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Trump Returns To Hardline Position On Illegal Immigration

PHOENIX (Reuters) – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday that anyone who is in the United States illegally would be subject to deportation if he is elected, sticking with his hardline position after flirting with a softer approach.

In a major speech in the border state of Arizona, Trump took a dim view of the 11 million people who crossed into the United States illegally, a week after saying many were “great people” who had lived in the country for years and contributed to American society.

He said all people in the United States illegally would have “only one route” to gain legal status ifTrump were to win the Nov. 8 presidential election: “To return home and apply for re-entry.”

“Our message to the world will be this: You cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country,” Trump said.

“People will know you can’t just smuggle in, hunker down and wait to be legalized,” he said. “Those days are over.”

Trump again vowed that Mexico would pay for construction of a “great border wall” between the two countries. He spoke hours after Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto told Trump in a face-to-face meeting in Mexico City that Mexico would not pay for it.

“We will build a great wall along the southern border,” Trump said. “And Mexico will pay for the wall – 100 percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for the wall.”

Trump said at a joint news conference with Pena Nieto that he and the Mexican leader did not discuss who would pay for the wall. Pena Nieto remained silent on the issue at the event, but said later on Twitter he did raise the issue.

“At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall,” Pena Nieto said in a tweet.

HARDLINE RETURN

Trump used the Phoenix speech to clarify his stance on illegal immigration after prevaricating on the issue last week. He returned to the hardline rhetoric that powered him to the Republican presidential nomination over 16 rivals, heartening those conservatives drawn to Trump by the issue.

Ann Coulter, a conservative activist who had fretted that Trump might be softening, tweeted: “I hear Churchill had a nice turn of phrase, but Trump‘s immigration speech is the most magnificent speech ever given.”

Correct The Record, an organization supporting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the Nov.8 presidential election, slammed Trump.

“Tonight confirmed what we knew all along – there is no ‘softening’,” Correct The Record spokeswoman Elizabeth Shappell said.

Trump‘s “America First” positions are aimed at rallying middle-class people who feel they have lost jobs to illegal immigrants or to the outsourcing of jobs abroad.

However, he may have put himself at risk of limiting his ability to broaden his base of support to include more Hispanic-Americans and more moderate Republican voters who do not think it is possible or practical to crack down on all illegal immigrants.

In his speech, Trump emphasized that his priority would be to  deport those among the undocumented population who have committed serious crimes.

“As with any law enforcement activity, we will set priorities,” Trump said. “Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have a country.”

He said he would form a commission to study which regions or countries he would suspend immigration from, saying Syria and Libya would be high on his list. This would be his way of carrying out his proposed ban on Muslims from some countries without getting into their religious affiliation.

Trump said he would also establish a “deportation task force” to identify criminals subject to deportation, would triple the number of federal deportation officers, and increase the number of border patrol stations.

MILD REBUKE, PROTESTS

Trump is trailing Clinton in opinion polls and the New York businessman’s aides hoped the trip would make him look presidential and show he was willing to deal head-on with thorny issues such as relations with Mexico.

Pena Nieto said at the joint news conference with Trump in Mexico City that the many millions of Mexicans in the United States deserved respect. However, he offered only a mild rebuke ofTrump for his rhetoric.

“The Mexican people has felt aggrieved by comments that have been made, but I was sure his interest in building a relationship is genuine,” Pena Nieto said.

A few dozen demonstrators gathered beneath a monument to Mexican independence in the center of the capital to protest against the visit, some holding placards emblazoned with captions such as: “You are not Wall-come” and “Trump and Pena out.”

Trump has been pilloried in Mexico since he launched his White House campaign last year.

Clinton, a former secretary of state, said on Wednesday Trump could not paper over his previous harsh language against Mexico.

“It certainly takes more than trying to make up for more than a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbors for a few hours and then flying home again,” she told a convention of the American Legion military veterans’ group in Cincinnati.

(Additional reporting by Christine Murray, Ana Isabel Martinez and Dave Graham in MEXICOCITY and Alana Wise in WASHINGTON; Writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Leslie Adler and Paul Tait)

Photo: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., August 31, 2016.   REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Sanders To Join Clinton In New Hampshire Presidential Rally

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders plans to join fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton on Tuesday at a rally in New Hampshire, their campaigns said, an appearance where he is expected to endorse his rival after a hard-fought presidential primary campaign.

Sanders and Clinton will discuss “their commitment to building an America that is stronger together and an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” according to a statements released early on Monday from both campaigns.

Sanders, of Vermont, has resisted endorsing the former U.S. secretary of state, senator and first lady, since she clinched the Democratic nomination last month. Instead, he chose to continue his campaign as leverage to win concessions on his progressive policy agenda and reforms to the Democratic Party’s nominating process.

In a speech to supporters last month, Sanders vowed to help Clinton defeat Republican Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 presidential election but did not end his campaign.

Other prominent Democrats have rallied around Clinton, including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of the party’s liberal wing.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders shake hands before the start of the Democratic presidential candidates debate in Durham, New Hampshire, February 4, 2016.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri 

Man Arrested At Trump Rally Said He Wanted To Shoot Candidate: Court Papers

A man arrested over the weekend trying to wrestle a gun from a police officer at a Las Vegas rally held by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told an investigator he wanted to kill the candidate, court papers showed on Monday.

Michael Steven Sandford, who prosecutors described as a 19-year-old British national, was arrested on Saturday at the Treasure Island hotel in Las Vegas after trying to disarm the officer, according to Las Vegas police.

According to court papers filed on Monday in federal court in Nevada, Sandford told a Secret Service agent he had driven to Las Vegas from California with the goal of shooting Trump.

“Sandford claimed he had been attempting to kill Trump for about a year but decided to act on this occasion because he finally felt confident about trying it,” the court papers said.

He was charged with committing an act of violence on restricted ground, Natalie Collins, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said in an email.

Sandford has not entered a plea and is scheduled to be in court for a preliminary hearing on July 5, Collins said. Sandford’s federal public defender, Heather Fraley, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Sandford said he had been in the United States for a year and a half, the documents showed. The records said he had lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, after coming to the country.

Court records said Sandford went to the Battlefield Vegas gun range last Friday to practice shooting, adding that he had never fired a gun before. While there, he fired 20 rounds from a Glock 9 mm handgun, the records said.

Sandford told investigators that if he were “on the street tomorrow,” he would try again, the documents said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Toni Reinhold and Peter Cooney)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses an audience at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, June 15, 2016.  REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

There Is No “Trump Voter” and It’s Dangerous to Think Otherwise

Donald Trump wasn’t expected to go far in this election. His “ceiling” was thought to be 35-40 percent of the GOP electorate, and many, including myself, linked his support primarily to white working class voters. But he’s still here, and he’s still way ahead.

Trump’s support goes beyond what we thought. As the Washington Post reported at the beginning of this month, exit polls “show his supporters as a mix of men and women who are mostly white but not exclusively. Their salaries, education levels, religious beliefs and degree of conservatism run the gamut.”

YouGov polls have found that 20 percent of Trump supporters describe themselves as “liberal” or “moderate,” 65 percent as “conservative,” and only 13 percent as “very conservative.” He also pulls from a base of self-identified Republicans who are still registered as Democrats.

Exit polling from Florida showed Trump receiving the support of 58 percent of voters earning $30-50,000, 45 percent of those earning $50-100,000, and 47 percent earning $100-200,000. Those numbers aren’t heavily skewed towards the working class and show much more even voting distribution than one would expect, given the narrative surrounding Trump.

The same polls also showed that, when asked whether they thought the next president should have political experience or come from outside of the establishment, the majority of Florida voters agreed with the latter. Those respondents overwhelmingly voted for Trump. Additionally, RealClearPolitics found that “most of his support comes from candidates already in the race and not from newly inspired voters.”

A wide swath of people support Trump because they’re pissed. A July 2015 poll showed that 42 percent of adults were unhappy with the direction of the country. They wanted change, and they saw in Trump a candidate who had already changed the norms of electoral politics. So while he may have a passionate base among the working class, that demographic does not solely define Trump supporters.

In many ways, Trump’s bombast has not only driven the media absolutely crazy, but has also stopped them from taking seriously the underlying political and economic issues in this election. Their narrative of Trump supporters doesn’t offer much variety, and plays into a classist critique that we’ve seen time and time again.

The history of America politics seethes with disdain for the poor, including poor white people. As Kelly Kidd writes at Mic.com, “Americans tend to view poverty, especially white poverty, with judgment, derision, and blame. By objectifying poverty, Americans allow themselves to perceive the poor as mere stereotypes of laziness or stupidity, rather than people worthy of compassion and support.”

This despite the fact that they’re also regularly dying at younger ages than many of their peers, with recent research arguing that “Between 1998 and 2013… white Americans across multiple age groups experienced large spikes in suicide and fatalities related to alcohol and drug abuse—spikes that were so large that, for whites aged 45 to 54, they overwhelmed the dependable modern trend of steadily improving life expectancy.” Additionally, male wages at the bottom fifth of the income ladder have fallen by over 30 percent since the late 1960s, while inequality has simultaneously exploded.

Even as the media continues to portray Trump supporters as ignorant poor people, it largely ignores what it means to be poor in America.

We need to start addressing Trump and his supporters outside of the notion that he is a bad hairdo and his supporters are poor white racists. That misses the larger opportunity we have to confront the reality: that Trump appeals to a substantial number of Americans. And let’s face it, insulting people doesn’t change their political opinions. Unfortunately, neither do facts.

So what now?

We should start by looking at the issues themselves: economic degradation and people who were left behind by a globalized American economy; terrorism and the underlying factors that lead to ideological violence; the need for campaign finance reform to combat the appeal of nebulous terms like “authenticity” and “outsider.”

These aren’t white working class issues, these are issues that concern a wide cross-section of people. Our political media needs to address them, or they’ll be stuck addressing the ugly prejudices that rush to offer their own explanations for Americans’ problems.

Photo: Trump supporters (R) voice their opinions at anti-Trump protesters following a campaign rally for Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump in Cleveland, Ohio, March 12, 2016.  REUTERS/Rebecca Cook