Donald Trump’s promise to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants was a centerpiece of his campaign but now Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has poured cold water on Trump’s proposal. Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper he had no plans to create a special deportation force to deport immigrants.
Trump has suggested that he will deport 4 million undocumented immigrants in the first week of his administration – this would be an unprecedented number. Many commentators have suggested Trump will need to set up a special task force to find and deport immigrants but Ryan told CNN’s State of the Union that such a deportation force was unlikely.
“I think we should put people’s minds at ease,” Ryan said. “That is not what our focus is. That is not what we’re focused on securing the border. We think that’s first and foremost, before we get into any other immigration issue we gotta know who’s coming and going in this country we gotta secure the border. So we believe an enforcement bill, a border security enforcement bill is really the first priority and that’s what we’re focused on.”
Tapper pushed Ryan on the issue of deportations. He said that President-elect Trump believes mass deportation is a major priority. “We are not planning on erecting a deportation force,” Ryan said. “Donald Trump’s not planning on that.”
This appears to directly contradict Donald Trump’s campaign and will disappoint and anger many of Trump’s grassroots supporters. The issue of a deportation force could become a flash point in any potential conflict between Trump and the GOP establishment.