With the general election fast approaching, Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is softening his often-controversial attitude towards immigration, at least in private. Officials in the Republican Party are keen to see him become more moderate, telling Hispanics that he no longer intends to have all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States deported, even though Trump has not backtracked on this in public.
The director of Hispanic Communications for the Republican National Committee, Helen Aguirre Ferre, spoke to reporters at the party’s convention two weeks ago. During a Spanish language briefing, she told them that Trump has declared that, if he becomes President, massive deportations will not take place. Instead, he intends to focus on removing violent criminal undocumented immigrants.
This may surprise many Trump voters, given his hard-line stance on immigration and border security. Last fall, Trump said in a television interview that he would have a deportation force to carry out mass deportations in a humane manner. In a separate interview, he estimated that such an operation would likely take from 18 months to as long as two years to complete.
At other times, though, Trump has indicated that this is no longer the case. Earlier this summer, when interviewed by Bloomberg News, Trump said that he would not call his plans “mass deportation”. He said he would have a big heart in carrying out his policies, noting that President Barack Obama’s administration has deported a large number of people with little press backlash.