Donald Trump's plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants still 'to be determined', says campaign manager

Mr Trump previously said undocumented people living in the US would 'have to go', but now he is said to be soliciting suggestions for a 'humane and efficient' immigration policy

Tim Walker
US Correspondent
Monday 22 August 2016 11:56
Donald Trump's plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants still 'to be determined'

Donald Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration has long been a central plank of his presidential campaign, but this weekend it may have wobbled, with the Republican nominee apparently modifying his stance on the mass deportation of undocumented people.

After previously urging the creation of a dedicated agency to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the US, Mr Trump reportedly met with Hispanic leaders at Trump Tower in New York on Saturday to solicit suggestions for what one participant said would be a “humane and efficient” immigration policy.

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Mr Trump’s new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said the property mogul’s plans for the special “deportation force” were now “to be determined”.

Ms Conway and Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon also attended the meeting at Trump Tower. In discussion with Latino participants, campaign officials reportedly agreed on forming a task force to foster ideas for dealing with undocumented workers and families, which do not involve deportation but stop short of so-called “amnesty”, or a pathway to citizenship.

Jacob Monty, a Latino immigration lawyer and Trump supporter who attended the meeting, told Buzzfeed: “[Mr Trump] said people who are here is the toughest part of the immigration debate, that it must be something that respects border security but deals with this in a humane and efficient manner.”

The Trump campaign has denied that the meeting and its conclusions mark any change in the candidate’s stance on immigration. Mr Trump launched his campaign last July with a speech in which he described Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug traffickers, and has stuck to his controversial proposal to build a costly wall along the US-Mexican border.

Last year, Mr Trump insisted all undocumented immigrants would “have to go”, but on Sunday Ms Conway suggested his plans were not set in stone, but would emerge “as the weeks unfold”. Mr Trump is due to deliver a major policy speech on immigration in Colorado on Thursday.

A recent Fox News poll found that Democrat Hillary Clinton has a 46 per cent national lead over Mr Trump among Latino voters. In recent days, the businessman has attempted to reach out to minority voters, inviting black Americans to vote for him because they have “nothing to lose.”

At a rally in Michigan on Friday, Mr Trump urged voters to “reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, who sees communities of colour only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.”

The Republican is polling at approximately zero per cent among African-Americans in several states, although he has claimed that were he to win the White House, his performance as President would be so impressive that by the time of the 2020 election, he would secure more than 95 per cent of the black vote.

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