WASHINGTON: Hours after reviving his hardline rhetoric on immigration, US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Thursday there was "softening" in his immigration plans.
"Oh, there's softening. Look, we do it in a very humane way, and we're going to see with the people that are in the country," said Trump in a radio interview hours after he outlined a 10-point immigration proposals at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday night, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Obviously I want to get the gang members out, the drug peddlers out, I want to get the drug dealers out," said Trump. "We' ve got a lot of people in this country that you can't have, and those people we'll get out."
During his speech on Wednesday, Trump again resorted to incendiary language after days of flirtation with amnesty for undocumented immigrants in the country, proclaiming that there would not be amnesty for illegal immigrants under his presidency.
"Our message to the world will be this. You cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the US by illegally entering our country. Can't do it," said Trump on Wednesday.
During his almost 90-minute long speech, Trump railed about how illegal immigrants as a whole were posing a security and economic threat to Americans, pledging that "anyone who has entered the US illegally is subject to deportation."
While professing tough stance on deporting any illegal immigrants with criminal records, however, Trump in a major departure from his stance in the primary season shelved his plan to create a "deportation force" to deport 11 million illegal immigrants.
He also continued his promise that a US-Mexican border wall would be built and Mexico would pay for it.
After a bruised and chaotic primary season, where his hard-line immigration stance played a pivotal role in routing all other Republican contenders, Trump had recently been signalling that he may be open to a "softening" of his extreme immigration positions.