Donald Trump will be taking his first foreign trip as the Republican presidential nominee on Wednesday, making a quick visit to Mexico, a nation he derided as the home of rapists and criminals as he launched his campaign.
The meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto, who earlier this year compared the billionaire candidate to Hitler, comes hours before Trump is set to deliver a highly-anticipated immigration speech. It’s a defining issue for Trump, but one on which he has appeared to waiver.
After saying during his primary campaign he would expel all of the estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally with a “deportation force,” Trump has suggested recently he might be open to “softening” his stance as he tries to win over more moderate general election voters.
In meetings recently with Hispanic supporters, Trump had suggested he could be open to allowing some people living in the country illegally to stay. After one such roundtable this month, his new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said Trump’s stance on using a deportation force to expel people was “to be determined.”
In the days since, Trump and his staff have broadcast varied and conflicting messages — though on Wednesday Conway appeared to make clear that Trump had decided against allowing immigrants in the U.S. illegally to stay.
“The point that Mr. Trump has made again and again is that you don’t get amnesty and you don’t get legalization since you broke the law to be here in the first place. But then he also respects it’s a complex issue,” Conway said in an interview with MSNBC. She added that Trump’s plan would be “the toughest on illegal immigration than anyone’s ever been and he means it, he’s meant it from day one.”