By Phillip Stucky
Staffers for Republican nominee Donald Trump told The Associated Press Sunday Trump has no plans to institute massive deportations of illegal immigrants.
“Trump has already said that he will not do massive deportations,” Campaign Latino outreach chair Helen Aguirre Ferre told reporters at a press conference. “He will focus on removing the violent undocumented who have criminal records and live in the country.”
Last fall, Trump appeared to support the idea of massive deportations, “you’re going to have a deportation force, and you’re going to do it humanely.” Trump estimated that the process of deporting all illegal immigrants would take a year and a half to two years.
Republicans eager to gain Latino support point to Trump’s interview with Bloomberg in June as proof that Trump abandoned his immigration stance for one that is much more lenient months ago.
“President Obama has mass deported vast numbers of people — the most ever, and it’s never reported. I think people are going to find that I have not only the best policies, but I will have the biggest heart of anybody,” Trump told Bloomberg.
Trump added he would not call for mass deportations of illegal immigrants, instead he planned to go after criminals who are illegal immigrants. “We are going to get rid of a lot of bad dudes who are here,” Trump said, according to the AP.
Hispanic and religious leaders who met with Trump over the summer told the AP the Republican nominee is interested in a policy that has more emphasis on compassion, in addition to respect for the law.
“He realizes that there are a lot of good people that are in the shadows. He wants some proposals on how to work on that,” Televangelist Frank Amedia told the AP.
Trump’s numbers don’t look good with Latino voters. Hispanic political firm Latino Decisions published a battleground state poll last week in which Trump only earned 24 percent of Latino support, compared to Clinton’s 71 percent, according to The Weekly Standard.
Clinton announced Sunday that her priority is to deport violent criminals and individuals linked to terrorism. “But don’t go rounding up hard working mothers and fathers, taking them out of the factories or the hotels or the homes where they’re working, making them disappear and leaving their children alone,” Clinton added. “That doesn’t make any sense to me.”