Immigration is a tricky issue – push too hard and you run the risk of being called a cold hearted tyrant, but swing too far in the other direction and you get ridiculed for appearing too weak to protect the country. And this seems to be exactly what you get when comparing Clinton and Trump’s immigration plans, which highlight a policy gap wider than the Grand Canyon. The kicker? Depending on how only a few swing states vote in November, the next president will either deport every illegal immigrant in the country or allow millions to become citizens instead.
Hillary Clinton is willing to offer pathways to citizenship for most immigrants instead of deporting them, leading many critics to accuse her of wanting completely open borders. She will go further than Obama with executive actions to protect immigrants and she also plans to allow illegal immigrants living in the US to access certain government benefits like health and social security, with conditions. It’s clear that Clinton’s stance on immigration is the soft serve to her opponent’s hard pack, but both are melting under the public fear of refugees, illegal immigrants and terrorism. However in this context “soft” is just another synonym for “humane”. And since her policies will affect more than 10 million people, Clinton can use this humanitarian approach to her already considerable advantage among minority and progressive voters.
But it’s no wonder no one can wrap their head around Donald Trump’s immigration policy – he seems to flip-flop every week. Last week at his Arizona rally he hardened his stance on immigration once again by shouting the Gandalf equivalent of “you shall not pass!” to illegal immigrants living in the US. This week Trump seems to be softening on mass deportations once more, by not totally ruling out ways to legalize illegal immigrants. Even Trump’s running mate Mike Pence seemed to come up short when pressed for details about Trump’s stance on undocumented immigrants. And that’s not even touching on his controversial wall plan and Muslim ban. It seems the “we’ll discuss it later” tactic appears to be the safest response where unpredictable Donald is concerned. Meanwhile the GOP is trying to quietly distance itself from Trump without openly criticizing him. But if Trump truly wishes to reach out to minorities, he’s going to have to start explaining himself. Because as most voters are aware, the devil is in the details.
Feel like bridging the distance? Better than bridging time. Movie for your mood: The Time Traveler’s Wife