A day after what he called a "great" meeting with Hispanic groups, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump struck a different tone than usual when talking about immigration. This shift may bring him into conflict with one of his most stalwart supporters.
Trump claimed Monday night that President Obama had deported a large number immigrants in the U.S. illegally. "What people don't know is Obama got tremendous amounts of people out of the country. Bush, too," Trump told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. "I'm gonna do the same thing ... We wanna do it in a very humane manner."
But a press release from Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., whose staff wrote Trump's immigration policy last summer, contradicts Trump's claim. It found that Obama's deportation numbers were inflated and dropped "precipitiously" last year.
"According to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, deportations of aliens from the United States have decreased precipitously under the Obama administration – particularly of those aliens from the interior of the United States. In FY 2012, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed 409,849 aliens from the United States, with 180,970 coming from the interior of the United States. In FY 2015, ICE removed 235,413 aliens, with only 69,478 coming from the interior," Sessions' statement reads.
Immigrants living illegally in most of the continental U.S. are less likely to be deported under the Obama administration than his Republican predecessor, one report shows.
Trump added the first thing his administration would do is "get rid of" gang members and criminal illegal aliens, despite saying earlier in the year he would deport all persons in the country illegally. It's unclear whether his plans to send people away "in a very humane manner" is in reference to criminal aliens or illegally present persons.
He also said it was not necessary to "put them in a detention center" once those who have been selected for deportation have been determined.