Donald J. Trump will visit Mexico on Wednesday for a private meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto... before quickly flying back for what is billed as a major immigration speech in Arizona. Mr. Peña Nieto’s office said Tuesday night that the meeting would take place at the presidential palace in Mexico City, and Mr. Trump, on Twitter, said he looked “very much forward” to the visit....Peña Nieto had invited both Clinton and Trump. Trump is just the one who jumped at the invitation, which was only issued last week.
Politicians in Mexico have largely remained silent on Mr. Trump, though there have been outbursts, including from Mr. Peña Nieto himself. In March, he compared Mr. Trump to Hitler and Mussolini for what he called Mr. Trump’s strident remarks and populism, though he later tried to soften his words without quite taking them back.I had to look up the old quote. It was:
There have been episodes in human history, unfortunately, where these expressions of this strident rhetoric have only led to very ominous situations in the history of humanity. That’s how Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in — they took advantage of a situation, a problem perhaps, which humanity was going through at the time, after an economic crisis. And I think what (they) put forward ended up at what we know today from history, in global conflagration. We don’t want that happening anywhere in the world.I can see why today's reports don't quote it. It's vague and blabby. The later softening was: "Hitler, Mussolini, we all know the result. It was only a call for reflection and for recognition, so that we bear in mind what we have achieved and the great deal still to achieve." Peña Nieto is not a pithy speaker.
Back to the NYT article. It characterizes Trump as taking a "gamble" because his campaign is "struggling":
But for all the risk it poses, it offers an image Mr. Trump relishes: of a wily negotiator willing to do the unexpected — meeting with a perceived enemy — to advance his agenda.The article takes pains to remind us that a lot of people in Mexico don't like Trump. My favorite line is: "Artisans have fashioned Trump piñatas...." Artisans! Crude effigies are made for people to beat with a stick and we hear of "artisans" — humble, dedicated craftspersons — who don't merely make things, they fashion them.
We will see what Donald Trump can do in the spotlight on the last day of August, when normally no one would be paying attention to much of anything. He's popping down to Mexico, then up to Phoenix to deliver what is presented as his major immigration speech. The #1 thing people seem to be looking to hear in the speech is — I'm quoting The Hill now — "whether he will still stand by his call for a 'deportation force' to remove the 11 million undocumented immigrants":
That hard line helped him steamroll his GOP primary foes, but it is less helpful with a more moderate general election audience.... The Trump campaign has recently focused on his call to immediately deport “criminal illegal immigrants.” But that doesn’t settle what happens to those who haven’t committed other crimes besides violating immigration laws.... [H]e could stand by behind his primary rhetoric and call for the immediate removal of all 11 million undocumented immigrants.This should be interesting. I wonder if Trump can honestly say that he never did call for the immediate removal of all 11 million undocumented immigrants. When I research the question now, I only see articles that say that is his plan, but I don't see anything straight from him saying that. Did he allow people to think that's what he meant, while always maintaining the ground to say that he never said it?
Here's the text of his immigration plan, released last August. Under the heading "Defend The Laws And Constitution Of The United States," he speaks of 2 categories of persons that he would immediately return to "their home countries": "criminal aliens" (referring to crimes beyond simply being here illegally) and "Illegal aliens apprehended crossing the border."