[guest post by Dana]
It would appear he is.
I don’t see how he can possibly change his position and not lose his base, especially as it was his strident “build the wall” stance that won supporters over in the first place. But, he is a master flip-flopper on any number of issues and is seriously trailing Clinton with the Hispanic vote. Certainly softening his stand on immigration might help mend the racist fences he’s built during the campaign as well as garner GOP support from the soft on immigration wing of the Republican party. But at this point in time, would it really make that much of a difference in votes, especially as Hillary Clinton has consistently pushed for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship?
In a Saturday meeting with his newly announced Hispanic advisory council, Donald Trump suggested he is interested in figuring out a “humane and efficient” manner to deal with immigrants in the country illegally, according to three sources. Trump, however, stressed that any new announcements will still be in line with the border security-focused approach that has invited intense opposition from Latinos and immigrants since he launched his campaign.
“He said people who are here is the toughest part of the immigration debate, that it must be something that respects border security but deals with this in a humane and efficient manner,” said Jacob Monty, a Houston-based immigration lawyer who sat in Trump Tower with other Latino supporters and Trump.
“The idea is we’re not getting someone in front of the line, we’re doing it in a legal way, but he wants to hear ideas of how we deal with 11 million people that are here with no documents,” said Jose Fuentes, who was chair of Mitt Romney’s Hispanic advisory committee in 2012, and attended the meeting.
According to Univision News, this Thursday Trump will announce his immigration plan, which will “include finding a way to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants”:
Republican National Committee spokesperson Helen Aguirre was also present at the meeting and confirmed that the candidate is working on unveiling a plan. “Trump was very categorical in saying that he’s seeking a fair immigration reform,” Aguirre said. “He wants to listen to everyone and announce his conclusions in the coming days.”
Trump told the group of conservative Hispanic leaders he would announce a plan to grant legal status “that wouldn’t be citizenship but would allow them to be here without fear of deportation.” said [Jacob] Monty, a Texas immigration lawyer.
The Republican candidate said that his main priority was how to handle the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are now in the country, the sources said.
“Trump is aware that he cannot deport 11 million people,” says Lola Zinke, wife of Ryan Zinke, a Republican congressman from Montana, who is a former Navy Seal.
Zinke, the daughter of a Peruvian, is a San Diego lawyer familiar with illegal immigration issues, who says she believes deportation is not the solution. “It doesn’t make sense to force undocumented [immigrants] to go back to their countries to regularize their situation. Trump himself mentioned a possible solution: let them do it at the embassies or consulates of their countries,” she said.
A Trump campaign spokesman dismissed the story as “clickbait journalism,” saying:
Mr Trump said nothing today that he hasn’t said many times before … enforce our immigration laws, uphold the Constitution and be fair and humane while putting American workers first.
It indeed may have been “clickbait journalism,” given that the story was being pushed by BuzzFeed and Univision. Except there was this from earlier this morning:
I guess we’ll find out on Thursday. But depending on the voters’ response to his announcement, it may change again on Friday. It’s really anybody’s guess.