L.A. Times: Once on ‘Fringe,’ Immigration Hard-Liners Get to Dance with Trump

Sheriff Joe and Trump Mary Altaffer Associated Press
Mary Altaffer/AP

Noah Bierman and Brian Bennett of the Los Angeles Times report that hard-line immigration opponents, once relegated to the political edges, are gaining influence with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

From the L.A. Times:

For decades, immigration hard-liners have felt sidelined and taken for granted by Republican presidential candidates, left with dog whistles and policy crumbs. But Donald Trump’s ascent to the top of the Republican ticket has changed their fortunes.

Longtime advocates for shutting the door to new immigrants now hold crucial positions in Trump’s campaign, and many feel, for the first time in recent memory, they have a candidate who is willing to speak plainly about reducing immigration flows and offers their clearest shot yet at influencing, perhaps even drastically altering, U.S. immigration policy.

Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff and poster child for workplace raids and traffic stops, earned a prized seat on Trump’s airplane a few months ago, spending hours with his new close friend. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the fiercest opponent of GOP-backed “amnesty” bills in Congress for the last decade, now smiles and demurs when asked whether he might serve as Trump’s running mate or settle for a Cabinet position.

And NumbersUSA, long on the fringes of Washington lobbying groups with its stance that legal immigration should be reduced, now crows that all those powerful consultants had it wrong when they insisted that the GOP needed to compromise on raising immigration levels to win a presidential election.

“Trump broke all the rules … got hammered for it, and just kept going,” said Rosemary Jenks, vice president and director of government relations for NumbersUSA.

Read the rest of the story here.