Where would Trump be had he run as what he is, the amnesty candidate?

I suspect Trump would have had no chance to win the nomination if he had explained his intentions clearly — and if the media had given as much attention to the promise of touch-back amnesty as it did the specter of mass-deportations. Yet, touch-back amnesty — with the alien required to go home and then come back in legally through an expedited process — is the essence of his immigration plan. Moreover, Trump’s touch-back amnesty proposal makes a mockery of his campaign’s position paper on immigration. That paper laments “the influx of foreign workers [from illegal immigration]” because it “holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans — including immigrants themselves and their children — to earn a middle class wage.”

Nevertheless, his touch-back amnesty plan, by design, would orchestrate an influx of foreign workers on an unprecedentedly massive scale to compete for jobs with poor and working class Americans.

A final irony is worth mentioning. The campaign of Marco Rubio, who was the preference of many conservative Republican voters, was fatally undermined by his past, full-throated support for amnesty. Throughout his bid for the nomination, Senator Rubio spent most of his energy assuring GOP voters that he had learned his lesson. There could and should be no consideration of legalization or eventual citizenship for illegal aliens, he maintained, until the government sustained an effort, for as many years as it took, to prove Washington was serious about border security and immigration-law enforcement.