In his much-hyped speech on immigration Wednesday night, Donald Trump cleared up his stance on whether law-abiding illegal immigrants already in the United States can remain in the country.
Nearly an hour into his speech in Phoenix on the issue of illegal immigration, Trump said: “For those here illegally today, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only: to return home and apply for re-entry like everybody else under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined.”
Trump delivered the speech amid some confusion about whether he would actively deport all illegal immigrants. Speaking to Sean Hannity of Fox News last week, Trump seemed to suggest he’s open to a pathway to legalization for certain illegal immigrants who have been in the country for a long time if they are willing to pay a fine. That was not his message Wednesday.
Near the beginning of the speech, Trump mocked the media for the recent concentration on what he would do with the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country.
“Anyone who tells you that the core issue is the needs of those living here illegally has simply spent too much time in Washington,” Trump said to a crowd in Phoenix of the issue of immigration.
“There is only one core issue in the immigration debate and that issue the well being of the American people,” the Republican presidential nominee said added.
During his speech, Trump called for creating a “new special deportation task force” for removing criminals. He also said no illegal immigrant would be immune from enforcement.
“Anyone who is in the United States illegally is subject to deportation,” Trump said.