Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump told ABC News’ host David Muir Monday that some illegals could stay even if they don’t eye the citizenship.
When asked whether all 11 million immigrants with no legal status could fend off deportation, Trump said that those who seek citizenship will have to leave and come back to the U.S. through legal channels.
But Muir insisted on the fate of illegal immigrants. So, the candidate replied that they’ll ‘have to make a determination” of the situation when the border wall is erected.
“So you’re open to them staying here undocumented?”
the ABC host asked.
Trump replied he or somebody else will have to “make a decision,” after the U.S.-Mexico border is fully secured.
Deporting Won’t be Easy
Trump’s new approach on immigration is a lot softer than the hardline policies he had set forth last week in Phoenix, Arizona. Nevertheless, on Monday he admitted that it won’t be easy to deport families of children who have the citizenship.
Muir wanted to know what opinion Trump has on former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani’s recent immigration remarks. Giuliani told CNN that deporting a family with children that has been in the U.S. for 15 years would be “very, very difficult.” Trump said that Giuliani is “100% right.”
But last Wednesday, the GOP nominee seemed poised to deport all illegal aliens once the wall is finished. Back then, he even refused to grant an amnesty. If the U.S. does give the amnesty, other nations would think it’s perfectly fine to seek citizenship by illegal means. So, he pledged to detain and deport all immigrants that unlawfully cross the border to their home countries.
Other Contradictory Statements
On the other hand, he backpedalled on the thorny issue Monday in a meet-the-press conference aboard of his jet plane. When one journalist asked what would happen to illegal aliens during his tenure he replied he isn’t “ruling anything out.”
But one someone asked whether there’s a chance for a legal status, Trump ruled that option out. He explained that immigrants who want citizenship must go out and return through legal channels. Also, he noted that these people need to “get on line” first.
“This isn’t touch back,”
the candidate said.
Still, when press insisted on the legal status issue, Trump replied he would decide on the matter “in the future.”
In Arizona, however, he sounded tougher. Last week, he told attendees that illegal aliens who eye a legal status will have to return to the country they come from first. Next, they’ll have to apply for a legal status in America just “like everybody else.”
Immigration is a key issue for Trump as it has helped him garner huge support from voters who want illegals out for good. When it comes to this topic, Trump is best known for his plan to build an impenetrable wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, which Mexico will have to pay for.
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