Republican nominee Donald Trump has signaled he may soften his policy proposal to deport an estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally. While Trump has vowed not to change on the issue, his campaign staffers have indicated a planned shift.
On Aug. 20, Trump held a closed-door meeting with Hispanic leaders at Trump Tower in New York City.
Sources present at the meeting told Univision News the GOP nominee was both apologetic about his rhetoric towards Mexicans and open to the policy of offering a path to legalization for the millions of immigrants currently residing in the country illegally.
Immigration lawyer Jacob Monty of Texas recalled that Trump acknowledged that deporting 11 million people “is neither possible nor humane.”
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Monty added that the GOP nominee promised to unveil a policy plan that would grant legal protections to those in the country without legal permission “that wouldn’t be citizenship but would allow them to be here without fear of deportation.”
On the issue of Trump’s rhetoric towards Hispanics, businesswoman Jovita Carranza said the business mogul “told us what he’d said was one thing and that what he’d meant to say was another.”
The sources alleged that Trump was planning to unveil an immigration plan that will include a path to legalization. The alleged speech will be held in Colorado on Aug. 25.
Trump had gained traction during the Republican primary by slamming his opponents for being soft on immigration, particularly blasting former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for being open to offering a path to citizenship.
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On Aug. 21, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway offered an ambiguous answer when asked by CNN if the GOP nominee was still planning to use his proposed deportation force.
“To be determined,” Conway responded. The campaign manager, who had been present during Trump’s meeting with Hispanic leaders, added that what he had said behind closed doors “differed very little from what he has said publicly.”
On Aug. 22, Trump elaborated on his potentially changing stance on immigration during a phone call interview with Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”
“We have a lot of people that want to come in through the legal process,” Trump said. “We’re working with a lot of people in the Hispanic community to try and come up with an answer.”
Trump added, “I’m not flip-flopping.”
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign political director Amanda Renteria released a statement slamming Trump’s possible shift on immigration policy.
“If true, this is a cynical attempt from Donald Trump to distract from his dangerous policies ... Donald Trump will be Donald Trump and what’s clear is that he’s dangerous for the Latino community,” Renteria said.