The surrogates are saying one thing, while the Trump campaign voices an opposite position. That’s what’s going on with the latest flap over if there’s actually going to be a physical wall to assist in border enforcement. On Monday, MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson was saying that some in the surrogate corner were saying that the wall would be a virtual one, while Jim Acosta of CNN reported from the campaign proper that the Republican nominee vows to build "an impenetrable physical barrier."
Katie wrote that Wednesday would be a huge day for Trump, as he plans to deliver a huge speech on immigration. This could be where we see a confirmation that the Republican nominee is seriously softening his stance in immigration. He’s already laid out a new position that pretty much mirrors what Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio said on the campaign trail (via Sean Sullivan, Ed O’Keefe at WaPo):
For more than a year, Donald Trump took the hardest line on immigration — vowing to deport 11 million illegal immigrants en masse and pillorying his GOP primary rivals as favoring “amnesty.”
But 11 weeks before the election, Trump is suddenly sounding a lot like the opponents he repeatedly ridiculed.
The nominee and his campaign aides are now talking openly about requiring illegal immigrants to pay back taxes and potentially allowing those without criminal records to stay in the country — lines that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida repeatedly used in the GOP presidential primary. Trump also says that any softening of his position won’t include a path to citizenship — consistent with the way former Florida governor Jeb Bush described how he would provide legal status for undocumented immigrants.
So, maybe this is just a miscommunication with the Trump campaign and its surrogates. But let’s play with this virtual, technological wall for a minute. Would that be palatable for die-hard Trump supporters who thought Trump was going to actually build a wall and create a humane deportation force to deport 11-12 million people?
More border patrol agents (and maybe the National Guard) assisted by aerial drones to pinpoint illegal points of entry by illegal immigrants; it's what Rick Perry wants to do. We have been flying drones along the border for years, but without adequate border agents—who have been hamstrung by this administration—it’s an unworkable strategy. Does a physical wall really matter if our immigration enforcement apparatus can actually do their jobs in the first place?
Trump may be shifting towards building more of a "virtual wall" on the border, reports @halliejackson— Ari Melber MSNBC (@AriMelber) August 29, 2016
Sr. Trump adv: Reports of "virtual wall" are false. Trump determined to build wall, adv says: "It will be an impenetrable physical barrier."— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 29, 2016
Then again, Trump could say that a wall is going to be built, with a beautiful wall to allow people to come here legally. At the same time, it seems as if the humane deportation force is out, or at least it really seems that way based on what Trump said during his town hall event with Fox News’ Sean Hannity last week.
“So now we have the person been an upstanding person, the family is great, everyone is great, do we throw them out or do we work with them…,” he said.
(H/T Right Scoop)