From The Associated Press:
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Republican Donald Trump promised Monday to be “fair, but firm” toward the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally, a shift in tone that raised questions on whether he’s backtracking from previous pledges to push for mass deportations.
The billionaire businessman, whose hard-line approach to immigration and fierce rhetoric propelled him to the GOP presidential nomination, insisted that he’s not “flip-flopping” on the divisive issue as he works to broaden his support two-and-a-half months before the general election.
But in a meeting with Hispanic activists Saturday, Trump indicated he was open to considering allowing those who have not committed crimes, beyond their immigration offenses, to obtain some form of legal status – though attendees stressed Trump has yet to make up his mind.
“The impression I got was that the campaign is working on substantive policy to help the undocumented that are here, including some type of status so they would not be deported,” said Pastor Mario Bramnick, president of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition, who was in attendance.
Any walk-back would mark a dramatic reversal for Trump. During the GOP primary, Trump vowed to use a “deportation force” to round up and deport the millions of people living in the country illegally – a proposal that excited many of his core supporters, but alienated Hispanic voters who could be pivotal in key states.
Trump said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Monday that he was “working with a lot of people in the Hispanic community to try and come up with an answer.”
“We want to come …