What Donald Trump and His Campaign Have Said About Immigration This Week

There has been a lot of discussion about the topic.

ByABC News
August 26, 2016, 2:39 PM

— -- Donald Trump says he plans to discuss his immigration plan at length in a speech at some point next week, but that hasn’t stopped the Republican presidential nominee from teasing some of the possible changes he may adopt.

His plan to build a wall along the southern U.S. border has not changed since he introduced it early in his campaign, but his proposal for what to do with undocumented immigrants who are already in the country may have.

In November, Trump first mentioned a “deportation force” to remove immigrants who arrived in the country illegally, but now he appears to be wavering on what to do with some longstanding residents who have families and jobs and no criminal history.

Here is a rundown of what changes he and his team have mentioned in the past few days.

Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway’s interview on CNN on Sunday, Aug. 21

Trump’s new campaign manager appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” and when asked directly whether Trump’s plan will include a deportation force, Conway indicated that it is up for discussion.

"To be determined," she said.

Trump’s town hall on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show taped on Tuesday, Aug. 23

Trump spoke about immigration in a town hall hosted by Fox News that was taped Tuesday, Aug. 23, but then broken into two parts and aired on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

"There certainly can be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people,” Trump said in the first part of the town hall. “We want people -- we have some great people in this country. We have some great, great people in this country. But, so we're going to follow the laws of this country. What people don't realize, we have very, very strong laws.”

During the second part of the town hall, Trump seemed to express empathy for people who have adapted to life in America and have been law-abiding ever since arriving.

"You have somebody that has been in the country for 20 years. He has done a great job. Has a job, everything else. OK. Do we take him and the family, her or him or whatever, and send them out?” Trump said.

"So do we tell these people to get out, number one, or do we work with them and let them stay in some cases?” he added.

Trump attempted to address the concerns among some hard-liners in light of signs that he may be “softening” his position on immigration.

"Let me go a step further: They will pay back taxes. They have to pay taxes. There's no amnesty, as such. There's no amnesty,” Trump said.

Trump’s Rally in Jackson, Mississippi on Wednesday Aug. 24

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump welcomes Nigel Farage, ex-leader of the British UKIP party, to speak at a campaign rally in Jackson, Mississippi, Aug. 24, 2016.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump welcomes Nigel Farage, ex-leader of the British UKIP party, to speak at a campaign rally in Jackson, Mississippi, Aug. 24, 2016.

Trump held a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, where Nigel Farage, the former U.K. Independence Party leader who was one of the strongest supporters of the Brexit vote, appeared.

Trump said "any immigration policy" that he supports, if he's elected, would have to improve jobs and wages, improve safety and security, and improve the quality of life, for all U.S. citizens.

Trump’s interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday Aug. 25

"My first day in office, I am going to notify law enforcement authorities that all of the bad dudes -- and we have a lot of them -- that are here illegally, that are the heads of gangs and drug cartels and all sorts of people ... And there are probably millions of them but certainly hundreds of thousands, big numbers. They’re out. They’re out,” he said.

The order in which undocumented immigrants would have to leave the country would be determined by the time and effort it takes to enact his policy, he said.

"You can’t take 11 million at one time and just say, 'Boom, you’re gone.' We have to find where these people are. Most people don’t even know where they are,” he said.

When asked whether people who entered the country illegally as long of 15 years ago, and have jobs and families, will be deported, Trump said, "We’re going to see what happens once we strengthen up our border."

"There is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back,” Trump said, noting that they would then have to start paying taxes.

"If somebody wants to go legalization route, what they’ll do is they’ll go, leave the country, hopefully come back in, and then we can talk. And one other thing, there are millions of people right now online trying to come into our country. It’s very unfair to them some of the rules, regulations and policies that I’ve seen. These are millions of people that want to come into our country legally. And it would be very unfair to them,” he said.

Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway’s “Good Morning America” interview on Friday Aug. 26

PHOTO: Kellyanne Conway is a guest on "Good Morning America," Aug. 26, 2016.
Kellyanne Conway is a guest on "Good Morning America," Aug. 26, 2016.

Even though it has been nearly a week since she made her “TBD” remark, Conway appears to be sticking to the same talking points.

"I think you've heard him over the course of a week explain his position as being what it's always been. No amnesty. He's going to build a wall, the center piece of his campaign from the beginning. He wants to protect the American worker,” Conway said.

"He's said no path to legalization, no path to citizen ship. No amnesty. You can return home, and if you would like to stand in line, the thing that everybody else is stand in line, wait your turn, go through the normal courses.”

While she didn’t specifically address the so-called “deportation force,” she said the manner in which they would be deported “will be determined.”

Conway added: "This has never been tried on such a scale. It's President Obama who has deported by some estimates 2 million plus people. We know it's possible.”

When asked about the order in which undocumented immigrants would have to leave the country, Conway reiterated that criminals are the first priority.

"He has said first you throw the bad once out. The one who is have committed a crime,” she told “Good Morning America.”

“They leave. We don't know the number. Some people have estimated 1 million. Then you find a humane, fair way to deal with those still here. He said last night, they would have to return to their home countries.”

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