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« Trump's Off-the-Record Interview With the New York Times: Is He A Lot More Flexible, and a Lot Less Hard-Line, on Immigration Than He's Telling Conservative Voters? | Main | Cruz Targets Trump on Previous Support of Gun Bans -- And Marco Rubio Too »
February 29, 2016

Yes, Trump Has Flip-Flopped on Deportations, H1Bs

In the below thread, a commenter claims that Cruz has "flip-flopped" on H1B visas.

That's true. I can't deny it because I don't like lying. Cruz has previously supported more H1B visas; now he's calling for a mortatorium on them, until the labor market tightens and wages increase.

And what about Trump?

People like quoting the Sessions Immigration Plan that's posted on Trump's website, and citing it as if that's Trump's position.

In fact, Trump seems to not have read it -- because in the debates soon following after he posted Sessions' immigration plan on his website, he began talking up how we had to get the "best people" from around the world to work here. That is, we had to give out more H1Bs to high skilled foreign workers.

Don't believe me? How about believing consummate border hawk Mark Krikorian?

This was after the CNBC debate. In that debate, Rubio dissembled (what a shock) on what his actual policy on H1-B tech visas was. Being Jeff Zuckerberg's personal senator, Rubio claimed he was going to be tough on them. In fact, Rubio supports greatly expanding the program.

As usual, Rubio told Republican audiences he was totally gung-ho for enforcement while not sharing with them that he actually supported expanding immigration, green cards, and H1-Bs.

Trump was then asked about this -- and instead of attacking Rubio for his dissembling, he agreed with Rubio that we needed to have more "great people" from around the world working here.


Rubio's vulnerability on immigration would have been more obvious to viewers if Trump had not, in effect, renounced his own critique of the issue and embraced Rubio's position. Becky Quick offered Trump an ideal opportunity to follow Rubio with his critique of the H-1B program. After all, Trump's own immigration platform calls for the very reforms to H-1B that Rubio falsely claimed he supported.

But exposing Rubio's falsehoods would have required Trump to have actually read his own policy on immigration. He has not. Further proof that he hasn't done so came when Becky Quick asked him about the line in his policy paper that attacks the I-Squared bill by referring to Rubio as "Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator." Trump's response was "I never said that" and "I have [said] nothing at all critical of him," meaning Zuckerberg. Only later did Quick mention that the criticism appeared on Trump’s own website, though Quick oddly apologized for bringing it up.

Instead, Trump embraced Zuckerberg and echoed the tech billionaire's call to let all foreign STEM graduates stay in the U.S. He went further, essentially renouncing the entire pro-worker portion of his immigration program:

I'm in favor of people coming into this country legally. And you know what? They can have it anyway you want. You can call it visas, you can call it work permits, you can call it anything you want. . . . As far as Mark is concerned, as far as the visas are concerned, if we need people, they have -- it's fine. They have to come into this country legally. We have a country of borders. We have a country of laws. We have to obey the laws. It's fine if they come in, but they have to come in legally.

Thus does Trump embrace the "legal good/illegal bad" perspective on immigration, wherein huge, even unlimited admissions of foreign workers are okay, so long as they’re given a piece of paper on the way in.

This is consistent with leaked excerpts from Trump’s upcoming book, in which he is said to write: "I don't want to stop legal immigration to this country. In fact, I would like to reform and increase immigration in some important ways."

Contrast this with his immigration platform: "Before any new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause where employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers."

Not to even mention Trump's flip-flop on self-deportation, which is now (I guess) his position (although, as usual, he's incoherent to the point of babbling on it), but called it "mean" and "maniacal" in 2012.

Republicans didn't have anything going for them with respect to Latinos and with respect to Asians; the Democrats didn't have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants. What they did have going for them is they weren't mean-spirited about it... Romney had a crazy policy of self-deportation which was maniacal, it sounded as bad as it was. He lost the Latino vote, he lost the Asian vote. He lost anybody who was inspired to come into this country.

Krikorian has this kicker of an ending, dismissing both Rubio and then Trump:

The immigration dove that sounds like a hawk, and the ostensible hawk who turns out to be a dove. I imagine Zuckerberg is pleased.

So has Trump flip-flopped on deportations? Obviously, but it's doubtful he means it; the whole "Big Beautiful Door" thing is as straighforward a signal that you could hope to have that he's not serious about deporting anyone.

And on H1-B's -- I'm not even sure he flip-flopped. Per his own pronouncements -- putting to one side the Sessions immigration plan he's never read -- he's still a huge fan of bringing in all the "great people" from around the world on H1-B's or "whatever you want to call it."

So it might be more accurate to say Donald Trump has never flip-flopped on this issue -- he still holds the same "let as many legal immigrants in as possible" position he always held. I've never heard him actually argue for the Sessions limitations on H1-Bs.

But that might not be the defense that Trump supporter wishes to mount.

So yeah I'll be a man, and I'll do what men do -- tell the truth, and not tell stupid little lies like children and 7th grade girls.

I'll admit that Cruz has filp-flopped on H1-B's -- and now has the right position on them.

But don't come at me like a shill and a hack and tell me that Donald Trump has not flip-flopped on this. The pixels on his website were still wet when he went out and contradicted all of Sessions' immigration plan on H1-Bs. He still talks the exact same way.

Update: Michelle Malkin was the one who introduced me to the Disney train-your-replacement H1-B scandal.

She was, at least in October, unimpressed by Trump's "double talk" on the issue.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:22 PM

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