Although Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto may yet get into it over who will pay for Mr. Trump's famous wall, yesterday was a triumph for Trump–he comported himself well at the meeting in Mexico and then delivered an immigration speech in Phoenix that comes closer to the views of the American public than Hillary Clinton's immigration policies.
National Review's Rich Lowry has a brief summary:
It was a mistake in my view to give the speech in a rally setting, which made it seem a typical bombastic Trump performance. And much of it was. But the policy was unassailable.
From an immigration hawk point of view, it is almost certainly the soundest speech ever given by a major-party presidential candidate.
As Rich noted, Trump did quietly move away from mass deportations (which was never going to happen anyway) but predictions of an overall "softening" were vastly exaggerated. Trump provided details on an enforcement program that is very different from the Obama policy that has destroyed enforcement. Rich also observed:
The press will be relentless in continuing to ask about legalization for the 11 million, although Trump’s position of ambiguity–let’s not address the remaining illegal population until we have a new, functioning system of enforcement–is the correct answer for now.
What I liked and thought skillful about the speech was that Trump said again and again the U.S. immigration policy should aim at doing what is best for U.S. citizens. A sovereign nation has every right to decide whom to welcome and to make judgments based on its own interests.
The Daily Caller has the advance version of the speech.