An editorial in the Washington Post on Tuesday slammed Donald Trump's recent comments on restricting immigration and argued that people in the country illegally are needed for menial labor.

The paper said Trump's call for a border wall and a "humane" solution to the millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S. are "politically and economically preposterous."

"Those include the fact that at least 8 million unauthorized immigrants are employed, most have been in this country for 15 years or longer, and typically they do jobs — tending crops, washing dishes, mowing lawns — that native-born Americans do not want," the Post said. "In basic economic terms, illegal immigrants meet the labor market's demand for lower-wage employees, for which there is a shortage of available legal workers."

Trump's hardline approach to the immigration issue is a cornerstone of his campaign and played a large part in his ascent to the party's nomination. In recent days, however, his campaign has softened on parts of it, including a potential abandonment of a "task force" that would deport all illegal immigrants and a shift on how to specifically reduce the number of Muslims entering the country.