Trump blows both ways on immigration

EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK

By ART CULLEN

We watch the Wick weather vane atop our Times Square to see which way The Donald blows on immigration in the forenoon: He is on a jet to make nice with the Mexican president, who is the only politician in the Western Hemisphere more unpopular than Trump. By afternoon, the vane points due north as the jet blasts to Arizona where the Republican Party Presidential nominee completely reverses himself.

A conservative watching the rooster spin should have grave reservations.

This guy can’t be trusted from mañana to mañana.

If you are interested in the rule of law, the dizziness might cause queasiness.

He may or may not deport millions of immigrants. That is the question.

The criminals, yes. Those cute ones down in the front row with their community college diplomas, not so much. We will keep them in a bureaucratic limbo hoping that everyone just forgets about it.

That’s sort of the Obama Administration take.

So that presents a dilemma to many of our neighbors in the Fourth Congressional District:

Donald Trump is in a dead heat with Hillary Clinton in Iowa. Steve King will demolish Kim Weaver. Chuck Grassley will make short work of Patty Judge. If it’s cold or rainy in November, do you really need to go out to vote for a Trump who may or may not grant amnesty to several million undocumented immigrants? Don’t you know deep down that he will let you down in the end because he has no real principle on immigration?

The Democrats believe they have innumerable routes to an electoral landslide and a probable Senate majority. But so long as Trump hangs tough in Ohio and Iowa, which he will, any number of those routes can close.

That’s why this election is so important to Storm Lake.

One of the biggest issues facing this community is getting young undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship. President Obama in a stumble-footed way secured their futures temporarily with executive orders. Trump will rescind those orders on the first day, if you can believe what he has said for the past year.

Children brought here by their undocumented parents would have to go back to Honduras, which is in a death spiral, and wait for 10 years to apply for admission back to Storm Lake. That’s how we understand what Trump’s plan was as of the day he delivered his keynote immigration speech in Arizona.

Many of those children are now adults themselves, hoping to attend community college or Buena Vista University.

To a Steve King acolyte, allowing those children to become citizens is an affront to the law.

But Steve King supports Trump. How can King or his supporters vote for someone whose campaign foundation — deporting at least 11 million undocumented immigrants with a special new squad — is built on sand?

This is an important question.

John Kerry had Iowa won until the Fifth District (now the Fourth) phoned in vote tallies.

If Hillary Clinton ignores western Iowa as she has, she well could lose Iowa.

And, as Iowa goes so could go the nation.

She has underestimated Iowa’s importance before.

The state and national Democratic parties have underestimated the influence of the Fourth District on voter turnout. The Kerry lesson has not been learned.

Democrats are not supporting Weaver. They are unenthusiastic about Judge. Democratic voters in Carroll just might stay home.

If Clinton were to make an effort in Northwest Iowa she can win the state.

She must start with Storm Lake, Denison, Carroll and Sioux City.

If Donald Trump wins, Storm Lake will lose hundreds upon hundreds of hard-working residents to deportation. It’s guaranteed. The House will make certain that Trump follows through.

Let’s for fun figure that there are 100 Dreamers out there — sons and daughters of undocumented workers who were brought to Estados Unidos when they were niños. Let’s say we educated each of them for 10 years at an average cost of $6,000 each. That’s a $6 million investment in state and local funds that we have lost and on which Latin America will fail to capitalize. And it’s not 100. It’s probably more like 1,000.

What a tragedy.

In this strange year, the presidential results well could turn on how well Democrats turn out voters in the Fourth District, and how energized the huge Republican base is. A lot of immigrant futures hang in the balance, including our new friends and neighbors. The Republicans should be just as nervous as they watch that vane spin so fast the grease is smoking. They’re not sure where their man stands on the central issue that has animated politics in this pivotal district.