A senior aide to US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has signalled a possible shift in his hardline immigration policies, saying his plans to deport 11 million people who are in the country illegally are under review.
Trump’s vow to toughen US immigration policy has been at the centre of his campaign and he has promised to carry out mass deportations and build a wall on the US-Mexico border, which is critics have labelled inhumane, expensive and unrealistic.
Trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton in opinion polls for the November 8 election and struggling to broaden his support beyond the white working-class voters who have been his base of support, the New York businessman has reached out in recent days to black and Hispanic voters.
On Sunday, his new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, told CNN that Trump was committed to a “fair and humane” approach to those living in the country illegally.
“What he supports is to make sure we enforce the law, we are respectful of those Americans who are looking for well-paying jobs and that we are fair and humane to those who live among us in this country,” Conway said.
Pressed on whether Trump’s plans would include a “deportation force” that the candidate previously pledged to set up, she replied: “To be determined.”
Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, a close ally of Trump, told CBS that Trump is still working through his plans for deportations should he win the White House.
“He’s wrestling with how to do that. People that are here unlawfully, came into the country against our laws, are subject to being removed.
That’s just plain fact,” the Alabama lawmaker said.
Trump has also been rebuked by opponents for his proposal to impose a temporary “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims seeking to enter the country, later rolled back to focus on countries with “a proven history of terrorism.”
Clinton has accused Trump of sowing divisiveness.
Last week Trump announced a reshuffle of his campaign team.
Conway, who had been a senior adviser, was promoted to campaign manager and Stephen Bannon, head of the Breitbart News website, was hired as campaign chief executive.
The Trump campaign said on Friday that campaign chairman Paul Manafort was resigning.