The Slatest

Trump Says He’ll Immediately Deport As Many As 3 Million People

Donald Trump holds a campaign rally on Nov. 4 in Wilmington, Ohio.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump says he will immediately deport or imprison 2 million to 3 million “criminal” undocumented immigrants once he takes office. “What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” Trump said in an interview with 60 Minutes that will air Sunday night. “But we’re getting them out of our country, they’re here illegally.”

It’s only once the criminal undocumented immigrants are out of the country that the Trump administration will begin to deal with the other undocumented immigrants, who, by the way, are “terrific people,” according to the president-elect. “After the border is secure and after everything is normalized, we’re going to make a determination on the people that you’re talking about who are terrific people, they’re terrific people but we are gonna make a determination at that,” he said. “But before we make that determination … it’s very important, we are going to secure our border.”

Apparently this will all be done without Trump’s promised deportation force though. At least according to House Speaker Paul Ryan. “We are not planning on erecting a deportation force. Donald Trump’s not planning on that,” Ryan said on CNN’s State of the Union. “I think we should put people’s minds at ease: That is not what our focus is. That is not what we’re focused on. We’re focused on securing the border. We think that’s first and foremost, before we get into any other immigration issue, we’ve got to know who’s coming and going into the country—we’ve got to secure the border.”

Even though ally Newt Gingrich had suggested earlier this week that the wall at the border with Mexico was more campaign rhetoric than anything else, Trump insisted in the 60 Minutes interview that it’s going to happen—but he did acknowledge “some fencing” may be required instead of a wall in a few sections. “For certain areas I would, but certain areas, a wall is more appropriate,” he said. “I’m very good at this, it’s called construction.”