Donald Trump began his bid for the presidency by taking a hardline stance on immigration, but in a 2012 interview, he seemed much more sympathetic to undocumented immigrants.
In a June 2012 interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” surfaced by CNN on Sunday night, Trump appeared to oppose deporting all undocumented immigrants from the United States.
“You know my views on it and I’m not necessarily, I think I’m probably down the middle on that also,” Trump said, according to CNN. “Because I also understand how, as an example, you have people in this country for 20 years, they’ve done a great job, they’ve done wonderfully, they’ve gone to school, they’ve gotten good marks, they’re productive — now we’re supposed to send them out of the country, I don’t believe in that, Michelle, and you understand that. I don’t believe in a lot things that are being said.”
Late in the summer, the Trump campaign signaled that the Republican nominee may soften his stance on immigration in some way. Trump began focusing on enforcing “existing laws” and said he was “softening” on deportation. But he later turned around and said his stance was “hardening.”
Then in an immigration speech at the end of August, Trump remained committed to building a border wall and declared that undocumented immigrants “cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country.”