Donald Trump has softened his stance on undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. since they were children, saying that he intends to work with the so-called DREAMers so that they can remain in the country.
"I want Dreamers for our children," Trump told TIME Magazine in the issue that declared him "Person of the Year." "We're going to work something out. On a humanitarian basis it's a very tough situation. We're going to work something out that's going to make people happy and proud. But that's a very tough situation."
Through President Barack Obama's 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, roughly 740,000 of these individuals received work permits, conditional immunity from deportation and other benefits, notes Politico. Trump did not specify what steps he would take to accommodate the DREAMers.
"They got brought here at a very young age, they've worked here, they've gone to school here," Trump said, according to Politico. "Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they're in Never-Never Land because they don't know what's going to happen."
During his campaign, Trump vowed to repeal all of Obama's executive orders regarding immigration, and he appointed Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who has taken a hard line against those orders and against providing a path to citizenship, as his attorney general.
While his action plan toward undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. remain unclear, Trump told TIME that he still intends to enforce a strict immigration policy, have "strong borders" and build the U.S.-Mexico border wall that he promised during his campaign.
"We have to be able to have people come in to our country, because that's good for all of us," he explained to the magazine. "It's good for them, but it's good for all of us. But we're going to have very strong borders. We're not going to have illegals coming in. But we're going to have people coming in, but we're also going to have them coming in based to a certain extent on merit."