In Monday’s night 90-minute debate, Donald Trump barely made mention of an issue that has been the cornerstone of his presidential campaign since its launch: immigration.
The Republican nominee has touted his hardline stance on the issue on the campaign trail and on the primary debate stage next to his Republican opponents. But he left the matter untouched in the first debate with his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, despite numerous opportunities to it bring up.
Trump has called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and criminals. If elected, he’s said he would deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. He has promised to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico, and to force that country to pay for it. He has said he would ban Muslims and refugees from Syria from entering the United States. All of those signature Trump proposals went unmentioned Monday night.
The closest Trump came to any of those issues during the debate was citing his recent endorsement by the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, a union representing federal immigration officers. The endorsement came a few months after the National Border Patrol Council, a labor union representing more than 16,000 agents, also decided to back Trump. (Trump mistakenly said that ICE, the agency, had endorsed him, rather than the union representing ICE officers.)