President Donald Trump said immigrants who were brought into the country as children can “rest easy” as they won’t be targeted by deportation efforts based on his immigration policies. While these individuals are still considered to be in the country illegally, Trump told The Associated Press that the current administration is “not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals.”
Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump took a hard stance on immigration. During the interview, he renewed his pledged to complete the wall along the US-Mexico border, though has not required funding for the project be included in the spending bill currently before Congress. However, when asked if he would sign legislation that doesn’t include the necessary financial support for the wall, he responded, “I just don’t know yet.”
During the Oval Office interview, Trump asserted, “I want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall.”
While a presidential candidate, Trump criticized then President Barack Obama for his position on immigration, including the use of “illegal executive amnesties” including efforts to allow young people brought into the country as children to avoid deportation. After winning the election, Trump’s position shifted, showing a more favorable perspective on this particular segment of illegal immigrants, who he began referring to as “dreamers.”
“This is a case of the heart,” said Trump during his interview.
Trump also stated his intention to reveal a tax overhaul package next week, providing a timeline of “Wednesday or shortly thereafter.” He said the plan would include “massive” tax cuts for businesses and individuals, though declined to provide additional details aside from declaring that the package will be “bigger, I believe, than any tax cut ever.”
It appears the announcement has caught Congressional Republicans by surprise, as they have not been briefed regarding the tax cut plan.
When discussing his upcoming 100th day in office, set to occur on April 29th, Trump called the milestone “artificial.” However, he is eager to make progress on various campaign promises associated with his first 100 days in office, especially when combating major setbacks regarding repeal and replace efforts directed at current health care laws and attempts institute various travel bans.
Trump also discussed issues of foreign policy, saying it was “possible” the US will withdraw its support for the nuclear accord formed with Iran.
When discussing the recent events regarding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Trump stated efforts to formally charge and arrest Assange were “OK with me,” though he was not directly involved in the decision-making process.