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Trump starting to sound like Obama on immigration

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    A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent passes birdwatcher Nancy Hill, 81, along a section of the border wall Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Hidago, Texas. President-elect Donald Trump is starting to sound a lot more like President Barack Obama on his stance on immigration and easing his pledge to build a wall across the Mexican border.

WASHINGTON >> President-elect Donald Trump is starting to sound an awful lot like President Barack Obama on immigration.

In his first postelection interview, Trump said he will focus on deporting criminal immigrants and not everyone living in the United States illegally. Two million or 3 million people could be immediate targets for deportation under this approach, Trump said, providing a likely inflated figure.

And that “big, beautiful wall” at the Mexican border? Trump said he may be amenable to a fence along some parts of the roughly 2,000-mile border.

The softened stance contrasts sharply with Trump’s campaign rhetoric. As a candidate, he called for everyone living in the country illegally to return to their home countries and for Mexico to pay billions of dollars for the wall.

A look at Trump’s shifting immigration stance:


Trump said in an interview with “60 Minutes” broadcast Sunday that immigration enforcement will concentrate on criminals.

“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers,” he said. “We have a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million; we are getting them out of our country or we’re going to incarcerate.”

Trump added: “We’re getting them out of our country; they’re here illegally.”

Obama’s Homeland Security Department has operated similarly. Since 2010, criminals comprised more than half of those deported from the U.S. Over his presidency, Obama has overseen the deportation of more than 2.5 million people.

Trump didn’t say Sunday how he will target criminals. He previously has spoken about reviving programs that gave immigration agents access to jails so they could identify people living in the country illegally.

But if Trump does so, local jurisdictions likely will object. Local laws in some places bar cooperation with immigration authorities. And some federal court rulings make it difficult for local jails to hold immigrants beyond their criminal sentences or strictly for immigration violations.

It is even harder to deport criminal immigrants who aren’t incarcerated. Many live in the shadows. Tracking them down would take a lot of time and government money.

Deportation costs average about $12,500 per person, according to a 2011 government estimate.



Trump’s estimate of criminals who are in the country illegally is probably much too high.

In 2012, Homeland Security officials estimated some 1.9 million criminal immigrants in the United States who could be deported. But the government didn’t break down how many of those people were in the country legally and how many were here illegally.

A subsequent analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, concluded that only about 820,000 of those people were in the country illegally. The other million or so people had some sort of legal status, including green cards or visas.

Deporting green card holders is possible, though the process can involve lengthy court proceedings.



“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border,” Trump said as he launched his presidential campaign in June 2015. “And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”

He repeated the pledge at almost every rally.

But in his weekend interview, Trump took a more nuanced approach.

In certain areas, Trump said, “it could be some fencing.” Elsewhere, he added, the border wall was still appropriate.

The president-elect didn’t outline where a fence or a wall might fit better. But his willingness to consider fencing marked a considerable concession from his campaign stance.

Border fencing is nothing new. There is fencing along about 650 miles in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, encompassing almost a third of the border.

Under President George W. Bush, Congress authorized $1.2 billion to build hundreds of miles of double-layered fencing. The Congressional Research Service and the Army Corps of Engineers have estimated that the fencing already in place cost the United States about $7 billion.

Any new construction along the border would be a costly and complicated endeavor. Cost estimates of a wall have ranged from $10 billion to $20 billion.

Trump would also face myriad environmental regulations, objections from private land owners and a legally binding 1970 treaty with Mexico that governs structures along the Rio Grande and Colorado River at the Mexican border.

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    • I don’t get your comment? Are you addressing Trump back tracking from campaign statements or are you addressing his similarities to what Obama has done during his term? Either way do you think people that voted for him should be upset or encouraged by the statements in this article?

      • I would say encouraged. Trump seems like a man that puts some thought into his actions, and seems to digest information to make at least a somewhat knowledgeable decision. My point is the press (AP, CNN and others) are not happy with anything Trump says, even if he changes his view. Wall, fence, moat who really cares what it is, just stop the flow of illegals- not good for US or for the illegal immigrants (look how many die or are abused during the trip across the boarder).

        • I strongly disagree. His supporters voted for him because he promised the wall and deporting 11 million immigrants. Looks like you’ve been scammed.

        • Good for you. Judging by the rants and raves that was common at his rallies I would say that you are probably outnumbered on this issue.

        • I don’t feel scammed because President Obama didn’t call on my prejudices and emotions to get my vote. He had a plan and despite a republican majority in congress that stonewalled him at every turn for the past four years I am ok. I am only speaking for my family because our investments has seen a positive return versus the losses that I was seeing when the dubya left office in 08. For me and my family we are much better of than we were 8 years ago.

        • ” Trump seems like a man that puts some thought into his actions, and seems to digest information to make at least a somewhat knowledgeable decision.”


        • Of course you wouldn’t feel scammed, your a demo. But if you’re willing to give Barry a pass because your so well off, at least you ought to wait and see how Trump meshes his intentions with political reality. By the way, check the demographics. A wide spectrum of folks voted for him, and it had a lot to do with the lousy candidate your party nominated. I’ll sport my Johnson sticker with pride, and try and remain hopeful for the next four.

        • Hawaiikone honestly Johnson is a joke. He doesn’t have a clue to what Allepo is. Come on and he is running for POTUS. Also the fact is that Hillary got more than 670,000 votes than the Chump. In a national election your candidate got 3 million? He is just wasting a spot on the ballot. I think a lot of the older people must be seeing your sticker and looking around and saying that where are the Goldwater stickers. Also I am not well to do. Just comfortable. I do low risk investments so when the market goes bad I don’t lose all of my eggs. Returns are not impressive but they add up.

        • Also l am not rushing because time is on my side unlike the president elect. The pressure on him to perform must be unimaginable but he wanted it, he got it and he’s stuck with it. He has treated his campaign like his reality shows. Well the joke is on him because his back is up against the wall but you know what let’s see if he can wriggle he is way out of this one. I know one thing for sure and that is that he won’t be able to bankrupt his way out of this gig.

        • Also hawaiikone you said that I was scammed. Don’t get so upset with my reply because I was able to sincerely explain why I don’t feel that I was scammed. Seems like your a bit jealous.

        • Three paragraphs to explain away Obama’s false promises. And no mention of giving Trump a chance, nor the exit polls invalidation of the KKK types sweeping him into office.

          The best crack is the jealous one. You’ve a long way to go to match ikey’s bs, but then again you’re not a Yale man. We’ll never know how Gary would have done, but at least the upcoming four wouldn’t be so bumpy. As you yourself have noted, the majority doesn’t always win, and they’re frequently wrong.

        • Trump’s victory is about change. And our biased mainstream media must change, too
          By Michael Goodwin
          ·Published November 14, 2016
          · New York Post
          Oh, the gnashing of teeth, the outrage, the umbrage. The spitting mad media are mounting soapboxes to combat the president-elect.
          Donald Trump’s offense against God and man was that he flew to meet President Obama and left behind a pool reporter who should have been on Trump’s plane. A seething scribe declared it a violation of “traditional press protocols.”
          Tragedy to a few, farce to all others. The same media that broke all the rules to elect Hillary Clinton now demands Trump obey tradition. Somebody should remind the poor babies their team lost.
          Actually, Trump did that by leaving the pool reporter behind. It was a warning that the new sheriff won’t play by the old rules.
          The election was in part a referendum on the media, and Trump’s victory is their earthquake. The remarkable admission by the New York Times that it failed to appreciate Trump’s appeal is just the start of an overdue shake-out.
          As such, it gives the President-elect a perfect opening to fundamentally change White House press relations. A fresh approach would be good for Trump and great for America.

  • after the blustering campaign rhetoric that pushed the hippocrat out of history and into her proper irrelevant place, the orange one is using his executive skills to compromise on issues that affect all americans.

    obama care is to be revised, keeping national health care but without the bankrupting premiums.

    immigration control starting with deporting illegal aliens arrested for certain crimes is also a compromise and good start for trump.

    he may be the best choice that was available in this election cycle.

    • Fact is intelligent people new that what he was saying would be impossible to do. However the undereducated swallowed his promises hook,line and sinker. It looks like the undereducated will be taking to the streets with the other protesters. Honestly I wouldn’t blame them if they did because they were duped.

      • I would disagree, many peeps that voted Trump knew a concrete wall would never be built across the entire US/Mexico boarder. Too expensive and there are mountains to be crossed. I even told others (that laughed about the wall) that the wall would never be built, it is just an expression. The wall can be built with pen and paper and that may be stronger than concrete and steel.

        • Just to clarify, many (and I would say most) Trump supporters are educated, despite what AP,CNN and other news “organizations” reported prior to election. This is one reason why the outcome was such a “surprise” to these same “organizations”. Now this education may not be Harvard, it might be from “School of Hard Knocks”, but education no less (and may be better than the Harvard or Yale diploma).

        • Again I commend and agree with you. All I’m saying is that the portion of his base that voted for him because of the divisive rhetoric that he spewed at all of his rallies will be very upset.

        • Then he should have said it exactly that way. What you are confirming is that he lied at his rallies. Those who believed him literally will be very upset. Also I am using the term undereducated because that’s how they were described in the polls.

        • That’s the reality of governing versus campaigning. You tend to get more pragmatic when you atually get into office. On 60 Minutes last night I was very surprised to hear him say he would retain the ban on insurance companies denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and will keep the requirement that adult children going to school be covered under their parent’s insurance. But if you keep these which tend to drive up costs for insurance companies and dump the rest (subsidies and medicare expansion) then the system becomes unbalanced with too many high insurance users with chronic conditions. I think this is the case where the Hillary guys will probably find out that Trump is not as bad as they feared, while the most ardent Trump supporters will find out that there was a ton of rhetoric out there during the campaign that someone as pragmatic as Trump cannot follow through on. .

        • Hawaiicheeseball I agree wholeheartedly and I thank you for your candid and intelligent observation.

  • Hmmm…wall or razor wire fence…depending on the terrain at certain locations and other factors, whichever works. The point is – whatever is sufficient to accomplish its intended purpose.

  • Every politician goes through this. You can say what you want during the campaign but if you are lucky enough to be elected, you will always end up toning down the superlatives and have to water down your beliefs because everything, ultimately, is a compromise. No matter who we put in there: Trump, Clinton, Sanders…. it’s all about trying to appease the general public and special interest groups. What will be interesting in the case of Trump, however, is that he is personally wealthy to special interest groups may not be so special. And, he has also rubbed his onw party the wrong way, so even though the Republicans now have the Presidency and majority in BOTH houses, it will be interesting to see how they fall in line, or DON’T fall in line.

  • I do not believe Trump is backing down on his promise to deport people in the country illegally. He will start by quickly deporting a million or more with criminal records and by deporting the hundreds of thousands more currently in prison upon completion of their sentences. Their families are likely to go with them adding another million or two to the tally. He then will go after employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, which will make it very difficult for illegals to get a job and which should result in the self-deportation of hundreds of thousands more illegals. He will cut off federal funds to sanctuary cites and another half million of so illegals will self-deport. He will cut of all federal funds for illegals for any purpose and another million or more will depart. It will take a few years to get rid of the illegals, but we should see the decrease starting early in 2017 if it has not already started. Way to go, Trump.

    • Trump will or should do one more very important thing and that is to issue an Executive Order denying citizenship to children born to people in the U.S. illegally, the so-called anchor babies. Liberals will claim it is unconstitutional and will fight it. However, many legal scholars say “anchor babies” are not covered by the Constitution. The issue will end up in the courts with the Supreme Court ultimately deciding the issue. By the time it reaches the Supreme Court, Trump will have added one and possibly more conservative justices who are strict Constitutionalists who will rule in Trump’s favor. That will discourage many would-be illegals from entering the country and will save taxpayers millions or billions of dollars now paid out in welfare to anchor baby families.

    • Don’t hold your breath. He is backtracking faster than a husband that just got caught with his mistress by his wife. The only losers in this case is the ones that literally bought his exaggerations with the wall, immigration, tax cuts, bringing jobs back from overseas and the list goes on.

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