Donald Trump has not backtracked on his determination to deport all illegal immigrants currently in the U.S., contrary to news reports this week, one of his senior Hispanic campaign members has confirmed.
“Mr. Trump did not say he was in favor of legalization,” said Helen Aguirre-Ferre, who attended his campaign’s National Hispanic Advisory Council meeting in Trump Tower, New York.
According to a report in Breitbart News, Aguirre-Ferre said Trump “did not say or suggest that he was open to granting any legal status—amnesty—to any illegal aliens in the United States.”
Aguirre-Ferre, who is the Republican Party’s official “Hispanic communications director,” told Breitbart News that anyone at the meeting “who got the impression that Trump had changed his position on foreigners in the United States illegally misinterpreted his remarks.”
“What Mr. Trump said was very clear,” she said. “Some folks talked about legalization, not citizenship, for the undocumented, Mr. Trump did not say he was in favor of legalization. Some folks may have felt that he was open to it—and he gave zero indication of that.”
The Trump campaign’s swift dismissal of the “inaccurate reports” that he would back amnesty for illegal aliens comes after BuzzFeed and Univision falsely reported that Trump told Hispanic activists he would, Breitbart News added.
A USA Today report of the meeting quoted Trump as saying that he was not “flip-flopping” on plans to deport people who are in the country illegally but is “working with Hispanic advisers on the best approach.”
“We have to be very firm, we have to be very, very strong when people come in illegally,” Trump said Monday on “Fox & Friends,” later adding that “we’re working with a lot of people in the Hispanic community to try and come up with an answer.”
Trump has proposed a special “deportation force” to address the problem. On Fox, Trump said, “I’m not flip-flopping. We want to come up with a really fair, but firm answer.”
The reports came on the same day that CNN reported that Trump launched a new campaign to draw black voters to the Republican Party—but then demanded that convicted felons be denied the right to vote. As blacks make up the majority of felons, this vote ban disproportionately affects that community.
The GOP is the party of Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said at a meeting in Fredericksburg, Virginia. “I want our party to be the home of the African-American voter once again.”
In the same speech, however, he condemned an order by the state’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, to restore voting rights to some convicted felons who have completed their sentences.
McAuliffe said that the move will “help African-Americans who were disproportionally affected by laws that put lifetime bans on felons.”