Charles Krauthammer is not convinced that Donald Trump’s fiery immigration speech was consistent with his previous message of mass deportation, and he said that it actually demonstrates how Trump’s position has softened:
I think the bombast and the energy and the sort of style — semi-angry, semi-shouting — at the speech last night covered the fact that the substance was a softening. I think that was missed. Because the other part of what Trump said is that for those who decide to remain, in other words, the illegals who decide not to seek legalization but to stay in place — the non-criminals, the ones who just are living their lives quietly — for them, there’s no more threat of deportation. They are subject to it, but he’s not going to go out looking for them.
What he said was, we are not going to dispose with them and decide what to do with them until after enforcement. And he said that’s years away. In other words, he’s going to do what everybody else in the party generally does, which is to say enforcement first, and then we kick the can down the road. We’re not even going to talk about legalization. That is a definite softening of what he had said — the mass deportation — and I think that was largely overlooked because of the style, and as you say, the bombast.