Trump Suddenly Takes a Softer Line on Verifying Immigrant Documentation Status

Central to President Trump’s appeal for much of his base is the hard line he takes on immigration. From the first minutes of his campaign launch announcement in June 2015, Trump excoriated illegal immigration and embraced the idea that one of the key priorities for the next president should be to crack down on those in the country illegally.

Over and over during the 2016 campaign, while his immigration rhetoric solidified a lead in the Republican primaries and into the general election, Trump reminded voters that he planned to focus on illegal immigration as president. In particular, he would point to a system called E-Verify. E-Verify allows employers to check information provided by employees with government records to establish whether the employees are allowed to work in the United States.

The checks are conducted online, as shown below.

During a town-hall event in March 2016, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked Trump about his plan to address the hiring of undocumented workers.

“Well, you can do that with E-Verify and the various methods,” Trump told Matthews. He told Matthews that the Trump Organization used the system, which, The Post would later report, wasn’t universally true. The punishment for hiring an undocumented worker? Trump proposed that it should be “a huge financial penalty” — or perhaps a criminal penalty.


By Philip Bump for THE WASHINGTON POST

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