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Trump Continues Backing Away from Mass Deportation Plan

HeadlineAug 26, 2016

In news from the campaign trail, Donald Trump is continuing to flip-flop on his immigration policy, sparking controversy among both his allies and opponents. Trump has made the mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants one of the cornerstone proposals of his campaign. But now, with his newest campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, he appears to be backing away from the mass deportation plan, although he still says he’s opposed to amnesty and any path toward legalization. This is Trump speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Donald Trump: “I don’t think it’s a softening. I think its—”

Anderson Cooper: “But 11 million people are no longer going to be deported.”

Donald Trump: “Look, I’ve had people say it’s a hardening, actually.”

Anderson Cooper: “But 11 million who have not committed a crime—”

Donald Trump: “No, no, we’re then going to see—”

Anderson Cooper: “—there’s going to be a path to legalization, is that right?”

Donald Trump: “Look, look, you know it’s a process, you can’t take 11 at one time and just say, 'Boom, you're gone.’”

Trump went on to tell Cooper, “There’s no path to legalization unless they leave the country.” This follows Trump’s town hall hosted by Fox News’ Sean Hannity broadcast Wednesday night in which Trump said he’d be willing to “work with” some undocumented people if they pay back taxes. Undocumented immigrants already do pay taxes. During the town hall, Trump at times appeared not to know what he thought, and instead turned to the audience to conduct a poll.

Donald Trump: “You have somebody who’s terrific, who’s been here—”

Sean Hannity: “Twenty years.”

Donald Trump: “Right, long time. A long court proceeding, long everything, OK? In other words, to get him out. Can we go through a process, or do you think they have to get out? Tell me. I mean, I don’t know. You tell me.”

Sean Hannity: “Well, well, let me—well, let’s do a poll.”

Donald Trump: “Well, I’d like to know. I’d like to know. It’s a problem.”

Sean Hannity: “How many think they should go through a process, that maybe give them a chance? Clap. We’ve got to hear you.”

Donald Trump: “How many people?”

Sean Hannity: “How many think they should go?”

Donald Trump: “But do it again. Do it again.”

Sean Hannity has acknowledged advising the Trump campaign, saying, “I never claimed to be a journalist.”

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