Tom's Corner - Trusting Trump

Donald Trump delivers speech on immigration in Phoenix, Ariz.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proved once again yesterday with his hastily planned visit in Mexico that he has an almost unrivaled knack for getting publicity.

But tonight in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says the candidate would better serve himself, his party, and the country if he could avoid his strange penchant for fabrication and confusion.


Donald Trump had quite a day yesterday. Playing international diplomat for the first time, he traveled south of the border for a hastily arranged meeting with Enrique Peña Nieto, the president of a country made up of, according to Trump, drug dealers, rapists, and thugs who are killing us.

After an hour, in a soft-spoken joint news conference, Trump talked almost reverently about the "spectacular, spectacular, hard-working, first, second, and third generation Mexicans" who live in the United States and how Mexico City and Washington would work together to get immigration under control.

The confusion began minutes after the news conference was over.

Did they talk at all about who was going to pay for trump's promised "beautiful, beautiful wall?" No, said Trump. It didn't come up. Yes, it did come up, said Peña Nieto. The Mexican president tweeted that he told Trump Mexico would not be paying for one red cent of it.

Obviously, one of them is lying. My guess is it's the guy from New York.

Hours later, back in the United States, that guy told a cheering crowd in Phoenix that Mexico would be paying for the wall one hundred percent. But just didn't know it yet. Huh?

In Mexico, Trump struck an almost conciliatory tone on immigration, sort of setting aside his plan to deport 11 million people. Back in Phoenix, he was once again on the warpath saying that all-illegal immigrants are subject to deportation. Particularly the bad ones.

Does that mean one million? Six million? Eleven million? We don't really know.

Just for the heck of it, let's assume he talking about the whole enchilada--11 million. And let's also assume that Trump gets elected and wants to prioritize deportation and have everyone sent back to Mexico during his first term.

That comes to roughly 7,500 people a day, every day, seven days a week, for four years. What could possibly go wrong with that? Gigantic squads of customs agents raiding every golf course, health care facility, factory, and farm in the country. Every day of every week of every month of every year. Separating family members, children from their parents, leaving our already precariously thin work force incapable of keeping its head above water.

All this, mind you, at a time when fewer Mexicans are headed north across the border than in decades. Right now considered a net negative.

This at a time when ranking members of both political parties seem to agree that its imperative we agree on a path to citizenship. That i's counterproductive to trying rounding up 11 million people and sending them back.

I don't know what to make of Donald Trump. And I think he likes that. He wants to be unpredictable, not show his hand. Good. But this is still the same guy who's been caught lying--just plain lying--fifty times over the past year by the Washington Post's fact-checking team.

That's not being unpredictable. That's being unworthy of our trust. His party, his country, and the world deserve better.

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.

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