During Thursday night’s NBC town hall, an undecided Florida voter named Paulette Dale complimented President Donald Trump’s smile, suggested he show off his sonrisa more often, and then drilled him about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Trump gave a long-winded non-answer, in which he managed to yet again refer to immigrants as rapists and murderers, invoking the incendiary language that seems to be his preferred campaign rhetoric.
As he began his response, Trump said that the DACA program is “somewhat different than Dreamers,” which isn’t accurate because Dreamers are protected by DACA. He asked Dale where she came from, and appeared pleased when she confirmed that she’s indeed white with Russian and Polish grandparents. (“That’s very good,” he told her.) He went on to say, “We are going to take care of DACA. We’re going to take care of the Dreamers. We are working on it right now. We are negotiating different aspects of immigration and immigration law.”
Trump claims that he wants people to come into the country legally and has been talking about an immigration bill since July. Moderator Savannah Guthrie was quick to remind him that his administration hasn’t permitted new DACA applications and has forced DACA recipients to apply for protective status every year instead of every two years. Trump blamed the changes on the pandemic, which doesn’t make sense since the health crisis didn’t start until the final year of his term.
He also gloated that he got rid of the “catch and release” program, which he called a disaster. “You catch somebody, they could be a murderer or a rapist,” he said echoing the sentiments from his 2016 campaign.
Noting that Mexico is “heavily infected” with coronavirus, he praised the US for having a “very strong border” right now and touted 400-miles of the border wall. He insisted that Mexico is working closely with him on the wall, even though Mexico hasn’t contributed any money toward its construction. The wall is funded by the US government.
Paulette Dale has confirmed that she now plans to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden for POTUS.