Top GOP advisors to Donald Trump’s presidential run are unable to explain what their party candidate’s immigration policy looks like. In interviews on Sunday morning talk shows, members of Trump’s campaign and party leaders all agreed that Trump will deal with immigration in a “humane” way — but no one clarified how.
Most appeared to be guessing.
“Well, I think what he has said is that people are not going to be eligible for legalization or citizenship unless they leave the country and get back in line,” said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on ABC’s This Week. “Now there’s going to be, you know, some decisions he’s going to have to make as president regarding those folks.”
“His position is going to be tough, his position is going to be fair, his position is going to be humane.”
Trump recently announced he’d be “softening” his immigration strategy — only to suggest harsh, conflicting deportation ideas shortly thereafter. Trump staffers, however, are quick to erase this idea of inconsistent policies.
“The signature piece of his legislation has, and his campaign, has always been build the wall. That has not changed,” said Trump’s newest campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, on Fox News Sunday.
She went on to avoid details about any kind of deportation policy, aside from noting he “wants to find a fair and humane way” to deport illegal immigrants.
Conway isn’t the only one clinging to this somewhat vague idea.
In an interview on MSNBC’s Meet the Press, reporter Chuck Todd also pushed RNC Chair Reince Priebus on what Trump’s immigration policy will be.
“Well you’re going to find out from Donald Trump very shortly…” Priebus began.
“Wait,” Todd asked. “We don’t know? I mean, it is sort of remarkable that we don’t know.”
“Here’s what I know,” Priebus replied. “His position is going to be tough, his position is going to be fair, his position is going to be humane.”
Indiana Governor and GOP candidate for Vice President Mike Pence echoes Priebus on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Pence told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump will “have a mechanism for dealing with people in this country that — you heard the word ‘humanely’ again. It’s going to be fair.”
“To be clear, you did not address the issue of whether or not there will be a deportation force removing the 11 million. But I don’t want to spend the entire interview on that one subject.”
Asked about Trump’s past policy proposal to develop a “deportation force” to round up and deport the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States, Pence quickly pivoted.
“It’s a mechanism, not a policy,” he said. “I mean, you’re going to hear more detail in the next two weeks.”
“To be clear,” Tapper replied. “You did not address the issue of whether or not there will be a deportation force removing the 11 million. But I don’t want to spend the entire interview on that one subject.”
All four interviewees mentioned that Trump would be following up with a more cemented, detailed immigration policy outline in the upcoming weeks, but gave no specific information on when or what that would be.