The Corner

The Speech

It was a mistake in my view to give the speech in a rally setting, which made it seem a typical bombastic Trump performance. And much of it was. But the policy was unassailable. From an immigration hawk point of view, it  is almost certainly the soundest speech ever given by a major-party presidential candidate. He implicitly backed off from mass deportation, which was never going to happen. The rest of it disappointed the (exaggerated) expectations of a “softening.” Trump outlined a comprehensive and coherent  enforcement-first agenda. Some people are saying that Trump has adopted a version of the Obama program in his emphasis on getting out bad actors first. But Obama gutted interior enforcement and Trump is promising to bring it back. The press will be relentless in continuing to ask about legalization for the 11 million, although Trump’s position of ambiguity–let’s not address the remaining illegal population until we have a new, functioning system of enforcement–is the correct answer for now.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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