2016 Election: The Trump Immigration Flip Flop

All eyes were on Donald Trump this week after he seemingly did a complete 180 on immigration.

Trump, who put his campaign on the map with calls for a deportation force for illegal immigrants and a wall to keep them out, seemed to backtrack when he told Fox News he would be open to letting good illegal immigrants who have been here a while stay if they paid back taxes. Then, to confuse things even more, he told Anderson Cooper that he wasn’t in favor of legalization and that to be legal you would have to leave the country first.

His immigration strategy is now a mess; nobody is happy. Those Trump already offended long ago aren’t going to forgive him easily even if he is softening his stance. Now those who supported him, like Ann Coulter, are angry and confused.

This shift shouldn’t be all that surprising to those who have watched Trump closely. Most politicians, whether decent people or shrewd operators, run their campaigns with a strategy that says we first have to advance or agenda and values and then hope to position them in such a way that people like us enough to vote us into office. 

Trump, at his core, is simply a guy that wants to be liked. That's his agenda. You can hear it every time he talks about poll numbers and ratings. Success in those things aren't means to an end, they are the end - the affirmation that he's been seeking. And what more affirmation can you get than gaining the title of the world's most powerful position? 

This is where it gets tough from an election standpoint. When his audience was just Republicans during the primary, his tough immigration stance got cheers and votes. Now that he’s running in the general, he sees that not only do many reject this message, but that it’s putting him behind in the polls to which he gives so much weight. 

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