Last night, Donald Trump announced that he has accepted President Enrique Peña Nieto’s invitation to talk before delivering an immigration speech tonight in Arizona. The Mexican President’s offer was extended to both Trump and Hillary, but the Clinton campaign team has not yet announced whether the Democratic nominee has accepted the invitation.
Trump’s visit with Peña Nieto will take place just hours before the billionaire’s eagerly awaited immigration speech tonight at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Tonight’s speech comes in the midst of a campaign restructuring that involves a relatively “softened” approach on illegal immigration and will address what Trump plans to do with the 11 million illegals currently living in the United States should he win the White House in November.
Despite previous comments that suggest sympathy towards illegals, Trump remains firm on his opinion that they must leave; and he still plans to build a border wall between the US and Mexico. “There’s no path to legalization unless people leave the country,” he stated.
“On day one, I’m going to begin swiftly removing criminal illegal immigrants from this country,” he said on Saturday, reiterating former promises that “the bad ones” will be the first to go.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s newly-hired campaign manager, told Bloomberg that Trump’s proposals would likely include a border wall, an end to sanctuary cities, and no amnesty for current illegals. Conway slammed Hillary’s proposals on illegal immigration as “radical” and “scary as heck.”
Trump’s upcoming speech, along with his meeting with President Peña Nieto, represents a serious effort to draw in conservative Hispanic voters as well as independent voters who generally favor a legal path to citizenship for illegals currently living in the US. In terms of the border wall, Trump says it’s an “easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-$10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year.”
President Peña Nieto does not share this opinion, however, and has even compared Trump’s rhetoric to that of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. “There is no way that Mexico can pay [for] a wall like that,” he told President Obama in July.
Despite Peña Nieto’s protests, Trump continues to argue that we have the upper hand: “The US has borne the extraordinary daily cost of this criminal activity, including the cost of trials and incarcerations. Not to mention the even greater human cost. We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage.”