Donald Trump has gone from calling for the immediate deportation of all undocumented immigrants to looking for any and all alternatives to mass deportation -- all while attacking Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her own immigration plan.
“Hillary Clinton wants to fling open the floodgates to our borders, let everybody come in, open up our country,” Trump said at a rally in Austin Tuesday evening.
“Your children did not die in vain,” Trump told mothers victimized by undocumented criminals and linking Clinton’s border approach to more crime. “She wants to let people overstay her visas without removal. One lawless order after another.”
But despite his own repeated calls for mass deportations, the Republican nominee is signalling that he may now make exceptions, telling Fox News in a television town hall that “we’ve got some great people in this country - they shouldn’t be here, they’re still great people.”
When it comes to rounding up some 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the U.S., Trump said he was looking into a “softening” of his initial deportation plan.
“There certainly can be a softening because we’re not looking to hurt people,” he said.
CBS News’ Major Garrett spoke with Trump’s vice presidential running mate Mike Pence in an interview in Philadelphia Tuesday to get more details on his candidate’s plan.
“Is Donald trump going to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants in this county?” Garrett asked.
Pence’s response: “Donald Trump has been very clear from the beginning that we are going to secure our borders, build a wall to do it, and he’s also made very clear, Major, that he’s going to enforce the laws of this country, which the president of this country takes an oath of office to do.”
“And that means deporting all 11 million people?” Garrett pressed.
“People who have run afoul of the law gotta leave immediately,” Pence said. “Upholding and enforcing our laws is exactly what Donald trump is going to do.”
Then, Pence added: “The details and how we do that -- now, we’ll work that out with the Congress.”