An immigration policy centered around extreme positions — mass deportation of 11 million immigrants in the country illegally, plus building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — initially helped Trump stand out in the massive Republican primary field.
So it was a surprise when, last week, the Trump campaign seemed to change direction, indicating that he was open to “softening” his immigration position, and even at one point that he might be open to a path to legalization for some of those immigrants. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the things the campaign has said about immigration in the past week.
Aug. 20 — Members of Donald Trump’s Hispanic advisory council said Trump was open to relaxing his immigration stance, Buzzfeed reports. Trump said his solution for how to deal with 11 million people in the country illegally “must be something that respects border security but deals with this in a humane and efficient manner,” according to immigration attorney Jacob Monty, who attended the meeting. The Trump campaign later released a statement dismissing the Buzzfeed report, saying that Trump’s position had not changed.
Meanwhile, members of Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council do not verify to NBC News that Trump would advocate a legalization plan. Immigration lawyer Monty says he is hoping for specific policies like a guest-worker program and a “touchback” system, in which immigrants in the U.S. illegally would go back to their home countries and then come back through the visa process. (Another version of “touchbacks” is for immigrants to not go back to a home country but go to a consulate or embassy of that country …