Donald Trump continued to deny weekend reports that he is reconsidering his plans for mass deportation Monday, repeating that he’s intent on getting rid of the “bad people” in this country.
In a prerecorded interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly airing Monday night, the Republican nominee again refuted a report by BuzzFeed that he was open to legalization for undocumented immigrants, dismissing it as “false.” The report came on the heels of newly minted campaign manager Kellyanne Conway giving an interview Sunday morning in which she characterized Trump’s plan to deploy a deportation force as “to be determined.”
The Trump campaign found itself on the defensive Monday, with the nominee flatly denying that he was “flip-flopping” on the issue in an earlier interview with Fox News.
Speaking to O’Reilly, Trump insisted that his calls for mass deportation could in fact be carried out under existing U.S. law, comparing his plans to that of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Trump added that if laws are executed properly, immigrants that “go around killing people and hurting people” are “gonna be out of this country so fast your head will spin.”
“We’re going to obey the existing laws. Now, the existing laws are very strong. The existing laws, the first thing we’re gonna do, if and when I win, is we’re gonna get rid of all of the bad ones. We’ve got gang members, we have killers, we have a lot of bad people that have to get out of this country,” he said. “What people don’t know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country, Bush the same thing. … Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well I’m gonna do the same thing.”
The Republican nominee also refuted the notion that his plan would require placing undocumented immigrants in detention centers, stressing the need for a humane way of dealing with them.
“You don’t have to put them in a detention center. I’m not gonna put them in a detention center,” he said. “We want to do it in a very humane manner.”
The campaign, which has been struggling to make inroads with minorities, continues polling poorly among Latino and Hispanic voters.