Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has backed off his call for mass deportations, promising to go after illegal immigrant “bad dudes” and show America that he has “the biggest heart of anybody.”
Mr. Trump came under fire during the primaries for his vow to deport the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, as well as his plan to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
“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,” Mr. Trump said Saturday in an interview at his golf course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
The change in rhetoric from Mr. Trump resembled a pivot for the general election that would be expected from a more traditional candidate.
Pressed by Bloomberg Politics on whether he would pursue mass deportations, the real estate tycoon said he would not.
“No, I would not call it mass deportations,” Mr. Trump said. “We are going to get rid of a lot of bad dudes who are here. That I can tell you.”
Mr. Trump has not veered from his plan to build a wall, which is a cornerstone of his campaign.
However, since locking up the GOP nomination, he has softened his tone on his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. in order to fight terrorism. Mr. Trump has said he would limit the travel restriction to Muslims from countries that are hot beds for terrorism.