Politics

Donald Trump's Stance on Deportation and Immigration

August 21st 2016

By:
Aron Macarow

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has taken a pretty definitive stance on deportation and immigration in the past. He's suggested building a wall with the Mexican border and called for a "deportation force" to be created which he claimed would remove some 11 million undocumented immigrants. Last summer, Trump said that all undocumented individuals "have to go" and recently he's also been cavalier with statements in support of large-scale deportation.

So it came as a surprise to many on both sides of the political spectrum when Trump's new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, announced that her boss's deportation views were "[t]o be determined."

During an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Conway was asked whether Trump still intended to build "a deportation force removing the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants." She did not reiterate Trump's previously harsh deportation agenda, the Washington Post reports.

Conway instead described Trump's position on immigrants as "mak[ing] sure that we enforce the law, that we are respectful of those Americans who are looking for well-paying jobs and that we are fair and humane for those who live among us in this country."

Her comments came in response to reports of what Trump may have said to his newly created Hispanic advisory council, whom he spoke with on Saturday. According to some in attendance, the Republican presidential candidate characterized his approach as focusing on being both "humane and efficient."

Not everyone is buying it, though.

And they might be right. Many view the move as an attempt to sway Hispanic voters. 

According to some polls, as many as 87 percent of Hispanic voters view Trump unfavorably. Since Hispanic Americans comprise around 17 percent of the U.S. population, that number can't be sitting well with the Trump campaign.

"Every 30 seconds, a Latino citizen turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote," said Gabriel Sanchez, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico, to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute at their annual gathering last year. "That's 66,000 each month. That's a powerful number." 

This wouldn't be the first time that Trump flip-flopped "big league" either.

Trump has been called out for changing his mind in significant ways before on topics like abortion, healthcare, gun control, minimum wage, and even his opinion on his opponent, Hillary Clinton. For instance, Trump claimed that he was "very different from most Republicans" in a May 2016 interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, suggesting that he was open to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour — or higher. That's very different from his stance at a debate in November of the previous year, when he told the audience:

"Taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave [the minimum wage] the way it is."

Similarly, he moved through many different opinions on abortion over the course of just a view days in April 2016, suggesting everything from criminal punishment for women who obtain illegal abortions to overturning Roe v. Wade to keeping abortion laws exactly as they are.

The real estate mogul also suggested in 2008 that Hillary Clinton would make "a great president or vice-president." Obviously, those are not sentiments that the Republican candidate echoes now. It's enough to make your head spin.

So where does that leave us on immigration?

According to the Washington Post, Trump will reportedly deliver a major policy speech about immigration on Thursday in Colorado. Will the candidate match this tone during that speech? We'll just have to wait and see.

RELATED: Donald Trump Has No Idea Where He Stands on Abortion