House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday that he and President-elect Donald Trump are “not planning” to pursue mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, despite Trump’s vow to the contrary during the campaign.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Jake Tapper played a clip of Trump saying during the campaign that “we’re going to have a mass deportation force … they’re going back where they came.” Tapper juxtaposed that with a clip of Ryan telling college students in April that “we have to come up with a solution that doesn’t include mass deportations, that involves getting people to earn a legal status while we fix the rest of illegal immigration.”
Asked for his response, Ryan said on the show, “We should put people’s minds at ease, that is not what our focus is. We’re focused on securing the border.” The interview grew a bit testy when Ryan was pressed on whether Congress could pursue a mass deportation initiative in a second or third year of Trump’s term.
“We’re not focused on, we are not planning on erecting a deportation force,” Ryan said, adding: “Donald Trump’s not planning on that.”
Tapper also asked Ryan whether his chamber would pass tariffs designed to discourage U.S. companies from moving abroad and laying off workers, as Trump has said he would like to do in his first 100 days.
Ryan appeared to acknowledge his different opinion on tariffs, albeit in a roundabout way. He said there’s a “better way” to make the country more competitive, plugging his own policy agenda, which includes a pillar on tax reform.
By RACHAEL BADE for POLITICO
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