Donald Trump

Donald Trump to Meet With President of Mexico

Says he's looking forward to it


Rick Maiman/Polaris/Newscom

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he's accepted an invitation from Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto, tweeting that he was looking "very much forward to meeting him."

The announcement comes after the start of a flip-flop (pivot?) on immigration last week. After making hay of well over a dozen other candidates for the Republican nomination largely by taking a hard stance on immigration, Trump appears to be softening his position. As with many of Trump's policy positions, this one is still a series of contradictory positions superimposed on each other, indicating support for mass deportations and for a path to legalization.

In 2012, Trump blamed Mitt Romney's loss in part on a "mean-spirited" position on illegal immigration. "The Democrats didn't have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants, but what they did have going for them is they weren't mean-spirited about it," Trump told Newsmax then. "They didn't know what the policy was, but what they were is they were kind."

Four years later, Democrats still don't know what their policy is. The Obama administration has attempted unilateral reform, deferring deportations for some while ramping up deportations for others. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been nebulous about specifics on immigration reform, while Bernie Sanders called open borders a right-wing conspiracy during the Democratic primaries.

Democrats also failed to act on immigration reform when they controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency in 2009 and 2010, while Republicans helped scuttle efforts during President Obama's second term. Democrats and Republicans teamed up at the end of President George W. Bush's second term to scuttle efforts then as well.

With more than 10 million undocumented immigrants in the country, some kind of immigration reform (more border controls or a path to legalization or goodies for everyone) is set to be on the legislative agenda in 2017 irrespective of who wins the elections. Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson argues that Trump and other politicians are lying about immigration and that the best way to deal with illegal immigration was by "making legal entry efficient," a conclusion that shouldn't escape many legislators even if they find posturing on the issue and thwarting actual reforms more politically lucrative.