Donald Trump Insists He’s Not Flip-Flopping on Immigration
Donald Trump insisted that he was not reversing his stance on immigration on Monday morning, after a weekend of various reports.
“I will tell you, we are dealing with people,” Trump said during an interview on “Fox & Friends.” “We have to be very firm. We have to be very, very strong when people come in illegally. We have a lot of people that want to come in through the legal process and it’s fair for them. We’re working with a lot of people in the Hispanic community to try and come up with an answer.”
When asked if he had reversed his stance, Trump said, “No, I’m not flip-flopping. We want to come up with a really fair but firm answer. That’s — it has to be very firm. But we want to come up with something fair.”
His comments come amid reports over the weekend that during a roundtable meeting with Hispanic leaders, he expressed an openness to changing his hard-line stance on immigration.
Helen Aguirre-Ferré, the director of Hispanic communications for the Republican National Committee, attended that meeting, and she told ABC News that Trump never mentioned the word “legalization” or indicated an openness to a path to legal status but that he was open to hearing the observations and comments from those gathered.
“Mr. Trump was very clear that he was working on his immigration plan and that it will be fair. He did not provide any indication of what that means in terms of policy. He never used the word “legalization,” and the group was very supportive of his call for increased border security,” she added.
The Republican nominee has made a name for himself in pushing for enhanced border security, declaring — as he has done since he entered the race — that he will build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. to keep out all undocumented immigrants. He famously once advocated for a “deportation force” to remove the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.