Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears to be shifting his views on immigration ahead of the upcoming debate season that begins next month.
A string of newly released presidential election polls show that Trump lags behind Democratic presidential nominee Hilary Clinton with minorities.
Speaking at a town hall meeting on Fox’s Hannity Show on Tuesday evening, Donald Trump revealed that he has softened his views about immigration and no longer insists that 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. must be deported.
Room For Accommodation
Trump said there “could be a softening because we are not looking to hurt people” when asked to respond to the effort to deport illegal immigrants in the U.S. who contribute to society, abide by laws, and have families.
Trump emphasized that “we are going to follow the laws of the country” and said that “gang members and bad people” will go out of the country, day one.
Trump’s new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s Anderson Cooper yesterday that Trump’s immigration plan hasn’t changed but she acknowledged that his execution plan has been changing.
Trump had a meeting this week with Hispanic leaders.
Trump’s immigration address that was re-scheduled for Thursday in Colorado has reportedly been delayed until next week.
No Shifting Over Campaign Pledge For A New Border Wall
Trump continues to insist that he would build a border wall with Mexico, funded by Mexico.
When asked how he would get Mexico to pay for a border wall that is nearly 2,000 miles long, Trump said that Mexico is “killing us at the border and killing us with trade .”
Trump said the U.S. has a trade deficit with Mexico that is close to $60 billion a year and explained “so right there you can build a wall because the border is a fraction of that.”
Trump claimed “we are lose a fortune on trade and that doesn’t include the drugs that are pouring in the border and which is probably double or triple or something.”
Not all economists go along with Trump’s opinion that the U.S. trade deficit with other countries like Mexico means that the U.S. is being killed.
This op-ed article from the L.A. Times in March makes that point clear.
Shifting Views About Immigration With Muslims
Trump has also shifted with his views about banning Muslims.
In December Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.”
Later in the spring, Trump explained that his calls for a ban was only temporary.
Recently, Trump said he wants to “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there’s a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies until we fully understand how to end these threats.”