, 25 August 2016 09:49 AM
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