In the Rose Garden yesterday, President Trump began to carve out the differences between himself and his opponent, Joe Biden. What started out as typical President Trump rhetoric took a quick turn, leaving his core supporters reveling about what his campaign will do for illegal immigration, and how that will affect the upcoming election.
President Trump said he would introduce “merit” migration into the country’s immigration policies. This essentially means immigrants that have some skill will go in front of the line than someone without it. The problem with this, however, is it goes against his “America First” promise to his voters, who want middle-class jobs for Americans, not foreigners.
In particular, Breitbart News voiced their concern with merit migration. On their Instagram, they wrote, “With over 100 days until the election and tens of millions of Americans out of work, President Trump promised to welcome white-collar “merit” migrants into U.S. jobs.”
Conservatives are also having trouble with President Trump’s promise to find a path forward for DACA. Trump said that while Democrats used DACA for political gains, he would “get something done.” Shifting his tone completely for trying to reverse DACA, Trump said, “We’ll be taking care of people from DACA in a very Republican way…I’ve spoken to many Republicans, and some would like to leave it out, but, really, they understand that it’s the right thing to do.”
Why this matters: President Trump’s harsh stance on illegal immigration in an environment it is considered politically incorrect, and therefore, most politicians are fearful to take a hard line on the topic, is one of the main reasons Trump beat Clinton in 2016. While Trump criticized Biden’s election promise for more low-income immigration and refugees, introducing merit based migration does not sit well with many of Trump’s supporters. And more than anything, a path forward with DACA is a nail in the coffin. Jared Kushner, a former Democrat from New York City, is considered to be the pusher of migrant based migration. As reports come in that Trump’s campaign is losing its message, going off from one of they key talking points in 2016 could have a huge impact on November. Furthermore, it seems like Trump is trying to appeal to left voters, who would never vote for him despite his immigration promises being more centrist.