Speculation swirled on Sunday that Donald Trump is getting ready to announce a modification to his proposed policy on deporting some 11 million immigrants who are currently living in the U.S. illegally.
Trump wants a “humane” way to deal with illegal immigrants
Buzzfeed reported that in a meeting with his newly formed Hispanic advisory council, Trump suggested he is interested in figuring out a “humane and efficient” to deal with undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. Trump stressed that any new policy would be in line with his commitment to providing stricter security at U.S. borders.
"He said people who are here is the toughest part of the immigration debate, that it must be something that respects border security but deals with this in a humane and efficient manner." — Jacob Monty
The Washington Post reported that Trump has previously shown some signs that he is uncomfortable with the concept of using mass deportations. The Post said that last June he expressed hesitation in using the term. Newly appointed campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN on Sunday Trump’s stand on deportation is “to be determined,” and offered assurances that he will be “fair and humane for those who live among us in this country.”
Major speech planned on immigration
Univision reported that Trump plans to present his immigration plan in a speech in Colorado on Thursday.
If Trump does change his policy towards one that would be more permissive of allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the country, it would be a position that a majority of Americans agree with. An ABC News/Washington Post poll in May showed that 50% of Americans felt undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S. should be allowed to stay with a path to citizenship, while 44% felt they should be deported. A CBS News/New York Times poll in July of this year showed even greater support for allowing illegal immigrants to stay, with 61% supporting the position that they should stay and be allowed to apply for citizenship.
At the same time, a Gallup poll in July showed that only 21% of Americans feel that immigration should be increased. Americans also have little desire to allow immigrants who have committed a crime while in the U.S. to stay, with 80% of respondents saying that any alien who has committed a crime should be deported.
Follow Reagan’s plan for amnesty
Trump would appear to have some room politically to modify his position on allowing those that are currently residing illegally in the U.S. to have a path to become legalized. He could opt to support a plan similar to the plan put forth by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Reagan’s plan promised to tighten border controls while at the same time offering amnesty to anyone who had entered the United States before 1982.
"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally." — President Ronald Reagan