Donald Trump is not going to launch deportation force, most senior Republican says

This would mark yet another major policy reversal for the President-elect 

Feliks Garcia
New York
Sunday 13 November 2016 16:18 GMT

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that Republican lawmakers do not intend to start a “deportation force” for the US’ 11 million undocumented immigrants, despite Donald Trump’s campaign promises – marking yet another major policy reversal for President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration.

Mr Trump campaigned on a hardline stance against immigration, immediately vowing to build a wall and launch massive deportation campaigns once he took office. But Mr Ryan’s remarks appear to contradict the President-elect’s primary policy proposals.

“We are not planning on erecting a deportation force. Donald Trump’s not planning on that,” Mr Ryan told CNN on Sunday.

“I think we should put people’s minds at ease: That is not what our focus is. That is not what we’re focused on. We’re focused on securing the border,” he added. “We think that’s first and foremost, before we get into any other immigration issue, we’ve got to know who’s coming and going into the country – we’ve got to secure the border.”

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Mr Ryan did not indicate whether federal legislators plan to help carry out the building of Mr Trump’s wall between Mexico and the US.

On Friday, Mr Trump indicated that he would keep some elements of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.

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Instead of completely repealing the law, Mr Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he would more likely amend it.

"Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced," Mr Trump told the newspaper following his 90 minute meeting with President Barack Obama. "I told him I will look at his suggested and, out of respect, I will do that."

After the President and President-elect had their first meeting, Mr Obama said he was "encouraged" by Mr Trump's willingness to work with his team. The relationship between the two has been contentious in recent years, as Mr Trump was an outspoken critic of the President, leading the birther movement with the racist claim that he was not born in the United States.

For his part, Mr Obama passionately campaigned for Hillary Clinton and has said Mr Trump is "uniquely unqualified" for the job of President – a position he still holds even after their Thursday meeting.

"Look, the President's views haven't changed. He stands by what he said on the campaign trail," Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. "He had an opportunity to make his argument. He made that argument vigorously. He made that argument in states all across the country."

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