The One Question the Trump Campaign Refuses to Answer

September 4th 2016

Thor Benson

Presidential candidate Donald Trump distinguished himself from his Republican primary opponents with his immigration rhetoric, asserting on multiple occasions that he would deport all 11-million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. 

But now the campaign plank that made Trump a political superstar appears to be bending. 

During an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence was repeatedly asked if Donald Trump still intends to deport all undocumented immigrants.

"Why can't you definitively say what's going to happen to these folks?" Todd asked. "Because he used to definitively say it. He said there would be — everybody has to leave. And now there's some muddiness to this."

Pence did not answer the question and instead pointed out some of Trump's other immigration plans. Pence said the deportation question will be addressed once illegal immigration has been stopped. For the record, net immigration from Mexico is essentially in the negatives at this point, according to the Pew Research Center. 

Pew Research poll showing drop in immigration

In contrast with Pence's lack of response, top Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani said on Sunday that Donald Trump is not intending on deporting all undocumented immigrants anymore. 

Giuliani said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trump "would find it very, very difficult to throw out a family that has been here for 15 years and they have three children, two of whom are citizens. That is not the kind of America he wants."

It's been difficult to pin down Trump's view on undocumented immigrants in recent months, with some election watchers speculating that the candidate is trying to moderate his stance in order to appeal to more voters. Even during a fiery campaign stop in Phoenix on Wednesday, which many Trump supporters hailed as a return to his hard-line anti-immigrant stance, the candidate left wiggle room for millions of undocumented immigrants living in America. "We will be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those who remain," Trump said, according to CNN