In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, set to be broadcast Sunday, Trump said: “What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate.”
“But we’re getting them out of our country, they’re here illegally.”
On the campaign trail, Trump said he would deport all undocumented migrants living in the US, estimated to be about 11 million people. He has stressed his desire to deport “criminal aliens” and said that he would deport families “in a very humane way”.
His comments to CBS stopped short of such extremes but they also contrasted with the words of House speaker Paul Ryan in a Sunday interview with CNN.
“That is not what our focus is,” Ryan told State of the Union. “We are focused on securing the border before we get on any immigration. We are not planning on erecting a deportation force, Donald Trump’s not planning on that.”
Speaking to CBS in his first broadcast interview since he defeated Hillary Clintonin the electoral college and lost to her in the popular vote, Trump referred to undocumented migrants without criminal records as “terrific people”. He did not describe in detail what his policy would be toward them.
“After the border is secure and after everything gets normalized,” he said, “we’re going to make a determination on the people that they’re talking about who are terrific people, they’re terrific people but we are gonna make a determination at that.”
“But before we make that determination,” he added, “it’s very important, we are going to secure our border.”
Trump also discussed his way to secure that border, the proposed wall, which on the campaign trail he said would be a genuine wall made of “hardened concrete”, “rebar” and “steel”.
Long stretches of the nearly 2,000-mile southern border already have fencing, under a years-long project that has proven difficult and expensive to enact.
Asked if some stretches of his wall would consist of fencing, as suggested by congressional Republicans, he said: “For certain areas I would, but certain areas, a wall is more appropriate.
“I’m very good at this,” the businessman added. “It’s called construction.”