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Donald Trump's immigration speech: time, how to live-stream, what to expect

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Just hours after meeting with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto, Trump is scheduled to give his long-awaited immigration policy speech at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Wednesday night.

The speech, originally scheduled for last Thursday, comes on the heels of what the Trump campaign branded as "immigration week," during which Trump and his spokespeople seemed to further blur Trump’s policy stances on mass deportation, the border wall, and paths to citizenship.

Now, however, Trump’s positions on immigration are supposed to be clarified, and he will also likely address his visit with Mexico’s president.

How to watch

The speech will air live at 9 pm Eastern on C-SPAN.

You can also stream the speech on C-SPAN’s website. Multiple cable news networks are also expected to carry the speech.

What to expect

What was supposed to be a private meeting between Trump and the National Hispanic Advisory Council last week ended in leaked reports that Trump was considering legalizing undocumented immigrants. If true, this would be a monumental walk back on an immigration policy that has been at the center of Trump’s campaign.

Trump only added to the confusion, seemingly walking back policies he used to endorse and telling supporters that mass deportation — which he had previously called for — would be "very hard." He then went on to poll the crowd on what they thought his position on deportations should be during a town hall hosted by Fox News’ Sean Hannity. He critiqued President Eisenhower’s "Operation Wetback," a mass deportation policy, and his campaign staff even insinuated that the physical border wall — which has been a core tenet of Trump’s immigration platform — might be more of a "virtual wall."

As my colleague Dara Lind put it, by the way "immigration week" played out, it looked "like they never had a set immigration position at all and are only now really grappling with the hard choices policymaking requires." (Lind has a comprehensive explainer on what did and didn’t happen during immigration week). His campaign, however, refused to clarify, and instead cancelled the then scheduled immigration speech and said Trump would be unveiling his immigration platform "soon."

Well "soon" has arrived. On Wednesday night Trump is supposed to more clearly lay out his immigration positions and address deportations and the wall. His speech also comes directly after a surprise visit with Mexico’s president in Mexico City — a meeting which undoubtedly touched on some of the issues Trump is expected to talk about during his immigration speech.

At the end of the day it’s Trump, a candidate who relishes the unexpected and rarely stays on theme, but after a failed "immigration week," and a last-minute diplomatic trip, a lot of people are expecting to have a clearer idea of where he stands.


The racist history of US immigration policy

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