GOP nominee Donald Trump (Photo: Twitter)

GOP nominee Donald Trump (Photo: Twitter)

During his major immigration speech in Phoenix this week, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump did not promise to round up and deport all of the illegal immigrants currently in the country.

But he is not going soft, according to one leading immigration expert; he is simply growing more mature as a messenger.

“The tone was Trumpish as usual, but the substance was, I’d have to say, the best immigration speech we’ve ever seen from a major party presidential candidate,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “His speech was a welcome note of organization and a coordinated policy proposal.”

Krikorian pointed out deporting all 11 million illegal immigrants was never part of Trump’s immigration platform in the first place, based on his campaign website. It’s just as well, in Krikorian’s view.

“That was never going to happen anyway,” Krikorian told WND. “It’s a fantasy policy; no immigration restrictionists had ever called for that in any case. It’s impractical just as a logistical matter, it’s politically unsustainable, it’s just not going to happen.”

Krikorian asserted most of what Trump did talk about is not, or should not, be controversial. Ending catch-and-release, blocking funding for sanctuary cities, enforcing existing immigration laws, and prioritizing criminal aliens and security threats for deportation should be common-sense steps to combat the illegal immigration problem.

Furthermore, Krikorian said Trump’s declaration that the well-being of the American people is the core issue in the immigration debate should be met with a collective “Duh!”

“The government of a democratic society has no right to make policy on any basis other than the interests of the citizens of that country,” he proclaimed. “It’s almost self-evident, and if somebody a little less inflammatory than Trump were saying it, I think a lot more people would be receptive to the idea.”

Indeed, Krikorian worries Trump’s delivery may be problematic for some voters who would otherwise support his policy proposals.

“There are at least some people who would find the particulars of his speech appealing, but who might be turned off by the messenger, and so the question is are there enough people who are willing to see past the messenger?” he asked.

Jesse Lee Peterson, a radio host, WND columnist and founder of the nonprofit Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND), thinks black Americans will be willing to see past the messenger.

Peterson, a leader in the black community, believes a president who will build a wall and deport criminal aliens is just what his fellow African Americans need.

“Illegal aliens have had a major negative impact on the black community, especially here in California, Arizona and other areas,” Peterson told WND. “They have brought in crime, they’ve brought in gang members who are supported by drug lords, they are taking jobs away from blacks, day labor work, they have caused blacks to leave their own communities.”

Peterson, author of “The Antidote: Healing America From the Poison of Hate, Blame, and Victimhood,” said most blacks in his hometown of Los Angeles live in the same neighborhoods as illegal Hispanic aliens and hate them.

“The aliens hate the blacks, and the blacks hate them back because the blacks are feeling the pressure of being pushed out of their own communities,” he said. “Hardly a day goes by when there is not a fight between black students and Hispanic students in the public school system in this area.”

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During his speech, Trump trotted out his now-routine declaration that we will build a wall along the Southern border and Mexico will pay for it. Krikorian finds that particular Trump chestnut to be slightly off-putting.

“I just find that kind of silly, honestly,” he confessed. “First of all, Mexico’s not going to pay for it. That part I do kind of object to. It’s part of his brand now, so he can’t just dump it, but it’s silly.

“The wall in general I don’t object to, but I think too much emphasis is put on it, because we’re going to get a lot more bang for our buck in the other things that he mentioned in the speech, things like E-Verify, worksite enforcement, visa tracking, making sure legal visitors leave when they’re supposed to leave, since that’s now the main source of illegal immigration, not the border.”

Krikorian said he was encouraged by Trump’s comments early in the speech regarding the “close friendship” between the U.S. and Mexico, as well as Trump’s visit to Mexico earlier that day. The immigration expert believes the U.S. and Mexico, as neighbors, must maintain a good relationship because their destinies are tied together in some ways. Furthermore, Mexico will be more willing to cooperate on border control if it maintains a solid friendship with the U.S.

“It really is important that immigration restriction not be an anti-Mexican initiative,” Krikorian insisted. “Mexico is the most important country in the world to us, after Canada…. It’s especially important that a nationalist campaign like Trump’s makes clear that being pro-American does not mean you have to be anti-Mexican.”

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