Speed Reads

Quotables

Trump says mass deportation of 'terrific' undocumented immigrants can wait

In his first on-air interview since winning the election, President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday told CBS mass deportation of undocumented immigrants who do not have criminal records is not high on his agenda.

"What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers," he said, a project he estimates will remove two or three million people. Then, he will secure the border. Only once both those goals are achieved and "after everything gets normalized," Trump said, would he make a determination on whether to pursue mass deportation of the eight to nine million undocumented immigrants who would remain in the United States. Trump called those other immigrants "terrific people," a marked change in tone from his past suggestions that most undocumented immigrants are criminals.

In the same conversation, Trump indicated he would be fine building a border fence instead of a border wall in some places along the U.S. border with Mexico, an apparent contrast from his previous description of a "big, beautiful, powerful wall" with a "big, beautiful door." However, this vision is more in line with what critics left and right have long said about construction practicalities.

Watch the full clip below, or the entire interview when it airs Sunday evening on CBS. Bonnie Kristian