Mass deportation was never part of Donald Trump’s official plan to begin with

From The Washington Post:

For more than a year, Donald Trump has stood by his pledge to deport all of the roughly 11 million immigrants believed to be living in the United States illegally. “They have to go,” Trump told NBC’s “Meet the Press” in August.

Trump took the plan a step further in a November interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” when he said he would create a “deportation force,” suggesting a policy similar to President Eisenhower’s effort that carried undocumented immigrants to the border by the busload in the 1950s.

Throughout the campaign, when reporters asked him whether his proposal was unrealistic or prohibitively expensive or too disruptive to the fabric of American communities, Trump insisted that all undocumented immigrants would be removed if he were elected.

In the past few days, however, the Republican presidential nominee and his associates have suggested Trump might be taking a different approach. On Monday morning, he told “Fox & Friends” that he had been working with the Hispanic community to develop a “fair but firm answer” to the issue of illegal immigration. When asked if Trump would be sticking to his plan for a deportation force, his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, told CNN that was “to be determined.”

Some political commentators have been criticizing Trump for appearing to retreat from the promise.

Mass deportation, however, was never part of Donald Trump’s official immigration plan. The policy position on immigration that he released last August specifically mentioned deportation only once, in reference to gang members. It also asserted that “all criminal aliens must be returned to their home countries” and called for tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

But it made no call for the mass deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. 

Trump, who is expected to give a speech on immigration on Thursday, has insisted his …

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