Immigrants from Central America remove the shoe laces from their shoes while being detained by US Border Patrol on August 17, 2016 in Roma, Texas. (photos by AFP)
The newly installed campaign manager for GOP nominee Donald Trump says his stance on mass deportation of undocumented immigrants in the United States is yet "to be determined.”
In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, the real estate mogul has called for a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as deportation of some 11 million immigrants living there illegally.
His stance has infuriated immigrants as well as Muslim Americans but his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, told CNN early on Sunday that he would reveal the specifics of his stance on the issue "as the weeks unfold."
"What he supports is to make 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," Conway said in defense of Trump by softening his pitch on the issue of immigration.
The campaign of Trump’s rival, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, did not remain silent after Conway’s remarks, reminding American voters of his previous comments on the matter.
US Border Patrol agents take an undocumented immigrant into custody after capturing him with a group that had just illegally crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas on August 18, 2016 in McAllen, Texas.
"Whether Donald Trump's immigration plan includes a deportation squad to forcibly remove millions of families from their homes has been asked and answered by the candidate himself time and time again," Lorella Praeli, Hillary for America's national Latino vote director, said in a statement. "When someone running for president says he looks upon a plan called Operation Wetback favorably, we should believe him the first dozen times he lays out his intentions."
On Saturday, the New York billionaire met with his Hispanic advisory board where he made no specific comments on what he will do in regard to immigration.
"He addressed the immigration issue himself and said, ‘Look, I know it’s an issue. The biggest problem is the 11 million that are here.’ He asked for our input on how to deal with them," said Jacob Monty, a Houston-based immigration attorney.
Donald Trump shakes hands with supporters on his way to the podium to speak at a campaign rally August 19, 2016 in Dimondale, Michigan.
Helen Aguirre Ferré, the Republican National Committee's Hispanic communications director, also suggested that Trump’s policy remained vague.
"He listened to the comments and suggestions made by the various board members, but he never indicated what his immigration policy would be," Ferré said.
Apart from mass deportation of undocumented immigrants and a ban on Muslims’ entry into the US, border security plays a crucial role in Trump’s immigration policy.