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Gary Johnson critical of Donald Trump, encourages embracing immigrants

By
Eric DuVall

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson said he is skeptical of Donald Trump's potential "softening" of his immigration stance, saying Americans should embrace immigration rather than try to crack down on it.

Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, rebutted statements often repeated by Trump, that undocumented workers are hurting American workers because they are taking away jobs.

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"These are really hard-working people that are taking jobs that U.S. citizens don't want," Johnson told CNN on Wednesday.

Trump said Tuesday he is reconsidering his position on immigration after making his opposition to it a centerpiece of his Republican primary campaign. Trump has advocated building a wall on the Mexican border and forcing the Mexican government to pay for it. He has also previously pledged to create a "deportation force" that would root out and apprehend the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in order to send them back to their countries of birth.

RELATED On the issues: Presidential candidates worlds apart on immigration policy

This week, however, Trump said he is considering muting some of the more controversial elements of his immigration stance aid backlash from Latinos and political moderates.

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"There could certainly be a softening [on immigration] because we're not looking to hurt people," Trump said.

Johnson, who is polling in the single digits as a third-party candidate, said Trump's proposals are unrealistic.

"He still says he wants to build a wall across the border," Johnson said of Trump. "And, really, he's not going to deport all 11 million. He's going to keep some."

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