Vienna, Ohio (CNN) Donald Trump on Monday refused to rule out granting legal status to undocumented immigrants who remain in the United States, breaking with an immigration proposal he laid out just last week.
The Republican nominee vowed last week during a major speech in Phoenix that undocumented immigrants seeking legal status would “have one route and one route only: to return home and apply for reentry like everybody else.”
But asked Monday aboard his plane whether he could rule out a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, Trump declined.
“I’m not ruling out anything,” Trump said. “We’re going to make that decision into the future. OK?”
The seeming shift by Trump came a day after key campaign surrogates and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, gave conflicting answers about whether the nominee’s immigration plan still includes mass deportations. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Trump has moved away from that idea, while Pence and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway were coy about specifics of the immigration proposal.
Trump on Monday again stressed that those seeking citizenship would have to first leave the country — a bar he had previously set for both acquiring citizenship and legal status.
“To become a citizen, you’re going to have to go out and come back in through the process. You’re going to have to get on line. This isn’t touchback. This is you have to go out, and you have to get in line and you have to come back in to become a citizen.”
Trump allowed a small pool of reporters and photographers to join him aboard his private plane Monday between campaign stops in Ohio — a first, which came on the same day Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton took her inaugural flight on a plane with her entire traveling press corps. The rest of Trump’s traveling press corps continued to fly on a separate plane on Monday.
Trump said Monday aboard his plane that he was open to regularly allowing a pool of reporters to travel on his aircraft going forward.