Trump Continues Evolution on Immigration Policies, Muslim Ban

By Dustin Siggins Published on June 26, 2016

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has again walked back his call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, according to multiple news outlets whose reporters traveled to Scotland with the candidate.

“I don’t want people coming in — I don’t want people coming in from certain countries,” Trump told The Daily Mail. “I don’t want people coming in from the terror countries. You have terror countries! I don’t want them, unless they’re very, very strongly vetted.”

NBC reports that Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks and National Finance Chairman Steven Mnuchin explained further, with Mnuchin saying, “It is about terrorism and not about religion. It is about Muslims from countries that support terrorism.”

The statements are the latest twist in the Trump campaign’s push against Muslim immigration to the United States. In December, while trying to beat back his GOP rivals for the nomination, he called “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” However, in May, he said he wanted to appoint former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to head a commission to study how the ban would work. Giuliani is on record as calling the ban “unconstitutional.”

And on May 11 Trump  said the ban idea is “only a suggestion.”

After the mass shooting in Florida nearly two weeks ago, he appeared to shift back towards his earlier, tougher line. Following the massacre at an Orlando nightclub by a Muslim American reportedly claiming allegiance to ISIS,  Trump said he wanted to suspend immigration from nations with a “proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies,” and, according to NBC, promised to “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we fully understand how to end these threats.”

That was two weeks ago. This past week he is again taking a softer line, both on Muslim immigration and on deportation. On Saturday he seemed to modify his deportation plan for immigrants in the U.S. illegally, telling Bloomberg that “President Obama has mass deported vast numbers of people — the most ever, and it’s never reported. I think people are going to find that I have not only the best policies, but I will have the biggest heart of anybody.”

Pressed on whether Trump himself would pursue “mass deportations,” Trump said, “No, I would not call it mass deportations,” and later said, “We are going to get rid of a lot of bad dudes who are here. That I can tell you.”

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