Donald Trump’s entire presidential candidacy is built upon the idea that America needs to be saved from undocumented immigrants that are “flooding” into the country.
It started when he kicked off his presidential campaign with a speech that denigrated Mexican immigrants as “criminals” and “rapists” and promised to build a wall on the southern border of the United States.
For those “illegals” already in the country, Trump has repeatedly said they need to be deported – no questions asked.
After several weeks of pretending to soften his tone on the issue, his
fear-mongering ramble speech on Wednesday in Arizona only reaffirmed all the anti-immigrant sentiment Trump has spewed since the launch of his candidacy.
“For those here today illegally who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for re-entry under the rules of the new legal immigration system,” the Republican nominee said, suggesting once again that he is in favor of deporting 11 million people.
After spending more than a year campaigning as the candidate of immigration, you’d think Trump would at least poll well on this issue.
According to a recent Monmouth University poll, a whopping 69 percent of voters don’t feel threatened by undocumented immigrants from Mexico, despite Trump’s constant warnings that there is a violent, undocumented immigrant hiding under the bed of every American.
A recent poll from Pew Research Center showed that a clear majority – 61 percent – are not in favor of his most notable proposal: a wall along the southern border. Trump may repeatedly propose the idea in front of angry mobs that applaud it, but most Americans don’t want it.
Even in head-to-head matchups with Hillary Clinton on this specific issue, Trump still loses.
By a margin of 13 points (53 to 40 percent), voters say that they trust the Democratic nominee more to handle immigration issues, an ABC News/Washington Post survey from last month showed.
On dealing with the specific subject of undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Clinton is favored over Trump by an even larger margin (58 to 36 percent), according to an August McClatchy/Marist poll.
If Trump wants to continue making this issue the center of his campaign, he is free to do so. I’m sure Democrats would be delighted, in fact.
But it’s very clear that the vast majority of Americans aren’t embracing the signature plank in Trump’s platform.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.