You made a deal. On my WABC radio show and elsewhere you reaffirmed your commitment to appear this week in Washington for a question and answer session with Javier Palomarez, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who also appeared on the same radio show.

I applauded your agreement to appear at the chamber’s conference for several obvious reasons. It is Hispanic Heritage Month; your inflammatory view of Mexican immigrants; and your proposal to build the Great Wall of Trump along the southern border have obviously caused consternation in many Latino families.

I wanted and still hold a shred of hope that you will modify your harsh statements on the undocumented. You are not like Iowa Rep. Steve King who suggested all Latinos have big calves from carrying dope across the border. You are not Ann Coulter, a polemicist whose “Adios America” screed apparently infuses your thinking.

- Geraldo Rivera

Because of the respect and affection I have for you and your family, I also wanted you to have the opportunity to explain your stated desire to deport the 11 or more million undocumented immigrants now hiding in plain sight in the United States. Particularly, I was keen on hearing your defense of your proposal to deport the minor children of those immigrants, even if they are American citizens born in the USA. Part of that would necessarily have been an explanation of your stance that the 14th Amendment does not grant “birth right citizenship” to those born on American soil, even if their parents have been here for decades.

Obviously, as you pointed out when you announced you were canceling the Hispanic Chamber event, your appearance would have been huge (“yuuuge!”) bringing an attendance and ratings bonanza to the relatively low-profile but nevertheless legitimate and mainstream organization. But more than ratings, the substance of your scary proposals would have been aired in a context where the community most directly affected heard from you directly.

As the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, the fact that, if elected, you intend to disrupt the lives of so many millions of undocumented immigrants and their families needs to be explained to those people. The majority of them are law-abiding, hardworking, faith-based and long-standing residents, however undocumented.

Largely through your candidacy, “Immigration/illegal aliens” according to Gallup has become a “yuuge” issue for the nation. Back in June, just 6 percent of Americans said “immigration/illegal aliens” was “the most important problem facing this country today.” That number doubled to 12 percent in September, largely because you have made the issue front and center to your candidacy.

Many of the pundits you despise suggest that your candidacy is based on the fact that you are an “outsider.” I find that your most endearing quality, that, and the fact you are self-funding and promising to disrupt the cancerous grip lobbyists have on government. But given the Gallup survey showing that illegal immigration is the most important issue for so many, isn’t that what is fueling your popularity?

I wanted and still hold a shred of hope that you will modify your harsh statements on the undocumented. You are not like Iowa Rep. Steve King who suggested all Latinos have big calves from carrying dope across the border. You are not Ann Coulter, a polemicist whose “Adios America” screed apparently infuses your thinking.

You are our premier builder and the employer of thousands of Latinos. I’ve seen them myself in your various properties. I wanted you to say out loud at the Chamber that you will not go door-to-door to disrupt the lives of families that have made their communities better and stronger. I wanted you to say that you didn’t intend to slander a race of people when you made your initial remarks about rapists and drug dealers.

That is why I wanted to take you into the kitchen of a Mexican or Puerto Rican restaurant, so you could tell folks to their faces that you are an open-minded, deep thinking, color-blind creator of jobs and opportunity who was perhaps a bit exuberant in your initial remarks announcing your candidacy for the presidency.

But I fear that you have made a shrewd results-based calculation that Latinos are a vote that you do not need to win the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire or South Carolina primaries.

You may be right.

On the other hand, you may be providing a “yuuuge” incentive for Latinos to register and vote against you and the GOP in November 2016. You made and broke a deal with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. There is no Art in that Deal. 

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