POLITICS

Trump plans to stay quiet on immigration during campaign stop in Arizona next week

On 'Hannity,' Republican presidential nominee lays out his plan to combat the illegal immigration problem

 

Donald Trump will return to Phoenix next week, but campaign staffers now say he won't be delivering a speech outlining his immigration policy there.

Campaign officials had confirmed the Aug. 31 immigration speech in Phoenix earlier Wednesday, but a few hours later Arizona campaign chair Brian Seitchik said that the event will instead be a Republican unity rally. 

The campaign blamed a "staff error."

Trump has been working to soften the harsh tone on immigration that became a hallmark of his primary campaign. He had scheduled a speech on immigration in Colorado for Thursday but cancelled it as well.

Taping a town hall in Austin, Texas, for Fox News earlier this week, Trump was asked by moderator Sean Hannity if he would change current statutes to accommodate law-abiding citizens or longtime residents who have raised children in the United States.

"There certainly can be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people," Trump answered. "We want people — we have some great people in this country."

"We are going to follow the laws of this country," he added.

Trump has repeatedly declared that if elected, he would deport the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally. But he has hedged his stance in recent days, and during the taping he ruminated aloud about the fairness of breaking up families. He even polled the audience about what they would do about the crucial policy.

"So you have somebody who's been in the country for 20 years, has done a great job, and everything else," Trump said. "Do we take him and the family and her and him or whatever and send him out?"

The crowd's reaction was split: Some cheered when Trump suggested that the immigrants be allowed to stay, others roared when he suggested deporting them.

The Republican nominee said he "would come out with a decision very soon" about deportations.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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