Donald Trump doubled down on his tough talk on immigration during an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” set to air Sunday night, saying he plans to deport as many as 3 million undocumented immigrants.
“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers. … Probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” Trump said. “We’re getting them out of our country. They’re here illegally.”
On the campaign trail, Trump often regaled his audience with tales of murders and rapes allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants. He often cited a statistic from the U.S. Sentencing Commission showing undocumented immigrants accounted for 9 percent of federal prison sentences for murder in 2013 but were 3.5 percent of the population.
Fact-checkers called Trump’s use of this stat misleading because so few cases are handled by the federal court system. The 9 percent of federal murder cases in 2013 was a total of eight homicides. Additionally, that figure encompasses murders committed by both legal aliens or residents and undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants alone accounted for 6.9 percent of federal murder cases in 2013, which equals six homicides in total.
Trump is also standing by his campaign promise to erect a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. However, he said that some areas of the wall could be “fencing” — contrary to some of his campaign-trail bluster about how strong and tall he imagined his wall to be.
“For certain areas I would [build a fence], but certain areas, a wall is more appropriate,” Trump said. “I’m very good at this — it’s called construction.”
Once the wall has been built and “everything gets normalized,” Trump said his administration will “make a determination” on undocumented immigrants. “They’re terrific people, but we are going to make a determination at that,” Trump said. “But before we make that determination … we are going to secure our border.”
Mexico’s government has continued to reject Trump’s insistence that it will foot the bill for a border wall. After Trump was elected president, Mexico’s foreign minister told local news outlets that “paying for the wall is not part of our vision.”
Immigrants rights groups in California have been preparing “for the worst,” according to Los Angeles Weekly, and have established a coalition to put up a united front. Advocates met with the state attorney general and the newly elected Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democrat who vowed to thwart Trump’s deportation plans.
Similarly, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio assured undocumented immigrants that he“has your back.” He said the city would do everything it could to protect them but was waiting to see whether Trump would actually follow through with his campaign promises.
Latino rights group Make The Road New York organized a protest at Trump Tower planned for Sunday afternoon. It would mark the fifth day of protests outside the president-elect’s residence since the election.