Trump: There Could Be A ‘Softening’ Of My Mass Deportation Proposal

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to suggest that he may pull back slightly from his calls to deport all undocumented immigrants from the United States, saying that there could be a “softening” of his mass deportation plan.

“There could certainly can be a softening because we’re not looking to hurt people,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity when asked during a town hall whether he might change laws to allow certain undocumented immigrants to remain in the country. “We want people — we have some great people in this country. We have some great, great people in this country but we’re going to follow the laws of this country and what people don’t realize — we have very, very strong laws.”

When Hannity said that President Obama does not follow the law, Trump agreed, even though the Republican nominee suggested on Monday that he would embrace Obama’s policy regarding deportation.

Throughout the discussion on immigration, Trump emphasized that he plans to follow existing immigration law.

“We want to follow the laws, you know, we have very strong laws. We have very strong laws in this country. And I don’t know if you know but Bush, and even Obama, sends people back. Now, we can be more aggressive in that but we want to follow the laws,” he said when asked if he’s shifting his position on immigration. “If you start going around trying to make new laws in this country it’s a process that’s brutal. We want to follow the laws of the country, and if we follow the laws, we can do what we have to do.”

But Trump emphasized that he would quickly deport “horrible people” from the country.

“We’ve got some great people in this country. They shouldn’t be here, they’re still great people. But we’ve got some really, really bad gang members and some horrible people,” he told Hannity. “Those people are going out day one.”

And he seemed hesitant to let undocumented immigrants stay in the United States while others wait to enter the country legally.

“You have years and years of people waiting on line. They’ve gone through a process,” he said. “But you have really great people wanting and so proudly wanting to come into our country and now what you’d be doing is you’d take people away from that line.”

Trump’s comments to Hannity echoed remarks he made on Monday, when he told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that his immigration plan will center on following existing immigration laws.

“The existing laws, the first thing we’re gonna do, if and when I win, is we’re gonna get rid of all of the bad ones. We’ve got gang members, we have killers, we have a lot of bad people that have to get out of this country,” Trump said Monday. “As far as everybody else, we’re going to go through the process. What people don’t know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country, Bush the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well, I’m gonna do the same thing.”

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: