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Trump Plans Detailed Immigration Speech08/29 06:24

   Donald Trump says he'll deliver a detailed speech on his proposal to crack 
down on illegal immigration on Wednesday in Arizona -- but it's anyone's guess 
what he might say.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Donald Trump says he'll deliver a detailed speech on his 
proposal to crack down on illegal immigration on Wednesday in Arizona --- but 
it's anyone's guess what he might say.

   The announcement came late Sunday in a tweet by the GOP presidential nominee 
after days of wavering --- and at least one canceled speech --- on a question 
central to his campaign: Whether he would, as he said in November, use a 
"deportation force" to eject the estimated 11 million people in the U.S. 
illegally. On Sunday, led by vice presidential running mate Mike Pence, Trump's 
surrogates fanned out across the televised talk shows to reiterate other parts 
of his proposal but none could answer that question. And they wouldn't say 
whether it was worrisome that such a consequential proposal remained unclear so 
close to the Nov. 8 election.

   In one case, the chairman of the Republican National Committee refused to 
speak for the GOP nominee at all.

   "I just don't speak for Donald Trump," Reince Priebus said Sunday.

   It was a striking look at Trump's leadership of a team he had said would 
help drive him to victory against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

   The very purpose of surrogates is to speak for and back up their 
presidential nominee. But Trump's stand-ins struggled to do so even as they 
stayed tightly together on the details they know: Trump will issue more details 
on the immigration plan soon, the policy will be humane, and despite his clear 
wavering, he's been "consistent" on the issue. Any discussion of 
inconsistencies or potentially non-presidential tweeting, Pence and others 
suggested, reflected media focus on the wrong issue.

   Trump's tweet Sunday suggested he was poised to clear up those questions.

   Trump's campaign also announced on Sunday a $10 million-plus buy for ads to 
air in nine competitive states starting Monday. And late Sunday, the nation's 
only African-American owned and operated national Christian television network 
announced that its president and CEO, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, would interview 
the Republican nominee in Detroit on Sept. 3.

   It's been a long and sometimes puzzling journey to this point for the GOP 
nominee, who defeated 16 Republican opponents while promising to be the 
toughest on illegal immigration. Trump even questioned whether people born in 
the United States to people here illegally are citizens --- even though they 
have automatically been considered citizens since the adoption of the 14th 
Amendment in 1868.

   But lately, he's been exploring the issue's complexities in public.

   On Fox News Channel's "Hannity" show, he discussed how hard it is to break 
up families. He suggested that maybe people who've been in this country for 
years should be allowed to stay if they pay back taxes. He insisted that such a 
plan would not amount to the "amnesty" that's anathema to many core supporters 
of the Republican Party.

   Trump in recent days has suggested he might be "softening" on the 
deportation force and that he might be open to allowing at least some 
immigrants in the country illegally to stay, as long as they pay taxes.

   But by Thursday, he was ruling out any kind of legal status --- "unless they 
leave the country and come back," he told CNN.

   Trump has focused lately on deporting people who are in the U.S. illegally 
and who have committed crimes. But who Trump considers a criminal remained 
unclear Sunday.

   "Those are the things that Donald Trump is going to answer. And this is not 
a simple question," said Priebus, who's had a difficult relationship with Trump.

   The speech has been rescheduled at least once. Trump's campaign had 
scheduled it for last Thursday, then canceled it. The campaign also blamed 
staff error for reports that it had been scheduled for August 31 in Phoenix. 
But Trump's tweet late Sunday made clear that the event is back on.

   But it's far from clear what he'll say, apparently even to his top 
supporters.

   Asked whether the "deportation force" proposal Trump laid out in November is 
still in place, Pence replied: "Well, what you heard him describe there, in his 
usual plainspoken, American way, was a mechanism, not a policy."

   Added Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway: "The softening is more 
approach than policy," adding that on immigration, Trump "wants to find a fair 
and humane way."

   Pence, Conway and other surrogates said the main tenets of Trump's 
immigration plan still will include building a wall along the southern U.S. 
border and making Mexico pay for it, no path to legalization or citizenship for 
people here illegally and stronger border enforcement. Pence also did not 
answer whether the campaign believes, as Trump has said, that children born to 
people who are in the U.S. illegally are not U.S. citizens. That, he said, "is 
a subject for the future."

   Pence appeared on CNN's "State of the Union," Priebus was on NBC's "Meet the 
Press," and Conway was on "Fox News Sunday" and CBS' "Face the Nation."


(KA)

 
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