Donald Trump’s recent remarks indicate he may be softening his stance on what do about certain illegal immigrants already in the country, but Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions says he is still “supportive” of the Republican nominee’s approach.
Appearing on Fox and Friends on Thursday, Sessions — known for his tough stance against illegal immigration — said he trusted Trump would secure the border and enforce immigration law before doing anything about the more than 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.
“I think Donald Trump is moving us in the right direction,” Sessions said. “If you want to secure the border and improve our immigration system and fix it there’s only one way to vote in November. Hillary Clinton is extreme. I mean she wants to take instead of 10,000 refugees from Syria, 65,000. She wants to increase refugees across the board and her policies actually undermine enforcement — they just cannot work. So this is open borders really versus a real establishment of law.”
Trump acknowledged Wednesday, during an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, that he may be for letting law-abiding illegal immigrants who have been in the country for a long time pay a fine so they can remain in the country.
“He’s saying let’s fix this problem, let’s fix it and then we’ll wrestle with people who have been here a long time,” Sessions said. “I think that’s the right approach.”
“I can be supportive of that.”
Added Sessions: “The important thing is to focus first and foremost on a lawful system that protects the interests of the American people first. If you enter into the country unlawfully, you’re subject to being deported. That’s just what the law has always been.”
Sessions emphasized the importance of securing the border first, saying border enforcement was promised during the 1986 amnesty but that never happened.
“We went from three million at that amnesty to 11 million now,” Sessions said. “You cannot do that in the future and it’s not easy. You’ve got to be careful how you handle it and we’ve got to work our way through it. It’s just central for America.”