US president-elect in his first interview since election says he plans to deport or jail undocumented foreigners.
November 14, 2016: US President-elect Donald Trump said he planned to immediately deport or jail as many as three million undocumented immigrants, as he set out his priorities in the first television interview since his election.
The interview with US television CBS’s “60 Minutes”Â is to be broadcast on Sunday as millions were expected to tune in for clues on how the billionaire businessman turned politician will govern the country.
Since Tuesday’s election triumph, Trump had appeared to tone down his rhetoric, notably suggesting he might be willing to reconsider a pledge to scrap President Barack Obama’s signature health reform, the so-called Obamacare.
However, he made clear in excerpts of Sunday’s interview that he still intended to crack down on undocumented immigrants in the country, focusing on people with criminal records.
“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.
Trump’s stance his deportation plans stood in opposition with comments by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said on Sunday the focus under a Trump administration would be on securing the border, not rounding up immigrants.
Trump also said he would keep his promise to build a wall along the US border with Mexico, but said part of it could be a fence, as some members of Congress have suggested.
“There could be some fencing,” he said in the interview, but in other areas “a wall is more appropriate”.
Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna, reporting from Washington DC, said that there is no question about having a barrier on the border or not, but the discussion is about what form it will take as Trump insisted that it would largely be a physical wall, not a fence.
“The issue of a strong border is important for many Republicans, and indeed many Democrats. But the differences are as to what form it takes. There are already fences in large areas of the border at present, which the Congress approved,” he said.
“If Donald Trump wants to get his wall, he needs the Republican-majority Congress to approve the expenses for it. He alienated many there during his campaign,” Hanna added.
Meanwhile, 50,000 people in the US have signed a petition, asking Trump to openly reject hate and bigotry.
It was set up following more than 200 reports of intimidation and harassment since election day. Some of those cases have been highlighted on social media.
Trump’s campaign was marked by derogatory comments about race, religion, gender and disability.
However, in his victory speech, he vowed to be a President for “all Americans”.