Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) indicated on Thursday that he could get behind Donald Trump as he negotiates his way through developing his immigration policy, even as the Republican nominee is openly weighing the possibility of softening his stance.
“The most important thing is to focus first and foremost on a lawful system that protects the interests of the American people first. If you enter the country unlawfully you’re subject to being deported. That’s just what the law has always been. But we have large number of people that have been here a very long time,” the longtime Trump supporter said during an interview on the outdoor set of “Fox & Friends.”
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Trump, speaking at a town hall event on immigration taped Tuesday night in a segment aired Wednesday, floated the idea of “no amnesty” but having long-time undocumented immigrants pay taxes “but we work with them.”
“So I think what he’s saying is let’s prove—the weakness in so many of the plans that have been offered over the years is they’ve given amnesty first and promised enforcement in the future,” Sessions said. “He’s saying, let’s fix this problem, let’s fix it and then we’ll wrestle with the people who have been here a long time.”
Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked, “You can get on board with that?”
“Oh, yeah, I can be supportive of that,” Sessions said. “But you have to be careful because you’ve got have the rule of law,” he said, invoking the 1986 immigration law as a cautionary example.
Pressing further with her interpretation of Trump’s comments, co-host Ainsley Earhardt remarked, “so what I’m hearing is folks who are already here can stay here. You’re not going to separate — send a mom home and keep the children here, as long as they pay back-taxes and you guys are going to …