On Face the Nation Sunday morning on CBS, longtime Trump adviser and Alabama senator Jeff Sessions discussed the most current iteration of the Trump immigration platform with host John Dickerson.
The interview came as Trump convened a meeting with Sessions, Rudy Giuliani, and "national security experts" earlier in the week to discuss immigration and terrorism.
Dickerson asked Sessions about the recent report from BuzzFeed that Trump told a group of Hispanic leaders recently he would find a "humane and efficient" way to deal with the 11 million illegal immigrants. Those who heard Trump's remarks said it seemed like the Republican nominee would be open to a path to legal status for undocumented workers. Sessions said Trump has not "made any commitments" on what to do with current illegal immigrants.
"We'll have to think about what's the right thing to do. He listened to a lot of people. I don't think he made any commitments. He's thinking that through. I think that's the right thing. But he is absolutely committed to the first thing that has to be done, and that's end the lawlessness, to protect Americans from danger, and to protect American jobs from excessive flows of labor that pull down wages and job opportunities for Americans."
As to his promise to remove those here illegally and "put them at the back of the line"—assuming those removed want legal permanent status—Sessions demurred: "Well, he's wrestling with how to do that. Uh, people that are here unlawfully, came into the country against our laws, are subject to being removed. That's just plain fact."
Dickerson pressed Sessions, asking: "You know, there was a little confusion about his position, but you're, you're pretty certain about where he is in terms of removing the eleven million from the United States?"
To which Sessions responded: "Well, what I'm certain about is that he did not make a firm commitment yesterday, or [in] the meeting the other day, about what he will do with that. But he did listen and he's talking about it."
Regarding the so-called "extreme vetting" of visitors or immigrants seeking to come to the United States from "dangerous areas of the globe," Sessions confirmed that Trump, if elected, would like to question them to determine whether or not they would be "harmonious with our values." Sessions framed it as a choice between an immigrant's views of what "good government is"—whether one would like to live in a democratic republic, or one that "has an ideology that would like to impose a narrow view of how the government should be run—a theocracy."
In earlier speeches, regarding homegrown Islamic extremism, Trump has suggested a test for U.S. citizens, something Sessions said "I don't know that we discussed that in any detail." Later, when pressed, Sessions told Dickerson that "you can't do that for a citizen. Once you get citizenship, you're just like anybody else and you have every right of an American now matter how you came here."